A Letter to Lauren ~
Our dear girl. It’s been three years today – an eternity and a moment – since you left us, slipping off in the early morning darkness to a place where your soul dances and you shine with a light that we cannot even fathom. There is not a day that passes that I don’t wonder why you had to leave us, but deep in my heart I am somehow certain that we agreed upon your leaving before you even joined us on that chilly spring morning of 1991.
You hurried through your life with your eye steady on a finish line that none of us could see, rushing to accomplish so much before you were through. And somehow you did: you were a wonderful and happy child and adolescent, a kind and giving adult who loved generously and was so loved in return; you were a kind wife and a devoted mother so focused on the wellness of your child that we believe it may have cost you your own life.
We will continue to spread the word of possible dangers to breastfeeding mothers of taking too-readily-written prescriptions to augment their milk supply (such as domperidone). We will not forget you, Lauren, and we will make your death as much of a message of caution as your life was an illustration of determination.
You and your husband Phil gave us a beautiful grandson, whose smile and curls and eyes and spirit remind us of you everytime we see and speak to him. Thank you for sharing such an astounding gift with us before you left and for helping to choose such a wonderful young woman to partner in guiding your boy through childhood. She’s doing a great job – she and Phil both – and we are so glad to have built a loving relationship with her. You’d be so proud of all of us.
Okay…I know you are proud. But I still can’t help but miss you so completely; you know how we sigh for you and hold you close in our hearts all the time. I do love receiving your signs: last year on this day you brought us rainbows. We’ll be watching today. No pressure, though!
This past year, Loo, we have worked so hard on a book that we hope will help people to realize that there is life after a loss like the one that we’ve suffered, and we’ve felt guided by you through every page of every chapter. Your message of positivity, strength, laughter, compassion and generosity will be one that will be shared. The story of our love for you and your love for your family will be a gift that we hope your son will continue to unwrap for years to come.
Thank you for making me a mom – I know that I was never as good as I could have been, but you turned out so beautifully anyway – and for the closeness we were sharing and enjoying when you took on the role of Mother as well. Those seven months before you left were among the sweetest of my life, too, you know, as we had even more in common.
I only offered advice when you asked for it, as I know that’s how you wanted things to be. But I always told you to believe in yourself, just as I had when you were little. It’s a message we’ll make sure Colin gets every day of his life that we’re around to share it.
As we mark this day and Mother’s Day Sunday, your daddy and I promise to always dream a little dream of you, to hold you close in our hearts and instead of tending to the cracks that open on days like this, we’ll vow to focus instead on how full you’ve made our hearts of memories and love for you, for each other and for the family you had to leave. And we’ll always be grateful to you, our Lauren – our Pure Joy.
Thank you for letting me share this with you today. I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and I’ll be back with you on Monday.