Anne Deggleman, Casey Houghran, Breena Kerr, Sharon
October 13, 2000
may not have all known Lauren as welll as we did, but if you did,
you would know that she was a very complicated person. Lauren had
a very hard life, and although she had problems in relating to people
sometimes, at the core of her was the sould of an amazingly generous
person who desired to be loved. Some of us spent as many as ten,
or as few as four years living with an making memories with Lauren.
She was an inseperable part of our lives. The fact is however, if
we took the time, the kids in her class got to know the complete
person inside her, and did not limit their vision of her to black
and white. We all related to and accepted her in different ways.
In short, Casey, Anne and I have written this because
we wanted to honor Lauren's memory, and pay tribute to her life
and the kindness that she showed others. If Lauren were still here
she would be truly amazed to see how many people truly cared about
Our fondest memories of Lauren are hard to recall.
We never thought that we would be writing this and trying to remember
a part of our life we had taken for granted. The relationship Lauren
had with us was so unique, that trying to explain it, and do it
justice is extrememely difficult.
Never in our youth did we comprehend that something
like this would happen to shatter our reality. But now we all must
fit the pieces back together and carry this lesson into the future.
We will now share the memories that Lauren has given
us. These event, though we may not have realized their significance
while we were living them, will stay with us for the rest of our
My fondest memory of Lauren is of her birthday party
about four months ago. While the rest of our class was in Washington
D.C., Lauren raised money for, and planned her party. She was so
excited about it. She told all of us about how she had gotten decorations,
food, and even a DJ. At first she was worried that no one would
come, but word of the party spread quickly in our class, and when
the date of it came, it was wonderful. When I look back, I can't
help but think that God gave us that beautiful summer day to be
together at her party. The sun was shining and the aura of happiness
and freedom that surrounded her house that day filled everyone who
was there with a sense of peace and joy. I feel certain now that
that day, we all felt apart from the world. We existed in the bliss
of thinking that the world would never touch us. That day we tanned,
swam, and sang happy birthday to our friend.
There were days in middle school when something in
my life wasn't going right, and I felt depressed. Neale-May could
always sense that. Because she went through struggles of her own,
we could relate to each other in our sadness, and could be there
to comfort each other when needed. This is how I got to know the
real Neale-May. I learned from our times spent together that there
was a good heart under the hostility that she sometimes used to
protect herself. This led to a companionship that existed both in
the classroom, and on the soccer field. This relationship could
be both good and bad. At times we did collide and have disputes,
but then there were those times that we grew in our friendship and
as people. The disputes that we had were for the better. After talking
to Ms. Collins, our former teacher, our advisor, and our friend,
I discovered that the arguments or limitations we set in our relationship
were not confining, but turned out to be the best thing for Neale-May.
They made our friendship stronger and better. Therefore, the words
of Ms. Collins should guide us all, that the hard times we had with
Neale-May happened for a reason.
There aren't really words to express the grief we
feel at Lauren's death. But let's not let Lauren's death be in vain.
There are people just like Lauren reaching out for love and acceptance,
who need it just as much as she did. Let us keep Lauren alive each
time we show love and compassion towards others, and never forget
her like and what it meant to us. The lessons Lauren taught us were
the most precious gift she gave us.
I first met Lauren when we were little kids and my
dad coached our T-ball team. After that, I played her in AYSO soccer.
I knew Lauren from these experiences as the tough redhead who you
should try not to run into (especially on the soccer field). This
image of Lauren had some truth in it but there was a side of her
that I didn't know. I remember one soccer practice when we scrimmaged
Lauren's team. It was a hard game and Lauren made the winning goal
in the last minute. As I walked away, she came up behind me and
patted me on the back and said "Good game," with a big
smile. Then she asked if I wanted to ride my bike to the supermarket
at the corner with her and get a soda. She said, "My treat."
We went to the market and got some sodas and sat and talked for
about an hour. This was when I realized that Lauren had a heart
of gold. She was so eager to reach out and be a friend to me. When
I moved to St. Joseph's in the beginning of sixth grade I was happy
to hear that she was in my class.
us, Lauren's loss is the loss of the beauty and innocence of our
youth. A thing which we didn't know we possessed, or that it could
ever disappear. Her classmates will go on, worn down by the winds
of life, but Lauren will always exist inside that realm of our youth.
And when we look back on our years past, we will always remember
her in her graduation dress, beautiful and forever young.