Sunday, January 02, 2011

It was a year ago today

I took this picture of Lauren in our favorite getaway place in the world, Bethlehem, PA.  This was taken on the PA 309 bridge over the Lehigh River, over which we walked each day when we were at the Celtic Classic.  She loved visiting here more than any place we went, and talked of having a house there some day. A SECOND one, of course, because she could never leave this city that was a part of her every day of her life.  She remains the most wonderful human being that I ever knew, or likely will know.

As you know, right about this time one year ago today, she hugged me, collapsed and, despite the work of me and the EMTs, never regained consciousness.  What I remember of the days that followed were the kindness, love and support that our family and friends received, it stunned me and I will never forget it.  2010 was a particularly hard year, as we later lost Lauren's cousin Henry, who inspired our family with his courage and strength for over two years before succumbing this past summer.

I take every day as it comes, whenever possible, because, as we all learned, one never knows what is around the next corner.  We are in a new year, but always be careful.  I remember saying on New Year's Eve 2009 that 2010 HAD to be a better year than 2009, because it couldn't get worse.  48 hours later, I was sitting in the ICU waiting room at St. Francis.

As the late Warren Zevon told David Letterman as he was dying of cancer, "Enjoy Every Sandwich".  Hug the people you love just a little bit tighter, because you never know what could happen.

I want to thank all of you who have done so much for me over this year, and if I put all of you on here, I am sure I would leave out someone.  I remember so many things about that week, but always the people who were there at every step, and who would do so many things, whether just being there to relieve some of the strain, or driving two hours each way every day to work and back to Memphis just to be there at night, or helping make the program which we used at her funeral.  I will never be able to repay that, but I will damn sure try.

As you know, Lauren passed away the day after her 44th birthday, which was also my 51st.  That's why I don't plan to celebrate my birthday, but I will acknowledge it.  However, as my friends and I realized, while the annual party that Lauren and I threw to celebrate our birthdays can't be the same, one thing can:  Raising food for the Mid-South Food Bank.

And so, on the night of January 15 at Garibaldi's on Walker (across from Tiger Book Store), I am asking those of you who knew and loved Lauren (and, let's face it, if you knew her, you had no choice but to love her, right?)  to bring non-perishable food items or checks made out to The Mid-South Food Bank.  (Thanks to Rick for pointing this out, we are starting at 7 PM and going until 10 or so.)

This night shall be her night, and we will raise much-needed food and money for a wonderful organization that always needs it right after the holidays.

I hope you can come by, or if not, send a check to the Food Bank, they can always use it.

Lauren would have loved that.


Freedonian said...

Beautiful, my brother. I wouldn't miss it.

I know this is a miserable time for you. Just remember the other thing you realized in that waiting room--- That there's a world of people out here that love you and Lauren deeply.

Blinders Off said...

I am sure Lauren is smiling right now and your are honoring her memory for a worthy cause.

Happy New Year!

Sandy said...

I am so sorry about Lauren. You are honoring her memory well with this beautiful post and helping the most needy in our society.

Tom said...

Steve: Thanks for honoring her with this sweet post and this wonderful photograph of Lauren. On the tribute album recorded by Warren Zevon - Enjoy Every Sandwich - he recorded a really moving closing song, Keep Me in Your Heart. Thanks for doing that for Lauren.

Tim Curry said...

I just wanted to say that among Lauren’s “Vigilantees” the line between friends/family, comforter/comforted blurred. People from all walks of life came out of the woodwork to be there. There may have been many differences of opinion, but the one thing everyone agreed on was how much we loved and/or missed Lauren. I also want to reiterate something my mom told you when Lauren first started bringing you around, “Welcome to the family.” I’ll be there at Garibaldi’s on January 15 to reinforce her sentiments.
Kindly Uncle Tim

Steve Steffens said...

Thanks to all of you, and yay to Tim for getting through the Google wall!