Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rest in Peace Lauren

Hi, I’m Louise, Laurens mum.

Loz and I spoke last summer about writing this while we spent a month in Southampton hospital when she had that really bad downward turn. It was our plan to write something together but as is life we put it off so now here I am writing it alone....I’ve only been trying to put words together for the last week, if Lauren hadn’t been the most amazing, caring, loving, gentle, courageous person she was then this would have probably been easier!

Loz was such a special person who touched so many lives. She always thought of others even when she was in agonising pain she always put everyone else first. And intelligent, so intelligent, she knew and understood from such an early age that there was a good chance that her health would deteriorate and her life would be cut short. How does a child deal with knowing that you’ll probably die young?... she had to, every day. Over time as things did get worse, for so long she sheltered her friends from her pain and the heartache she felt at not being able to keep up with them all. I think she wanted to protect them, she didn’t want to burden them....again thinking of others first, not herself. It was only more recently that Lauren became more open with them about how things really were, sharing with them some of the pain, sadness and frustration she was feeling, the realisation that she needed to start preparing them, preparing them for what she knew by then really was coming. Have you ever thought what it’s like to know everyday you are dying and that it’s getting closer? Only those who are in that situation really know, we can try to understand and have empathy and us closest to Lozzy maybe felt we had some understanding of perhaps a fraction of what her body and mind were going through each day but only she knew. She had to deal with those thoughts everyday, she was so brave, so courageous and yet she never became bitter, her love and gentleness always shone through.

At Laurens funeral her dear friend Jordanna said some words from her and other dear friends of Laurens, one of the things she mentioned was that Loz once said that she admired the brilliance of the bumble bee. Not just a bumbling creature, but a remarkable one.
Science shows that those tiny wings should not be able to lift the bees large body into the air. It's a creature that defies everything that makes sense.
Lauren was like the bumble bee, never letting her small wings stop her from flying.

Lauren's Cystic Fibrosis may have prevented her from doing certain things but she never allowed it to alter the way she was, the way she wanted to be.
She never let her kindness, her goodness, her generosity change, even when her illness did. She was an unbelievable daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and an unbelievable friend.

Lauren had a tattoo on her foot......Courage, Strength, Hope
Loz always showed great courage no matter how much pain or how low she felt, she had inner strength for herself but even more so for others, and hope, she never gave up hope making plans for her future always encouraging and giving hope to all those around her.

It was one of Laurens fears that she would be forgotten, we all have so many wonderful and varied memories of Lauren. I think that Lauren has had a special place in so many peoples hearts for such a long time and that’s the place she will stay...never forgotten, always with us all, in our hearts and our memories.

What the caterpillar perceives as the end, to the butterfly it is just the beginning.....

Where ever you are Lauren, our lovely Lozzy, everyone that was lucky enough to know you, loved you, you touched all those hearts and left a warm wonderful feeling just being close to you, we have been lucky to have you with us, albeit too brief but now wherever you are you will again be warming those hearts, caring and loving as you always were...they are the lucky ones now to have you with them.

Always with us beautiful will never be forgotten xx

Lauren came home to be cared for by her family in her last few weeks and passed away peacefully on Wednesday 16th February 2011

Thursday, December 30, 2010

So, Perhaps this blog needs re-thinking.

Thinking as I am that even if i had the motivation, I wouldn't be able to write decent book reviews if my life depended on them, and considering that i'm reading a new book most days, maybe i'll keep this as sort of a lazy title list of reads for now... and maybe even scores if you're lucky!
y'know... since i'm sure there are hundreds of you out there drooling for my literary opinion ;)

That I can remember from the last week or so, I've read:
Mercy, by Rebecca Lim
teenage angel trapped in teenage human body, solves predictable kidnap mystery along with hot boy.

Secrets She Left Behind, by Diane Chamberlain
sequel to Before the Strom, in which a boy with fetal alcohol syndrome is almost convicted of setting a killer fire. eventually his 18y-o sister is found guilty and spends one year in jail. This book tells the story of the time after her release, the town's response to her, how things have changed, etc.
Twist at the end possibly predictable? But uplifting ending i guess.

Room, by Emma Donoghue
boy born in one room lives until 5 years of age thinking that is all there is to the world. mother tries to explain truth, they escape. they have life on Outside.
bit short for my taste but leaves you thinking.

several by Jodi Picoult
as always, crammed with legal/medical/scientific jargon, which i personally enjoy for the most part. A couple of them did get a little heavy. Mostly I like her books, her writing and the twist that always seems to arrive.

several children's books by Roald Dahl
will always be special to me, the bookworm.
especially 'Danny the Champion of the World', though I couldnt put my finger on why!

and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

First two books in a trilogy that ends next summer. Werewolf-human love story. Will be compared to Twilight saga but this one may have more staying power, though maybe not quite the crazily hyped status, which i think maybe is a good thing! It is what it is, and its lovely for it i suppose. I am looking forward to finding out what happens next.

More soon.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

2 stories told over one day.

The books are read, and for once I have a minute to blog at the same time as the books being in the building.
So I started on 'If I Stay' by Gayle Forman. It's a shorter book than I would usually go for, but on reading the back and being in one of my thinking-about-life-and-it's-shortness moods, I picked it.
Imagine if all your choices were gone. Except one. And it's the only one that really matters.
The last thing Mia remembers is the music.
After the accident, she can still hear it. And she can see her damaged body being taken from the wreck of her parent's car - even though she can't feel a thing.
All she can do is watch as doctors rush to save her life, as her friends and relatives gather outside her room, as the boy she loves struggles to be near her.
As the next twenty-four hours unfold, Mia must come to terms with what came before the crash - and what could come after. And she knows she must make the most difficult choice of all.
If she stays...

Now, I'm not saying at all that this book is a great work: the overall plot is pretty easily presictable and the writing is simple and unsophisticated. But anyone who reads this is sure to come out the other side thinking differently about their life and their own mortality. Two lines in the book really surprised me when on reading them tears immediately sprang to my eyes... I always like that in a book, when I laugh out loud or get watery eyes. The book uses the "kiss-of-death" style of writing that is flashbacks, but it does definitely work in keeping you in suspense about what Mia's decision will be, though really it is easy to guess. But I found myself wanting to skip through the flashbacks to get to the conclusion, sadly not down to the suspense but due to finding that the flashbacks could get a teensy bit dull.
'If I Stay' has been released as a book for adults but I would say that the style it is written in with basic and simple sentences makes it more suited to a younger teenaged audience.

'The Weight of Silence' by Heather Gudenkauf was more my kind of thing, though I wasn't as blown away as I'd hoped:
It happens quietly one August morning. Two families awake to find their little girls are missing.
Calli Clark is a dreamer. A sweet, gentle girl, Calli suffers from selective mutism, brought on by a tradgedy she experienced as a toddler. Her mother Antonia tries her best to help, but is trapped in a marriage to a violent husband.
Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra or Calli have been heard from since their disappearance was discovered.
Now Calli and Petra's families are bound by the question of what has happened to their children. As support turns to suspicion, it seems the answers lie trapped in the silence of unspoken secrets.

Though this time the writing was more sophisticated, the conclusion was still quite predictable. I love books where you see the story from several characters' perspectives so it worked for me! You are held by the suspense created by switching characters, but as I said, it is predictable in that when I found out at the very end who is to blame, I was not really shocked or surprised. There was no real twist or change of pace in the book which I found disappointing.

I realised neither of those "reviews" are overly-positive, but I would actually reccommend both of these books! It's just that if I could re-do, they would be books I had borrowed from the library or something rather than bought myself :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Okay, so being poorly has rather blighted this venture, seeing as I've been living out of a suitcase for over a month now, between being at my dad's house, the hospitals and having a couple of days at home incapacitated!
But I have read two (and a half!) books since I first posted, and do intend to say something about them when I get the chance to look back over them, and post the blurbs etc. Just in case anyone is interested, they were "Full Blown" by David Lovelace, and "The Carrie Diaries" by Candace Bushnell (not my usual sort of thing - "chick lit"). And of course I am slowly devouring my beloved Alice in Wonderland from Jordanna!
Today I bought "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman, and "Before the Storm" by Diane Chamberlain. Excited much? Yes indeedy I am. Updates soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book Scribblings.

I have set up another blog to keep track of the books i am reading and scribble my thoughts on them, as if people were actually interested in what I have to say ;)
We'll see how it goes, and whether or not I can handle committing to a blog with a fixed topic and purpose!

But I thought that it might be a fun experiment and nice to write about something that isn't health complaints, and what better subject than my beautiful books, which I love almost as much as my real friends... :D
...nothing better than getting lost in a good book.

I'll post "reviews" as and when I read my books, as well as probably filling gaps with those that I've read in the past too. The word "review" is used loosely here, I'll wait and see what I can conjure up. It may not be a review by any definition encountered before :)

So, watch this space. XX