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Life story
October 4, 1988
Born in New York on October 4, 1988.
October 5, 1988


It is hard to break down Lauren's life into points in time. There are special memories with dates associated to them, but her life, each and every day was so special to me. She graciously gave us seventeen years of memories and smiles. She left us with her gifts of compassion and caring, even though she faced her own personal challenges. She tried so hard to overcome her depression and other difficulties, but Lauren was bright, athletic, beautiful, funny and she had a smile that would light up a room. 


She was always ready for a New Adventure........

For Lauren, life meant that there was always something exciting to discover, and close friends with whom to spend that precious time.  She loved just being a kid, dressing up in goofy outfits with Charmene and Cassie; playing ding, dong, ditch; jumping from the snow to the Hot Tub; wading through creeks looking for frogs; searching for bugs in an open field, or running through the neighborhood to visit her friend Derek or down the hill to Ben's, Brittany's or Tasha's. She and Erin and Ben wrote and performed plays at our house and video taped them.  They had such fun and I really enjoyed watching the videos!  We have a trampoline in our back yard, there were many times I looked out the window and saw kids laughing and jumping, but as she got older, there were more times when they surrounded the trampoline, leaned back on the net, just sitting and talking.






She loved animals, flowers and nature .... 
She loved animals and brought baby rabbits, birds and a tiny kitten home to nurse and heal. She had pet rabbits, gerbils, and even tried to bring little white mice home as pets.  She thought she was saving them, because they were to be food for the snakes. We tried to release these little mice in fields, but she and her friend Charmene kept coming back to the car with the little white mice hidden in their coats, and giving themselves away with their giggles.


    Whenever we got a new puppy, it was for Lauren.  Somehow we ended up with four dogs.  Sadie was the one that was truly hers.  Lauren fed her, trained her and loved her.  After Lauren passed away, our Samoyed, Izzy, started taking walks. She had never left the property until then. I think she was searching for Lauren. Sadly, Izzy, passed away several months after Lauren. Lauren often said she didn't remember life without Izzy. Lauren was 17 and Izzy was 15. They were together for a long time.



 Lauren also loved flowers, especially sunflowers and daisies.  We  planted sunflowers in our garden and the following year we waited for them to appear, not knowing they were annuals.  There are fields of sunflowers around here and she loved to see them.  She also liked lilacs and would cut them to bring in the house for their sweet scent. Lauren was so disappointed when we moved and had to leave the lilac bushes behind. She loved bringing me flowers, even though sometimes they were from someone else's garden.


Throughout her years in school she tried many activities.  She tried music, playing various instruments, encouraged by a teacher who is no longer at the school. Her braces and other oral appliances made it difficult for her to continue.  She also tried concert choir, but finally decided music was not her thing, although she did take guitar lessons and enjoyed the guitar.  She took gymnastics and had great potential, but when asked to train for competition, we decided it was too much of a time commitment. She played soccer, tried tennis but found her sport in running, particularly cross country. She loved being part of the team and she enjoyed her teammates.


She also ran track and lettered in track when she had mononucleosis, which was quite an accomplishment. She loved to ski and was a member of the school's ski club.  She especially loved skiing with her friends Eric and Stephen. On one of our vacations, she tried bungie jumping.  I was so afraid for her, I couldn't watch, but she loved it and went again and again.

Lauren died in her senior year, and did not get a chance to graduate. The school, however, did grant her a diploma. I was in such pain, I was 500 miles away and my two nieces accepted the diploma. There was a standing ovation when Lauren's name was read and my nieces accepted her diploma. Thank you to the class of 2006. 

She loved writing, poetry, photography, and her first job........

     She was a creative writer, and for a long time wanted to be a journalist when she graduated.   She loved poetry and wrote many poems.  Unfortunately she threw away many of her poems and short stories, because she didn't think they were very good.  She also enjoyed taking photos and was always asking for a new camera or equipment, and of course borrowing mine. In the spring of 2005 she got a job at The Purple Cow and loved both the job and the people with whom she worked. She was looking forward to returning in the spring when they reopened. 

Lauren wrote a, which was included in her funeral service. A few months following her death, I submitted the poem to the Faulkner Society Literary  Contest (Poetry). She (her poem) was a finalist in the competition. I am so proud of her and I can just imagine how excited she would have been.

Leaves in the Wind
Now in this late hour, I look back and feel
the winds of time roaring past.
Wishing for things that could never be,
seem now like leaves of Autumn
gathering and then gone with the wind.
Bits and pieces of time, pictures in my
mind, only I can see.
All here one day and then gone the next.
Beware, all who tread here,
for time is precious, and if not well spent,
will scatter like leaves in the wind.
By: Lauren Elizabeth Pacenta © 2005
(I am so incredibly proud of you Lauren! I wish your teachers could have seen your talent.)




Oh how she loved to drive..............
When she turned 16 she couldn't wait to get her permit and learn to drive.  Within 7 months she had her license and was driving.  She loved to drive and it gave her such a feeling of independence, but of course it caused me concern as I am sure it has many other parents when their children begin driving.  I always stood in the garage and watched her pull out and leave.  I would blow her a kiss and she would look back and smile.  I missed driving her places and all the long talks we had on those drives.

She had Goals and Dreams.........
She was so excited about her senior year, running cross country, skiing with Stephen and Eric, graduating, and moving on to college. We had visited  Marywood University just two weeks before her death and she was excited about going to Marywood and majoring in psychology. She had changed her goal and wanted to major in psychology and work with teenagers.

She loved her family and friends.................
Holidays were very special to Lauren and she always wanted to either have a picnic or party at home or travel to relatives to celebrate. We traveled to New Jersey many times to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter with her Uncle Kevin, Aunt Karen and she always loved being with her cousins. They were always so good to her. We also traveled to North Carolina to be with her Uncle Cliff and Aunt Jane and their family and she always enjoyed the visits and especially our shopping sprees in Raleigh.  She has cousins in New York and we had not seen them for awhile and she was so excited when she and her cousin Kerry found each other on myspace.  Nick, Dylan and Lauren spent much time together, playing games, spying on the adults and blowing bubbles.  When Lauren's father passed away, her cousins Heather and Stacey came to stay with us to help me.  They stayed on and off for many years and to Lauren they were more like sisters than cousins






Lauren cared about people and tried so hard to help others, no matter if they were a close friend or just someone who needed help. I have received numerous messages from people who shared with me the kindness that Lauren showed them even when she barely knew them. I am so grateful to these people for sharing their experiences with me. Lauren's journal also has pages written about her friends and her concerns for them. 


True Friends
 Lauren had a very dear friend whom she lovingly referred to as "jdweb".  He sent her roses for Valentines Day, six peach colored roses. She cherished them and they are still in her bedroom.  Not only were they the first flowers she received from a boy, but in her journal, she said he was the first boy who told her she was pretty.  I don't know if he remembers, but to her it was so special, made her incredibly happy, and she loved him for his special friendship. 

 In her junior year, she met a young man who became very special to her.  She cared deeply about him although they had their ups and downs.  Whenever she came home after being with him, her eyes would sparkle and she would tell me how he was her "soul mate" and someday she was going to marry him. He was always there for her when she needed him









Oh how she loved the ocean...................




November 23, 2005

Passed away on November 23, 2005.