Here we are yet again writing about the heartbreaking loss of another one of our kids. Sadly, one of our brave warriors has been taken from us. We have lost another beautiful child one that had a heart and soul to match the incredible beauty of who she was. Lauren Minard the Daughter of dear friends. Another family has been broken by a disease that just seems to be so cruel and unfair to so many of us. We have lost so many children and once again we find ourselves asking when does it end when will it end. Lauren was a beautiful young lady with a huge heart and a loving soul. She I’m sure got that from her amazing parents who along with her older brothers and Sister did not lack or want for anything.

I got to know Lauren through her parents and like many of our children she had a smile that could light up the world, she was and is a beautiful soul one that you could clearly see just by looking into her eyes, you looked deep into that beautiful girl and you could see the joy, comfort, unconditional love, peace she brought to so many but what you saw most was HOPE. Lauren attended programs at Abilities First in Poughkeepsie and the Community Rehabilitation Center in Kingston. Notably, Lauren was one of the first children in her area to participate in a program using the “Adeli Suit” at the Euromed Rehabilitation Center in Mielno, Poland. The ADELI Suit (originally designed for the Russian space program) is currently used to treat children with physical disabilities resulting from cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions.

She enjoyed walks, especially on the Walkway Over the Hudson, spending time with her Yellow Lab, Kelly, and listening to her favorite band, The Beatles. The well-remembered Valentine’s Day dances to benefit the Lauren Kelly Minard Fund were always well attended and are just a small testament to the lives this young woman touched.

Like I have repeatedly said our children with Epilepsy no matter how mild or severe there circumstances may be truly are no different than any child, they are beautiful, they are gifts and blessings to their family and friends, they love unconditionally, they teach us as adults lessons in life ones that quite frankly we should not need about compassion, about acceptance, about giving spirits, about treating with respect, they don’t judge, they love. The lessons they teach are so amazing and again ones that we should not need to be taught we should already know it. They are the hope we need as parents, caregivers, families, friends to advocate, to teach, to lead so that others will join our cause and be empowered to fight with us for a cure.

I know that Laurens smile is lighting the heavens. She was blessed with an incredible family, but they were blessed with an amazing Daughter, a wonderful Sister friend to Danielle, Alexander & Amanda, Sean & Brittany , a loving Aunt to Kasen, Alexander Jr, Camden and Lincoln. She was a devoted Granddaughter, and Niece. Lauren was also the hope for a better future a hope that our children will one day live in a world that we can proudly say they are seizure free and one that epilepsy is no longer a part of their and our vocabulary.

I have had to write this many times that when a child dies, it is one of the hardest things in life to understand. We have lost so many children to Epilepsy or Dravets and again we are looking into the tearful eyes of their parents, and we see one another. We know that without divine help, we could not bear that pain. We think about a precious life snatched away before it was fully formed, like a flower snipped from the stem just as it was beginning to bloom. We question “Why” but only God knows the real answer to that question. The one thing that gets us all through these difficult times is knowing that Lauren is Free. No more pain, no more suffering, no more tears, just happiness and joy probably playing with John, Danny, Scott Jr, Chelsea, CeCe (Cecelia), Adaleigh, Jordan, Piper, Joey, Donna, Eric, Kyle, Ryan, Savannah, Ezekial, Sam, Christopher Adam, Brayden, Joseph, Connor, Dallas, Bradley, Ken, Lydia, Giovanni, Marissa, Lizzy, Tina, Matthew, Clayton, Carolina, Josh, Samuel, Melanie, Jayden (Jay Jay), Clover, Moon Jaden, Gage, Sarah, Matthew and Colby and having a good time and that puts a smile on my face the way it did from the very first time I saw her precious face and that infectious smile. Another one of our Angels that is going to be with each of us helping us in our cause and advocacy work that we need to get done. We need to find and get that CURE. Now more than ever we need to kick it up a notch and really start fundraising and giving more to epilepsy.

If I can offer any peace or comfort to you Darren, Darlene as it’s so hard words never come easy and people really do not know what to say. The one thing I can offer you is this as I sadly have offered this to so many other parents who have recently lost a child and I believe in my heart for this to be true. Always remember the good times, there were many, always remember she loved you, she did, always remember that infectious smile, it’s in your heart beating. Remember that even though Lauren is no longer physically with us she has never left you, she is in your heart and soul, when you look up to the heavens at night and you see the brightest star sparkling like diamonds in the sky that is Lauren winking at you saying “Hey Mom & Dad don’t worry I am doing great, you taught me that” when you see a rainbow after a storm that is Lauren telling you “Thank you for calming my fears and keeping me safe for seeing the beauty in me through my eyes” When you hear the rain that is Lauren telling you “Hey don’t cry you gave me the best of everything, you gave me the best thing a little girl ever needed and that was a family” when you see a butterfly outside or in your garden know that it’s Lauren telling you Mom & Dad I am finally free you were there for me always now I can be free to help you give back for all you gave to me. Celebrate her life for their is much for you to celebrate and know that one day you will see Lauren again and what an occasion that will be.

Lauren, thank you so much for touching me and all those who knew and even those that did not know you personally but only through our extended family it was an honor, privilege to know, learn about and love you. You taught us all about fighting and staying strong, you taught us about amazing grace, courage and dignity. You taught us about character and integrity, you gave us the hope we all needed and we will honor your memory every day. Epilepsy will not win this battle and we know you will be helping to guide the foundation as well as your Mom & Dad, Sisters Danielle, Amanda, Brittany Brothers Alexander & Sean over the years so that we can stop the madness and find the cure. God Bless You Sweet Beautiful Lauren.

This is a favorite song of mine sung by a now 15-year-old Gospel Singer she was 8 at the time she recorded this I hope it brings comfort. Give our love to all our Children and let them know we honor, love and miss them every day.

From my family and our foundations family we want to extend our deepest condolences to the Minard Family during this most difficult of times. We love you and your in our thoughts and prayers as is sweet Lauren. Gone but never forgotten. God of light thank you for helping to guide us out of the darkness of pain and grief that occurred after the loss of our beautiful children. Now that they are gone every single memory is both precious and holy. Bless each memory we have of our children so that they will continue to live on in our hearts and minds forever.”

When God calls little children
to dwell with him above,
We mortals sometime question
the wisdom of his love
For no heartache compares with
the death of one small child
Who does so much to make our world,
seem wonderful and mild
Perhaps God tires of calling
the aged to his fold,
So He picks a rosebud,
before he can grow old.
God knows how much we need them,
and so he takes but a few
To make the land of Heaven
more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult still
somehow we must try,
The saddest word mankind knows will always be “Goodbye.”
So when a little child departs
we who are left behind
Must realize God loves children,
Angels are hard to find.