Goodbye Laureen -or- Dear God: Stop Picking Flowers From The Wrong Garden!

Goodbye Laureen -or- Dear God: Stop Picking Flowers From The Wrong Garden!

I’m 46 years old. I realize that I’m at the point where life is beginning to take away more than it gives. I’m not throwing in the towel or breaking from my usual “glass is half full” attitude, I’m just saying that this is simply how it is.

A couple of months ago I lost a friend (cause of death never disclosed to me). We had worked together on a television series in the late nineties. While I was coordinating the story department he was coordinating the music department. He was the music supervisor on the show whose job was pretty much just sitting in his office playing music all day until he found a few tracks he thought would work on whatever episode we were shooting at the time. How cool is that?!

I had lost touch with him afterward but found him on Facebook several years later. We exchanged comments and “likes” for a few months and then I read a post on his page from his cousin stating he’d died. I had no idea if he was ill or what the hell was going on. All I knew is that he was gone. Just like that.

The weird thing about death is that, at least for me, it makes me think of my own mortality. And doing the job I do (that job I don’t talk about) I see it more often than I care to admit. Death can take us at any time. It’s not fair. But then, who said life is fair?

Yesterday I was killing some time catching up with friends on Facebook when I saw something that I initially thought was a tasteless joke. Someone posted on another friend of mine’s page condolences on her death. I had to read the post three times before I realized this was legit. Laureen was gone. WTF??!!

In Regina, Saskatchewan the 80’s and early 90’s (before I moved to Toronto) I finished high school and University. I was blessed with lots of friends. I owned a Trans Am that had definitely seen better days. I had no acne. They were good times back then. I hung out with a guy named Wayne Laturnas whom I’d met through working at a drug store together. We spent some of our free time cruising up and down Albert Street in a retired cop car his dad bought him. We’d park it on the side of the road with a McDonalds cup laying on its side on the dash, the big white lid facing the windshield. From the outside it looked like we were real cops with a radar. It offered hours of entertainment as we watched the sea of sudden brake lights on display as drivers pass by.

I got pretty close to Wayne and his family. Two of his three sisters ended up working at the same store and we got along as though we were family. As time passed I felt like I really was family. They all made me feel that way. The two youngest siblings, Laureen and Darrell, were like my little brother and sister. Darrell was flip’n smart for a young kid and so was his sister Laureen. She stood out as being someone who knew what she wanted from the day she popped outta the womb. I’m certain she assisted the Obstetrician with the procedure. Outgoing, pretty, super friendly and smart as a whip. I always knew she’d amount to something huge, like one day cure cancer, bring peace to the Middle East or discover a way to put metal in the microwave. She really brightened any room she walked into. The second youngest of the Laturnases and the one with the most possibility before her. And now she’s gone. Just like that.

Laureen, I’m at a complete loss to understand how your time on Earth could expire so quickly and without any notice. But if I could see you one last time I’d tell you to your face that I was so lucky to have known you. You came from an incredibly loving family and I can only pray that my own children turn out half as well as you did.

Rest in peace little sister. Say hi to your dad!!

Ps. Sorry I couldn’t find any photos of you. Dunno if I ever took any. So I threw in a pic I took of a sunset in PEI. I figure you’re looking at something just as pretty right about now.