If I'd had Saint Patrick's Day dinner with my family, we would have been toasting my niece Lorien. We would have been eating salmon, mashed potatoes and asparagus and washing it down with champagne, her favorites as I remember them. Saturday was the 24th anniversary of her birth.
Lorien's life as we know it ended in 2004, just before her 16th birthday. She had a belief system that included Buddhism, which I choose to believe helped her with her strong connection to life. She was an adventurer that wanted to experience all that growing up has to offer. Lorien was the first person to be granted an international wish from the Make A Wish Foundation. She and part of her family traveled to Dublin to celebrate the Millennium- she loved her Irish roots. Her perseverance also took her on a tour of Australia with a summer educational program.
Although I can't tell you Lorien's favorite recipe, I can tell you that she loved Birds of Paradise, Audrie Hepburn and boat camping with her Dad. Lorien believed in random acts of kindness and living graciously. Donations to Heifer Project International was her wish for Christmas 2003. That same season she chose random names from the phone book and sent out cards filled with holiday cheer to unknown recipients.
I know little about Buddhism except that the body is considered a vessel and that the soul moves on to other forms. Lorien's life has had a ripple effect on our family, we carry her forward in what we have learned from her. In honor of Lorien's birthday please do something kind for someone you don't know.
"Be life long or short, its completeness
depends on what it was lived for."
-David Starr Jordan-
If you have a moment please leave a comment about the kindness you have shared. I know others would love to read about it and you never know who you might inspire.