Before You Leave Us, Just Remember


My dear sister,

You are about to embark on journeys that only you can go on. As you graduate and enter college, you are going to grow in ways you never thought possible. You are going to feel joy and heartbreak, experience new people and new things. It will possibly be the best time of your life-if it’s not, that’s okay. It sure as heck wasn’t mine. But maybe for you, you’ll enjoy every second.

There’s just a few things I need you to remember before you go.

You are smarter than you know. I know sometimes it’s hard to feel that way in a family of intelligent people like ours, but you’ve got a great head on your shoulders. You will do amazing things, you will change lives. You need to believe in yourself too, but for the days you can’t, I will believe in you. I will always believe in you.

You are worth a million jewels and deserve a man who sees everything good about you. Don’t settle for anyone who refers to you as beautiful more than kind, intelligent, good or strong. You are beautiful; but you have a lot more than that going for you.
You’re beautiful, yes. You’re fun. You’re hilarious on game night. But you also have one of the purest souls and hearts I’ve ever seen.

Don’t let the world make you hard.

Don’t ever forget the you who wanted to change jersey day so more kids could be included; don’t ever forget the you who called me up asking if I had any prom dresses left because a girl you knew couldn’t afford one and you just needed to help. That’s the best part of you, my dear. Those things right there. 

Walk into every one of your classes ready to ace it. Go to parties, but be safe. And if you ever find yourself in an unsafe situation, call Mom or myself. We both have been through college and we know. Your safety means more than anything.


Don’t drink and drive. Don’t get in the car with someone who drinks and drives. Your life is worth more than a ride home. Call someone else. Call me.

If you feel uncomfortable, leave. Don’t make yourself stay in situations to avoid awkwardness or the attitude of walking away. A real gentleman will respect you wanting to go-and anyone who doesn’t get that doesn’t deserve your time anyway.

Have Netflix nights with your friends. It’s okay to do the whole resting and eating delicious foods thing. Pop some popcorn, laugh over movies you loved when you were five. Those nights are sometimes the best ones you’ll have.

Laugh if something is funny. Never lose that innocence I love so deeply about you, where your laughter echoes off the walls when you hear something you find hilarious.
Laugh even if no one is laughing with you, because your laugh is contagious. Someone will join. 

I want you to take classes that no one understands you taking. Expand your horizons. Listen to a lecture on art history, or take a class on reggae. Even if you hate it, at least you will have given everything a chance!

But most importantly, I want you to be happy. I want you to look to either side of you and be surrounded by those who value and love you. I want you to wake up nearly every morning and look forward to the day that is ahead of you. (Some mornings it’s okay not to, just make sure the good ones outweigh the bad!)


And if you find you are not happy, I want you to have the courage and to know you have all the support in the world, to do what makes you happy. Maybe it’s becoming a princess in Disney world(though you may have passed the height limit by now.) Maybe it’s becoming an astronaut. Maybe you want to quit school, get married, have a handful of kids and stay at home.(Don’t do that one, mom and dad have already had one kid take that route!)

But whatever it is that will make you happy, whether it brings you to my back door or galaxies away, find it. And do it. Happiness is something you deserve in this life. No one deserves it more than you, baby sister.

As you move forward, remember we all love you. You’re a child of the most Highest and God threw you into a family of crazy people. We will be there every step of the way if you let us, and I encourage you to at least let us somewhat, lest we forget how great cutting everyone out turned out for me.

God has you, we have you, and you will do amazing things.

I love you my baby sister. Seems like just yesterday your fat chubs were rolling over as I desperately tried to hold you on my own. As mom and dad brought you home from the hospital and I was left wishing you weren’t there because I was used to being an only child. I’m glad they brought you home though and not some other baby.


Now we have to let you go. Remember to come back from time to time.

Remember we love you.

And remember we will always have a place at the dinner table-if you don’t mind some kale!


The same goes to all my sisters graduate friends out there!  Enjoy this time, be safe, and we love you!


5 thoughts on “Before You Leave Us, Just Remember

  1. Cissy Riordan says:

    Oh my god Lauren… This is beautiful simply beautiful… I cried…I smiled and I cried again….You are such a wonderful person…so loving and so giving…You have such a kind heart and such a beautiful soul…Cat is so lucky to have you for her sister…you’re all so blessed to have one another….Thank you for sharing….I wish her well….

  2. Helen says:

    Lauren you are truly gifted, that was beautiful. Lisa and Al have the most wonderful children ever. Kat will do wonderful things in her life she is so beautiful and gifted like her big sister.

    Love All My Marceau’s very much!!!!

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