My name is Pamela Del Vecchio – I am the mother of Lauren Del Vecchio-Zaleski. On July 19, 2013, I held Lauren in my arms as she took her last breath. When she left this world she looked at peace. For her family, it was a tragic loss.
As I look back on Lauren’s illness, which manifested itself at age 17, there were many people who cared for Lauren and followed her journey, other than family. It was always evident that she had a huge support system from others too numerous to name. This blog, which meant a great deal to her, was her emotional lifeline. Not only was she able to express her feelings through words, but the immense feedback was an overwhelming gift. This blog boosted her will to thrive even through the most difficult and scary times.
The “Color me a healthy heart” idea proved to be huge outpouring of love. Colored hearts would arrive from all over the world in droves. Lauren would spread these beautiful labors of love all over the floor and sit amongst them as if they held the power to heal; and I believe they did heal her psyche which allowed her to move forward even through the darkest days. It was an amazing act of kindness by her readers/followers.
Lauren LIVED every day of her life. She fought a battle each day always looking ahead. She had plans and dreams. She was happy and NEVER felt sorry for herself. Even while dealing with her own issues, she inspired others. Countless friends & acquaintances spoke or wrote me about how much she inspired them. Some actually stated, “she saved my life”.
I am honored and proud to have Lauren as a daughter. Her unconquerable strength still amazes me. I knew she was special from the day she was born – just the thought of her would bring joy to my heart and still does, but with an unbearable sadness.
The one person who brought joy to Lauren’s heart was her husband. Lauren loved him dearly. His LOVE and support was nothing short of amazing. She meant the world to him and for this I am forever grateful.
Thank you SLH followers for all that you brought to Lauren’s life in more ways than you can possibly imagine.
Pamela Del Vecchio