Lauren Elizabeth Kelley—
“You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, when you meet them you think, “Not bad. They’re okay.” And then you get to know them and… and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality’s written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful.”
~Amy Pond, The Girl Who Waited.
In so many ways, that really describes you Lauren Elizabeth Kelley. When I first met you, you were an adorable, if tempermental child. I loved you because you were the child of two of my closest friends—people I considered family for over a decade when you were born. As you grew up, I realized you were an amazing and beautiful person and lovable because of who you were in your own right and my friend.
Finally, almost two years ago, you had grown and changed so much and my love for you had grown and changed as you had, and I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this beautiful and amazing woman—one of my best friends in the entire world and someone I never expected to love as much as I love you.
I did not know you were an alcoholic or a drug-addict when I asked you to marry me. You had done such a good job of keeping your addictions hidden from everyone, even your own family. They didn’t know until I told them—something you tried to prevent from happening with the lies you started telling the day I confronted you about your drinking.
Do you think it is any coincidence that you stopped speaking to me, the man you said you love dozens of times since I asked you to marry me, on the day that I confronted you about your drinking? You’re far too intelligent to believe that. But, then again, you’re far too intelligent to believe the lies you’ve been telling about me—yet, your addictions make you believe.
The look on your face when you carried her… me… her. When you carried her, you used to look at me like that. I’d forgotten how much you loved me. I’d forgotten how much I loved being her.
I think you’ve forgotten how much you loved me and how much I love you—that we have always loved each other. If you were to look at the photos of us—you would clearly see two people who love and care about each other—two people who are best of friends and love, trust and believe in each other—two people who make the other laugh and smile. That your addictions made you give up 20 years of love, trust, devotion, caring, loyalty and friendship is very tragic. It is but one of the many things your addictions have cost you.
I wish that you could just see yourself through my eyes for even just a minute. Then you might see all the amazing things about you that I love—your strength, your courage, your beauty, your compassion, your graciousness, your feisty spirit, your stubbornness, your intelligence, your sweetness and kindness, and how lovable you truly are.
If you could see yourself as I see you, I think your fears, self-doubts and insecurities would all fall away as the truly insignificant things they are. If you were to truly face your fear, insecurities and self-doubts—things founded on the years of emotional and verbal abuse your father subjected you to—you would probably realize how much of them are based on his lies and his need to bully someone who is capable of being so much more than he is.
I promised you, your mother Sue and your sister Bridget that I would wait for you—and I have been waiting for you to come to your senses and face your fears and fight your addictions. I have been waiting for you to finally realize all that your addictions are costing you and ask for my company on your long road to recovery. This is who I am and always have been—your number one supporter and the person who has always believed in you.
I am and always have been your friend. I have always loved you and always will because I do not know how to not love you. When I asked you to marry me and share our lives together I meant it—until the last of my days. I know you are the woman Gee asked me to seek out and find. I just wish you would realize it too.
I wish you luck on your finals and hope you do well in school as I always have—even though you failing might be the safest and softest way for you to hit rock bottom. You only have a few more days this semester and I pray for you every day. Be well my beloved Irish rose. I hope you find your way back home to me soon.
God Bless you Lauren Elizabeth.
May God watch over you and protect you from all harm—even that you cause yourself.
I hope God gives you the strength to fight your addictions and the wisdom to see the truth about what the alcohol and drugs are doing to you.
I pray that God grants you the serenity and peace you will need to love yourself once again and to forgive yourself for the things your addictions have made you do.
I ask that God helps you find your way back to being the amazing, beautiful, intelligent, feisty, stubborn, strong, and devout woman He wants you to be.
Finally, may He grant you the ability to see yourself as I do and let you remember who we are to each other; let you remember the years of friendship, love and devotion we once shared; and give you the strength to make amends so we can start the future together we talked about last June.
All this in Jesus’s name I pray.