Please use this blog to remember, share and honor ALL that was the endlessly charismatic Lindsay Rawot. This Cruel Summer banner was personally designed by Lindsay as the header for one of her own blogs.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lauren Wessel

Not I think I can, I know I can
Lindsay was no less than a fireball.  When she put her mind to something, it happened.  She knew exactly what she wanted and she went for it.  She lived life with a sense of urgency that ensured that there would never be a boring moment and with a gusto that convinced us all that we should join in.  And Lindsay was never afraid.   At least, she would never admit it if she was.

In her fearless ambition and in the true spirit of lesson #1, Lindsay has inspired me to set the bar high.

Let me start by saying that Lindsay is in my thoughts everyday and in everything I do.  I simply think of her as part of my life and as a force that makes me better than I would otherwise be.  She is a source of inspiration in my everyday life.

I remember our last conversation like it was last week.  She had recently gotten a bone marrow transplant and finally been released from the hospital.  She said that she would be better by the summertime and she was going to take a whirlwind tour of the whole world, picking her friends up wherever she might find them and dropping them off when she got tired of them.  This was perfect.  I would quit my job, which clearly wasn’t where I should have been, and I would be a tagalong on her tour.  It was set.

Lindsay passed away about two months later, but I wanted to make good on my promise.  I quit my job and I went to Thailand with my brother – I love him, but he wasn’t even a close second to Lindsay.  To be honest, I didn’t make it very far on my own whirlwind tour.  I had to cut it short after falling off of a bike and getting 7 stitches, courtesy of an international health clinic on a small island named Koh Phangan.   I would have been deemed a badass, but she would have tired of my crippled ways quickly and dropped me off at the next airport.  But I did it.

Quitting my job wasn’t just a reckless antic to take a crazy trip.  Quitting my job also took me to medical school.  I had always thought that I would go and wanted to go, but something along the way had stopped me, made me question myself.  Something over the course of the two years of Lindsay’s battle made me forget all of the questions.  I remember in our last conversation telling her that I had gotten into medical school – I was going to be a doctor.  She was so genuinely excited for me, and her excitement then still means the world to me today.  I did it.

Then, there was something that I never thought I would do.  When I got to St. Louis, I questioned a lot of things: why I left New York, why I left my paycheck, why were medical students so weird.  The list was endless (and, fortunately, none of these are standing questions in my mind).   On one of my early runs through Forest Park, which is a public park that Lindsay would undoubtedly love, I decided I needed to set some goals for my year.  On the top of the list was: Join Team in Training.  The fall registration had passed, but I patiently waited for the spring races to open.  I had planned on running a half-marathon thinking, “I’ve only done one before and it’s been awhile, so that will still be really hard.”  When registration rolled around, I decided I would do no less than something I had previously considered to be both ridiculous and impossible.  It was for Lindsay after all, so I signed up for the full marathon.  I raised $5,000 in her honor, and on April 15th I did it.

I can’t think of a much better way to describe it than Helen has already done. "Lindsay was the kind of person who says, 'yes.'  Yes to life, to love, to possible successes, to possible failures, to adventure, to it all."  Lindsay helps me say “yes” everyday, even when it terrifies me or makes no sense at all.  Because of Lindsay, I no longer think I can, I know I can.  She reminds me of that whenever I’m in doubt.

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