Lori Paulson (8/5/1980 – 3/16/2016), 35, passed away from pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer. Most obituaries would talk about her brave and tough battle. Most obituaries would be written by family scratching their heads, not knowing which life accomplishments and family of hers to highlight. Most people wouldn’t write their own obituary. But, as any of my friends could tell you, I am not ‘most’ people.
During the two years after my cancer diagnosis I was often told how strong and inspirational I was for so many. The other side of the story is the strength of the people around me. Their strength is what built me up and kept me going. My husband, my son, my parents, the family that I share no genetics with but who are indeed family, my beloved Aggie football players, girl friends and guy friends–THEY were my backbone. They held me up even when they didn’t know it.
Bragging about my own accomplishments–even in an obituary–seems so, what’s the phrase…self-indulgent? I would rather tell you what a blast my life was. I mean it was FUN. I know for a fact I laughed more than I cried. I know when I reminisce, I think about the good more than the bad. I know I was the best mommy I could be for the short amount of time I was given. Dancing, the Mayfield Trojans and the NMSU Aggies are just a few highlights. Cooking, eating and learning a lifelong art of wine was love for for my taste buds. Sharing these passions with my boys makes me proud that my family is so well rounded.
Now, let’s be real, I was no saint. But as one of my favorite people says, “Saints aren’t any fun.” I think she is right on! So tonight, do me a favor. Open a bottle of wine, “Raise your glass!” like P!nk, consume responsibly and then laugh as much as possible with the people you love. At the end of the day–at least at the end of mine–that is what I remembered.
I’m so satisfied with my short life and can’t imagine how so many people are not happy with theirs. If happiness is a choice, please choose it, every time.
A memorial service in honor of Lori will be held at 2PM on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Burial will take place on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, at 10AM.
In lieu of flowers you can make a donation to the Lori Paulson Football Excellence fund.
NMSU Foundation Inc.
PO Box 3590
Las Cruces NM 88003-3590