My friend, my angel

On one of the last sunny days before I left for the East Coast, I spent the day with a dear, dear friend, Cindy. You’ve heard about her here a lot. She’s usually my thrift store cohort, my art partner, my therapist, a cherished friend. I’ve been trying to think of the words to share here since I finished editing these photos in the passenger seat somewhere in Tennessee, but it’s tough to describe someone so special who has made such an impact on my life.

Cindy is my angel, as I think she is an angel to many. She is a wonderful mother, wife, artist, blogger and soul writer. She’s the kind of person who hugs strangers and shares life lessons in parking lots.

We met several years ago, and after art and chit-chat sessions, we found that we share a bond that reaches deep into our souls. She’s the kind of friend I’m not scared to tell my secrets to; she’s the friend I laugh and cry and sometimes hold hands with. We joke that sometimes we’re each others’ mother or daughter, but always best friends. She’s an inspiration. She remembers my dreams and goals even when I forget. She reminds me to open my heart and crack open that hard candy shell of fear and sadness and doubt. She pushes me to demand respect, and to be the woman she’s sees in me. She’s a treasure.

Cindy is beautiful, with her wonderfully warm smile and the most soulful and engaging eyes. And her mind — it’s just so brilliant and funny and one of the best ones God has ever made.

You’d never know she has a brain disease.

Cindy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease five years ago, when she was 47. It’s something she deals with daily, but she doesn’t let it define her. Instead, she’s turned to art as an outlet. And, in her own way, she’s become a voice for P.D., raising money to find a cure and brightening peoples’ hearts with her inspirational stories and zany creations. It amazes me to see this beautiful work — hundreds and hundreds of pieces — that blossomed from Cindy after she was given an incurable (at least not yet) brain disease.

Beautiful inspiration. That’s what she is to me. It’s what she is to others. I’m blessed to have her in my life. C, I wouldn’t be me without you. Love you.

These photos were taken at Jessie’s Grove, a beautiful winery we stumbled upon while driving through the country a couple of weeks ago. To see Cindy’s artwork, visit and please go say hello to C at her blog,

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12 Responses to My friend, my angel

  1. TheMindOfFreya says:

    She is lovely. You are lucky to have such a caring and beautiful friend. She is lucky too 🙂

  2. TheMindOfFreya says:

    Beautiful photography btw. Just amazing!

  3. Steve says:

    Great images paying tribute to a wonderful friend! Nice post; you both are lucky to have such a meaningful friendship!!

  4. Julie Mundy says:

    And how lucky your angel is, to have a friend like you, Lauren – what beautiful images.

  5. cindy deluz says:

    Oh Sweetie~
    You make this ole gal feel like a young whipper snapper again! Thanks for always bringing out the best in me both physically and spiritually. Your words brought tears to my eyes….what a gift we have in our friendship, such a blessing. Your photos are fab as always…….man, those trees are amazing aren’t they? What a pretty place to play America’s next top model…tee hee : )
    Love you more than Grandma’s handmade quilt…(that’s a lot!)

  6. Shes Beautiful! amazing images!

  7. Maggie says:

    Oh my gosh! These photos are so gorgeous, Lauren! Cindy, your beautiful spirit shines through in each and every one of these pics. And that dress is so so pretty! Glad you could grab one of the last warm days to snap some pics!

  8. Pingback: No Longer Camera Shy…sort of. – an artsy chick dares to dream

  9. ingridgans says:

    The loving chemistry between you both is palpable. Cindy is a beautiful woman soul and your wonderful photography is a very clear mirror of that beauty.

  10. Marion says:

    These are amazing photos! You really bring out the beautiful soul in Cindy. So glad she has touched my life! Thanks for sharing. You are both lucky ladies!!

  11. JSD says:

    Beautiful pictures and a wonderful tribute to your friend.

  12. This just brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart grow twice its size.

    So beautiful

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