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Always remember the ticking. There once was a baby named Lauren. She was born on November 15, 2001. She was the daughter of Rob and Heather Hileman. She was the only child until 2005 when her sister was born in September. As for being a newborn, she wasn’t the best sleeper. She woke up every hour on the hour. Her parents stayed up telling her stories she would hear for years and years to come. Her mom would make up stories to entertain the child when she was cranky.

As the time moved forward, Lauren grew up a little bit more every day. She would learn how to talk, walk, and mostly get the hang of eating by herself. By the time her sister, Abbey, came along, she was in preschool and was meeting her best friend, Abby Wescott, who she had dozens of sleepovers with when they were older. Lauren was more than excited to have a sister to be able to play with. She imagined the things the two of them would do together like playing the backyard and drawing, two of Lauren’s favorite things to do.

As we all know, time kept moving forward and Lauren was out of preschool and onto Thompson Elementary. This school had grades kindergarten through sixth grade at the time and Abby Wescott and many of her other friends from preschool went there as well. Lauren loved being a Thompson Tiger and learning her basic skills with some of her favorite teachers. Lauren was a very good student and rarely got into trouble. The time she had was great except for one thing. In third grade, Lauren had her first experience of losing a loved one, her mom’s dad or Lauren’s “Papa.” Lauren was very upset about this and didn’t completely understand until she was much older. The same year Abby Wescott would move to Florida with her family. Abby’s dad had a new job opportunity down south, which meant the two best friends would have to say goodbye. The girl’s parents promised that they will see each other again during the summer, but until then, the girls called each other all the time.

The faster years went by, the more changes came to her. She would have to go from Thompson Elementary to Galveston Elementary, figure out how to balance more homework, learn her schedule, and even remember her locker number and combination. She met her future boyfriend, Braxton Stotler, when he transferred to Southeastern School Corp. With all the changes going on in her life, she didn’t think about how the ticking clock of time would affect her parents. She loved her parents very much and was a very happy kid, but her parents were always prepping her for the future even if she didn’t know it. 

When it came time for high school at Lewis Cass, Lauren was excited yet again. At her time in the building, she was an athlete, musician, student, and friend to many. She saw what it’s like to go through a hard course firsthand and came out a different person, but the time was still ticking. She would go to dances and take pictures of herself in the dress she got just for the special occasion. Prom would come around when she was a sophomore and a senior friend asked her to go. She would be in band and meet some of the best friends she would ever have. The ticking of the clock grew as she did. Her mom was fully aware of this ticking from the day she was born. Things were never to stay the same, and that is exactly how God designed the world. Change isn’t bad and experience always teaches, whether they’re good or bad. Lauren found herself getting a little shaken along the way, but she knew that she will cherish the love, family, and friends she had in the moment.

As for the time that remained of her high school career, she would still be her giggly self and take any chance that came her way. She will be a pest sometimes, but she will never forget the ticking. It reminds her she needs to stay close to her loved ones because she never knows how long they will be there. She often finds herself wishing others would hear the ticking as well. Remember the ticking.

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