Before Friday night’s baseball game began, I checked my Facebook page on my phone. I noticed that my friend Florencia had replaced her profile picture with a shot of her and her friend Lorena. The picture was taken at Flor’s birthday picnic a few weeks ago in Meridian Hill Park. Flor is sitting on her knees holding a small glass vase of white roses that I gave her. Lorena is sitting behind her to her side with an arm around her shoulder. The best of friends marking yet another special occasion together.
Lorena and Florencia have been friends for a long time. They are both from Argentina and they both came to the US to work as au pairs over 15 years ago. They shared the adventure of living in a new land and growing through young adulthood. Florencia’s Facebook page has literally dozens of pictures of Lorena and Florencia through the years. Lorena’s face always stands out, strinkingly beautful with an ever-present radiant smile.
Despite the fact that we both have been to several of the same social gatherings, I barely know Lorena. We always seem to be on the opposite side of the room or the picnic blanket. I know this much about her. She is someone Florencia loves to the bone. My sense is she is Flor’s older sister, confidant, mentor, protector, cherished friend. It has always been my intent to talk to her but for whatever reason it just never happens.
As I left the birthday picnic and rolled up my blanket, I looked over at Lorena and realized that once again I had not had the chance to talk with her. “Next time for sure,” I thought.
There will be no next time.
On Thursday night, Lorena Gimenez, loving mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, died. She was struck by a Fairfax Connector bus as she was walking home from the Huntington Metro station.
She is the fifth person, all women, of my acquaintance who has been hit by a motor vehicle in the last 2 1/2 years in the DC area.
I am no stranger to sudden death of people before their time. It never gets easier. The shock is always there. Every time I’ve spontaneously said “Oh, no. It can’t be.”
Yet it can.
My condolences to Lorena’s husband and daughter and to her parents, sister, and friends.
Lorena’s friends are asking for donations to help defray the cost of her memorial service. The costs will likely be substantial since they include flying her parents and sister up from Argentina. If you would like to help, please make a donation at the link below. Any amount would help.
Rest in peace, Lore.
To my friend, Florencia. Whatever you need, whenever you need it. Just contact me.