Rest in Peace, My Beautiful Little Carebear

On Friday, 5/5 at 5:20 pm my beautiful friend, Ciara Smith, passed away. Ciara was riding her bike back home from the beach with her friends when she was struck by an MTA bus in Redondo Beach. She was 13. I used to babysit and tutor Ciara and her sisters. Ciara taught me that adults can be friends with children and made me feel at home in LA.
  1. This is Ciara (middle) and her sisters Carly (left) and Chloe (right). I took this a few years ago at a park in the Valley. This is my favorite photo of them and the best picture I've ever taken.
  2. The girls love the beach and I don't. We always fought if we should go or not. On this day we had it all to ourselves.
  3. When we didn't go to the beach, we went to a nearby park to feed the turtles and ducks. I always fought to go here because of the shade. They never felt like they lost that argument because they loved the turtles.
  4. Ciara (right) and Chloe (left) always begged me to teach them how to cook and bake. Here we are learning how to cook pasta. I taught them to put salt and olive oil in the water before the pasta. Every time their parents made pasta after this, they would yell, "Lauren makes better pasta!"
  5. Ciara was a ham for the camera. She loved posing for pictures and modeling her outfits and wanted to be an actress. We were always coming up with skit ideas. Here we are hiking, trying to take a nice picture.
  6. Pretty girls at the beach. Another argument I lost. Ciara loved Hello Kitty.
  7. We went out to eat at a buffet and Ciara went overboard with the fondue.
  8. After their dance recital that Ciara, her sisters, and all her cousins participated in. Afterwards, Ciara's grandfather looked over at me and said, "I think all of the girls are good but Ciara is the best" and she was.
  9. At the beach. Again.
  10. The girls loved the bedspread in the house we rented in Palm Springs.
  11. The girls were beating each other up 🙄
  12. Rest In Peace, my beautiful friend ❤❤❤🍍🍍🍍💜💜💜