Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Remembering Lorin, 10 Years Later

TigerBlog recently asked his colleague Kim Meszaros if she knew how many people have worked in the Department of Athletics for at least 10 years.

Her answer was that it's fewer than 50.

If that's the case, then fewer than 50 people who still work here woke up to news 10 years ago today that they still can't believe is true. And, like TigerBlog, they can still feel all of the emotions that they felt in that moment.

It was 10 years ago this morning that TigerBlog, and everyone else at Princeton, awoke to the unfathomable news that Lorin Maurer had died in a plane crash late the night before. Lorin, who oversaw the relationship between the Department and its Friends' Groups, had just turned 30.

TigerBlog still gets an eerie feeling when he thinks back to that morning 10 years ago. He woke up like any other morning, and within minutes he was struck by an email that said that Lorin had passed away.

How was that possible? Even now, writing the words, it hardly seems possible.

TigerBlog last saw Lorin in the late afternoon of Feb. 12, 2009. The two of them, and several others, had been in a meeting, and Lorin had mentioned how she had to get to the airport. She was flying to Buffalo for her boyfriend's brother's wedding.

She had said she was in a bit of rush to get there when the meeting ended, and then about 10 minutes later, she was walking down the mezzanine in Jadwin, where TB's office used to be. As she hurried past, she stopped, looked in and smiled. She never said a word, but she didn't have to.

She'd do that often. Stop, smile, and keep walking. TB smiled back at her and gave her no other thought until the next morning.

At first he refused to accept the news. It made no sense. She'd just been there the day before. It was a normal day. There was nothing wrong with any of it.

And now she was gone? No way. No chance. TB sat glued to the TV, looking at the news coverage of the plane crash, one that took Lorin and 49 others on the plane and one more on the ground.

On that morning, TB was in a state of shock like he's never been at any other time of his life. Shock.

And then the shock wore off, and all that was left was the sadness, the terrible sadness of a young friend, gone so young, with so much to live for. The rest of that day is also still so vivid, with a home basketball game, lots of media wanting to know about her and then a moment of silence that left PA announcer Bill Bromberg choked up and barely able to get through it.

TB has remembered her this time of year every time, because he wants people to know who Lorin Maurer was, how tragic it is that she was cheated out of so much life and how those who knew her will never forget her.

She had a good job. She was really close with her family. She had great friends, some of whom - like Kellie Staples, Kelly Widener, Jon Kurian and Chris Brock - still work here with TB. And she had found love.

And then she was yanked away, in a blink of an eye.

Lorin was sweet and funny and happy. She smiled a lot. She laughed a lot. She liked to have fun. She was easy-going. She had so much going for her.

She worked hard, often doing things that weren't really her responsibility but then hey, somebody had to do it.

TB remembers vividly a few days before her death when he helped her set up tables for an event in the Jadwin lobby. It was supposed to be done for her, but it hadn't been, so she walked in to find a bunch of tables stacked next to each other against the wall. Did she curse? Did she call someone? Nope. She just set them up.

Now it's 10 years later.

Today TigerBlog can still feel all of the emotions of that morning exactly 10 years ago, the morning he found out that someone so full of life had met a tragic, horrific and wildly premature death. He can't type the words without shaking his head at how unfair it all is.

Lorin Maurer has been gone for 10 years. TB can still see her face and hear her voice, as can anyone else who ever met her.

TB hopes that never goes away.

Lorin was one of the good guys. Time hasn't made it any easier to deal with what happened, even 10 years later.


Terry and Scott Maurer said...

Thank you for continuing to remember our daughter. We sincerely appreciate your kind and thoughtful words.

Mark Disler '74 said...

TB: This is a wonderful and touching remembrance. It is good of you to remember her. I never met her, but through your posts over the years I feel like I know her.

Nassau83 said...

Thank you TB for taking the time every year to remember Lorin.