She was on the way to her sister’s house for the holiday, in full gear to showcase what her mother Patty Kruszewski calls a natural talent-- Lanie’s ability to cook.
"Lanie and I rode the train together all the way up to New York and she was on her laptop the whole way up there plotting her Thanksgiving menu," said Kruszewski.
This year Kruszewski family will face the holiday without that culinary talent, without that excited spirit and without Lanie.
"We'll definitely be thinking of Lanie a lot," said Kruszewski.
Kruszewski was killed at the end of July. She was riding her bike from work, as she often did, along River Road when she was struck by a passing SUV. Her death prompted an outpouring of sympathy and support.
In fact, it’s still coming. According to her mother, it often comes from people who never knew her.
"They often say ‘I feel cheated that I never got to meet her,’” said Kruszewski.
Kruszewski said that hearing things like that always feels good. But there are other more difficult moments. She describes the first time a stranger asked her how many children she had.
"I think I said I have two living and one in heaven. I hadn't even thought about how I was going to answer that,“ she said.
But on this Thanksgiving Kruszewski is filled with gratitude for a compassionate community and for the memories of holidays past. As for life without Lanie, she’s still figuring that part out.
"From what I'm told one day you wake up and it's not the first thought that crosses your mind and that's yet to come for me," said Kruszewski.
Elias Webb, 30-years-old, has been charged with felony hit and run for involvement in the incident. Webb admitted to hitting Kruszewski but claimed at the time he believed he’d hit a deer. He is set to go to trial in February.
Kruszewski did not care to talk about the pending court case involving her daughter’s death. She would only say that the outcome will do little to bring closure or erase her pain. She hopes the case will bring awareness too cyclist safety.
You can read Patty Kruszewski’s full editorial here: http://www.henricocitizen.com/index.php/Opinions/article/a_time_to_give_thanks_no_joke1118