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27
Sat, Feb

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Hello there again! I’m sure everyone is doing their best adjusting to the new normal.  Personally if I have to wear a face mask for the next five, ten years, to keep my family and everyone safe I would be ok with that. I actually was in the store the other day and a lady said “I like your mask” and I replied with “I have been making them since march for the food pantry, the homeless and the Navajo nation” and she looked at me and said “I think I have some of your masks because I’m homeless “I just looked at her and I didn’t know whether to burst into tears or open my wallet and give her some money. But she continued to tell me that Journeys helped find her a temporary place to stay and helped her find this job. She said her and her family is doing well. So I asked some of my sewing friends if we can get food vouchers together for her as she is only in part time employment.

This makes me so grateful and humble for everything I have and I will continue sewing free masks as long as they are needed. I would like to thank Anna for her generous donations. She has worked tirelessly crocheting hundreds if not thousands of Ear Savers for our medical community and others who have to wear a mask all throughout their working day. Last week Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines called me to say the engraved stone I had ordered for my friend Erika who passed away suddenly in February was ready to be laid in the ground. They explained it would only be a small gathering and they would have a priest come and say some prayers and blessings over the stone and pick a spot to lay the stone.

My daughter and I made memorial cards and masks with sunflowers as they were Erika favorite flowers.
I called her family and friends and together one beautiful sunny morning we had a beautiful memorial service Her boys picked out a spot to lay her memorial stone under a shady tree with benches so they may come back in the future to sit and pray. Afterwards we went to the Grotto and lit the candles the priest had blessed; we left a photo of our beloved friend there.

I invited everyone back to my home for lunch. It was nice to have all our children there sharing memories growing up in the neighborhood.

Our house was always full of kids as we had a trampoline and a swimming pool  (still do but after 18 years my husband threatens every year to take it down but now it’s turned into our physical therapy pool for our senior aching joints so hands off my pool!)

I would fill an old freezer in our garage with frozen ice pops for the thirsty kids playing basketball in our driveway or hang the water hose over our gate while the kids played football in our park. Erika was always by my side laughing and joking helping me organize a back to school party with the mums and kids. She was always the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. They had so much fun filling up water balloons and soaking each other with them. Other activities were egg and spoon race .Yes I would lie and tell the kids that I boiled the eggs but they would soon find out the truth.

I ruined so many of my pillow cases for the sack race but it was worth it to see how much fun they all had.

Oh those wonderful days!!!After the memorial I finally took a few days off from sewing and read a book. It was recommended by my cousins in Donegal. It’s called The Donegal Women by John Throne (who lived in Chicago and passed away last year).  He wrote the story about his grandmother who was rented out in summer of 1910 to the local farmers. That was the way it was back then where children between the ages of ten and fourteen, sometimes even younger would spend summers working for the rich farmers. But unfortunately, for Margret, the author’s grandmother, her father was so greedy for the money he left her there for two years where she was expected to do the work of a grown man. She was continuously raped and beaten. By the time she was fourteen she was pregnant so in order to save the farmers shame the clergy and her father forced her to marry a local bachelor who was given a dowry of a few shillings and a milking cow. It is just a very sad story of the times. I won’t tell you how it all ended but this poor girl also suffered at the hands of her new husband.

She did her best to protect all of her children she had over the course of her lifetime. It’s a hard read but even though we are all suffering with the pandemic, I am very thankful I didn’t grow up in those times.

Hopefully our scientists will come up with a vaccine .It may take a while to reach us all but  in the meantime stay safe abide by the states rules. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Dedicated to our beloved friend Erika (R.I.P)

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