Stefanie’s mother – grieving and sharing with others in Stefanie’s name

We just topped the 11,500 mark of collecting new and gently-used stuffed animals to take on my nursing home visits. A box arrived today from UPS and I was “afraid” to open it. I knew it was from the mother of Stefanie – I was afraid because I knew it would make me so sad.

“Hi Trisha, It took awhile but I finally did it. I wasn’t able to give them all up, but I did part with a least a dozen. I hope they are able to brighten someone’s day. I kept some to put on Stefanie’s grave. I use them throughout the year; you’d be surprised how well they hold up in the weather. Thank you for letting me and Stefanie be a part of what you are doing.” Sincerely, Denise (Stefanie’s mom)

Hi Denise,

The box arrived yesterday and I was afraid to open it. Nobody’s donation has made me feel this way, because I know that it comes from such a loving mother and a beautiful daughter and the most heartbreaking story. I am going to be so careful and so thoughtful about who I give these to – they must go to someone who needs comfort and hope and can feel Stefanie’s loving heart with the stuffed animals. Thank you so much for sharing Stefanie with the lonely souls in the nursing homes. We will have to have our cup of tea sometime – you, me and my friend Terri.

This is the email that I received from Stefanie’s mother after I sent her pictures of the seniors in a nursing home who “adopted” the stuffed animals.

Hi Trisha, thank you soooo much for sending the pictures. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words. It made me cry but I am so happy to see they could make someone else smile. You are the best !!!!!!!

Hi Denise,

I wish you could have been there to see the happiness and the love that the residents were giving to the lovely stuffed animals. They are in good hands, and sitting on beds and windowsills at Wesley Enhanced Living in the Lawndale area. I really wanted to make sure that I gave them to the people who would appreciate them the most. It was a tie between there and Calcutta House which is the AIDS housing on Erie Avenue. I know that where they went was assuredly the RIGHT PLACE for Stefanie’s love and personality to comfort and bring smiles – a little bright spot in their days. Thank you. Many prayers always for you and your family, Trisha

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