Sally's Mother's Day miracle

luncheon lifted her spirit after tragic disappointment

One of the first to RSVP for our 2008 I Remember Mama Mother's Day luncheon, Sally called us right away when her invitation arrived. In a voice mail she told us that she planned to attend the luncheon and that we should not try to call her back because she was going to see the Pope.

A devout Catholic, Sally came to Spokane from Bolivia in 2002. A family connection gave her the opportunity to meet the Pope face-to-face on his recent visit to the United States. Her son helped scrape together the funds for her to make the pilgrimage from her low-income senior housing in Spokane to New York City. However, on the subway en route from the airport disaster struck. 

“My handbag was snatched from my shoulder,” she told us. “My money, passport, the return airline ticket, keys and so much more was gone within minutes.” Her trip, a miracle given her meager means, was spent trying to find a way to get home. She never did meet the Pope.

“It took all my enthusiasm away,” she told us in a letter.

Enter I Remember Mama. Sally came to the luncheon via one of our volunteer drivers. Like all the women in attendance, she was greeted and ushered to her seat by a corps of smiling volunteers, enjoyed a delicious gourmet lunch and was showered with gifts, entertainment by local jazz guitarist Robert Vaughn and welcome companionship—the kind of Mother’s Day we would wish for our own mothers.

“I owe it to you that I feel happy and optimistic again. You have certainly lifted up my depressed spirit,” Sally penned in a letter written the evening after the event. “From now on, you’ll always be in my prayers. I’d like to hug each of you and plant a kiss on your cheeks. You’re real angels.”