Walk to Remember
Note from the Newsletter Editor – Celebrating UNITE
UNITE’s 35th anniversary
celebration was held on May 22, 2011 at a local park. Some people might wonder why grieving parents
would want to gather in the park for a picnic celebration.
Yes, indeed, we are grieving
parents and the UNITE support group meetings that many of us attend monthly are
not a celebration. They are a time for us to share our pain, loneliness, and
anxiety with each other and to grow through our grief together. But just because we are grieving does not
mean that we do not take time to remember and celebrate the short but meaningful
lives of our babies.
On May 22nd,
families, friends, and caregivers from throughout the region came together to
share good food and good conversation and to walk together in remembrance of
our babies. Although many of us had never met before, we felt like we knew each
other because we share something so special in common…our love for our babies.
Yes we are grieving, but we do not always have to be sad. We can hold each
other up, and we can walk together, and we can celebrate. And that is exactly
what we did.
We celebrated because for 35
years UNITE’s facilitators, caregivers, board members, family members, and
grieving parents have been helping each other across the stepping stones of
During our celebration we read
the beautiful poem titled “Stepping Stones” by Barbara Williams, we distributed
“hope” stones as a token of remembrance, and we walked the path together. We
shared an abundance of food, and we had so much fun. We also took a moment to thank and recognize one
of our volunteers, Jim Paul, for his significant contributions to UNITE. We celebrated!
Stepping Stones by Barbara Williams
Come, take my hand, the road is long. We must travel by stepping stones. No,
you're not alone. I'll go with you. I know the road well. I've been there.
Don't fear the darkness. I'll be with you. We must take one step at a time. But
remember we may have to stop awhile. It is a long way to the other side and
there are many obstacles.
We have many stones to cross. Some are bigger than others... shock, denial, and
anger to start. Then comes guilt, despair and loneliness.
It's a hard road to travel but it must be done. It's the only way to reach the
other side. Come, slip your hand in mine. What? Oh, yes, it's strong. I've held
so many hands like yours.
Yes, mine was one time small and weak like yours. Once, you see, I had to take
someone's hand in order to take the first step. Oops! you've stumbled. Go ahead
and cry. Don't be ashamed, I understand. Let's wait here awhile and get your
breath. When you're stronger we'll go on, one step at a time. There's no need
Say, it's nice to hear you laugh. Yes, I agree, the memories you shared are
good. Look, we're halfway there now; I can see the other side. It looks so warm
Oh, have you noticed? We're nearing the last stone and you're standing alone.
And look, your hands, you've let go of mine, and we've reached the other side.
But wait. Look back. Someone is standing there . They are alone and want to
cross the stepping stones.
I better go; they need my help. What? Are you sure? Why, yes; I'll wait. You
know the way - you've been there. Yes, I agree - it's your turn, my friend - to
help someone else across the stepping stones.
First Janis L. Keyser Memorial Award
During UNITE’s 35th anniversary
celebration, we gratefully presented James K. Paul with the first Janis L.
Keyser Memorial Award. Pictured below, from left to right, are Barbara
Bond-Moury (UNITE board chair), Denise Paul (UNITE facilitator, Holy Redeemer
Hospital), James K. Paul (award recipient), and Mary Doherty (UNITE
professional advisory board member).
plaque was inscribed as follows:
First Janis L. Keyser Memorial Award
James K. Paul
J. Paul, Inc.
their extraordinary contributions and tireless work in the creation, design,
colors, and overall presentation of
new logo, and stationery, as well as their continued
of UNITE’s selfless mission
you for Participating in our Picnic Celebration!
We would like to offer our
sincere thanks to all of the UNITE members and families that helped make our
celebration a success by joining us for the picnic and by donating food,
supplies, and basket raffle items.
And a very special thanks to the
following businesses for their donations. Please stop in and visit them!!
Pizzeria and Pub of Aston, PA
you for the 50 hoagies!)
of West Chester, PA
you for the cookie tray!)
of Oxford, PA
you for the $20 gift card!)
Wawa of Drexel Hill, PA
you for drink and soft pretzels!)
To the following people for planning, organizing,
and volunteering their services for UNITE’s 35th Anniversary
Celebration Picnic and helping to make it so successful: Barbara Bond-Moury, Carol Kealey, Linda Nuccitelli, Joanne Porreca,
Don Porreca, and Jacqueline Porreca.
Cushing Doherty for being our Master of Ceremonies.
To all of our
bereaved parents, families, and friends who attended the celebration,
donated items and made it such a success!
Kealey for creating the wonderful posters for: Cocco’s Pizza and Pub of
Aston and Pistachio’s of West Chester