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2011 Walk to Remember

A 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 grief.

 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 to hurry.

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 and sunny.

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.

The 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).


The plaque was inscribed as follows:

The First Janis L. Keyser Memorial Award

Presented To:  
James K. Paul

Thomas J. Paul, Inc.

 For their extraordinary contributions and tireless work in the creation, design, colors, and overall presentation of

UNITE’s new logo, and stationery, as well as their continued

support of UNITE’s selfless mission

Thank 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!!

 Cocco Pizzeria and Pub of Aston, PA

(Thank you for the 50 hoagies!)

 Pistachio's of West Chester, PA

(Thank you for the cookie tray!)

 Acme of Oxford, PA

(Thank you for the $20 gift card!)

 Wawa of Drexel Hill, PA

(Thank you for drink and soft pretzels!)

Special Thanks!

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.

To Mary 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! 

To Carol Kealey for creating the wonderful posters for: Cocco’s Pizza and Pub of Aston and Pistachio’s of West Chester

Mail (for newsletter exchanges and any other correspondence or items):
P.O. Box 65
Drexel Hill, PA  19026

Street Address: 
c/o Riddle Hospital
1068 W. Baltimore Pike
Media, PA  
1-888-48 UNITE
1-888-488-6483 or (610-296-2411)

Email General Questions to: administrator@unitegriefsupport.org
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