Lorna's son died while she was in immigrant detention

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A few weeks ago our incredibly caring volunteer team picked up Lorna from the immigrant detention center. She had been detained for over two years, the entire time separated from her eight US citizen children, husband and grandbabies. 

We spent a little bit of time together chatting at the dinner table when Oliver bought her some warm tamales for her to enjoy for dinner. 


As she was eating she looked over at me and said that a few days before Christmas she was talking with one of her sons on the phone and he told her the whole family was together making tamales. The room was full of family, food and festivities. Her son also told me he had just found out his wife was pregnant! They were expecting a baby girl in a few months. I could tell by the look in her eyes she desperately wanted to be there celebrating with them. 

The next thing she told me shook me to my soul. 

She said, "A few days after I spoke with my son on the phone I got another call from my husband. He told me our son had died... a sudden heart attack. Nobody was expecting it. I didn't believe what they told me; I kept saying, 'No, no no.' The only reason I finally realized it was true was when they sent me his death certificate." 

I didn't know what to say when I heard this story. She looked at me through eyes filled with tears and my eyes joined in her pain. We just sat there and cried. She showed me this quilt she knit for her son's baby girl that would be born soon.


Around us, other volunteers were hustling and bustling working with other guests to get them home, phone calls were being made, tickets were being purchased, plans to get them to the airport were underway. And for Lorna and me, it felt like we got sucked into a moment that stayed silent. I hoped with all my heart that Lorna felt welcomed in our home, eating our tamales, being part of our family if only for one night. 

I am thankful for everyone who is part of the Casa de Paz family -- from the team of volunteers who picked up Lorna from detention, to the person who brought over the tamales, to the group who came and cleaned the guest bedrooms so she had a comfortable place to spend the night, to our friend Wayne who picked her up the following morning and brought her to the bus station so she could reunite with her family just in time for her son's funeral... the list goes on and on and on and on.

On Saturday night I want to throw a party to appreciate each and every one of you. Please join us for a delicious dinner, good conversations and a look into 2019 and where our community is headed. 

Click here to find all the information and the RSVP link.. Last I checked we only have about 20 seats left so please save your spot today because I'd love to see you there:) 

With perseverance and hope,

Sarah J