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I remember the first time I saw Lillian. She transferred to my elementary school in the middle of our third grade year. In a sea of plaid jumpers and navy blue sweater vests she was a breath of fresh air with her colorful knee-highs and her neon-colored hair scrunchiis. And I thought, “She must be really important,” because I had never seen a little girl with her very own entourage before. She came into our classroom, mid-morning, accompanied by her mom, dad, grandmother, and aunts. After drop-off, Lillian took her seat and promptly made herself at home. I watched as she decorated her desk with little figurines, a New Kids on the Block picture frame, and instead of the standard #2 pencil, I watched as she pulled out a pen with hot-pink feathers. I was in awe. In our small, very “uniform” Catholic school I knew I had never known anyone quite like her before. And as if my 8 year-old-mind hadn’t been blown enough, I listened as she asked our teacher, “Um, Mrs. Yarema, do I have to do the homework tonight? Because I’m going to the New Kids on the Block concert with my cousin and I need time to do my hair.” I nearly hit the floor. What third grader has the nerve to ask her teacher if she can get out of a homework assignment? And of course she got away with it. This girl was clearly magic.

The next day we were in the girls’ restroom and she asked for my help with the paper towel dispenser. And I thought,  "Oh my gosh! She knows my name.”

And just like that, there in that bathroom, two little girls would become fast friends. And that was just the beginning of what would become one of the most profound relationships of their lives.

I love Lillian and I miss her every day, just like I know many of you do as well. 

There are so many worthy foundations that need our support. But this season, I ask that you lend your aid to Angels Among Us. Please donate or join our team in Memory of Lillian and help reach our $1000 goal. 

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