The Basket Lady
How lovely it is to see how the Good Humor Town has decked itself out in the festive colors of red, green and white.
If you haven’t driven down Franklin Street in Rumford, it’s worth the drive to see the glow of candle light on each window sill of a two story white house that’s impossible to drive by without noticing how the candlelight serves as the perfect backdrop for a black and cold wintry evening filled with dazzling stars.
Recently, Basket Lady received a message from the RFT’s to call Virginia Burgess Stickney, who’d been trying to get in contact with me.
In 2009, Virginia and Richard Stickney Sr., along with other family members, were involved in a very serious car accident that took the life of her dear Richard.
A sister, Barbara “Jean,” contacted the Basket Lady and asked for prayers to be said for Virginia and her family.
Basket Lady asked the folks in the River Valley to take part in a “card shower” for Virginia; seriously injured and a patient in the Critical Care Unit.
The kind folks in the River Valley, did indeed, send cards that showered her with words of comfort that gave her hope and the inspiration to keep on living.
Virginia still has those get-well cards in a memory book that she put together after she went home from the hospital in 2009. Thank you, kind people.
We hadn’t talked for very long when Virginia began to recall her friendship over the years with Dot Sanchas.
Virginia reminisced about the time when her mother was a resident in the Canton Victoria Villa between the year’s of 83 to 84, and she mentioned to Dot that she was going to the Villa to visit her mother when Dot said, "Come over the house. I’ve got a few clothes you can pick up and take over to the Victorian Villa for your mother and some of the ladies there."
Virginia thought Dot was going to give her just a bagful of things but when she drove up to her house; boxes and boxes of ladies dresses, sweaters, and shoes were stacked in rows that filled up the trunk as well as the front and back seats with just enough room left to get in on the driver’s side of the car.
Virginia said, “I’ve never in my wildest dreams thought that Dot had that many clothes to give but then again, that was Dot.”
Virginia’s late spouse, Richard, used to be Santa Claus at Sampson’s grocery store where Sears used to be in the Rumford plaza before there was a Santa’s Helpers at the Free Shop. Richard enjoyed being Santa but he didn’t have a red suit so Dot went on a mission rounding up donations and when she had enough money, bought him a Santa suit.
Virginia paused and laughed as she recalled the time when Dot had this bright idea of starting a weight-loss club at her house that turned into knitting, baking, and avoiding all club related conversations about weight loss. “Don’t know that any of us lost any weight but the club sure was a lot of fun.”
Virginia celebrated her 80th birthday last March, and she summed up the magnitude of reaching that milestone with, “I’m doing very well in my life. I’m grateful for every day. My life is filled with joy and I don’t take one day of my life for granted and I’m helping others just as I did when Dot was here-she’s here now, guiding me.”
Friends, be kind to one another. We miss your kindness every day, Dot Sanchas! Until then, smile and do live in the present.