Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Monday, April 23, 2018

M. Regina Cram

When I was growing up, my parents hosted some unusual parties, typically themed on a historic event that had occurred on the date of the party. I especially remember the President William Henry Harrison Day Party. President Harrison died of pneumonia a month after his bitterly cold inauguration, earning himself the dubious distinction of having the briefest presidential tenure. His entire 31-day presidency was spent in bed.

cram mirror 300x275pxYears ago, my husband Peter asked me to exercise extreme caution when offering help to strangers. I understood his concern for my safety so I agreed, with a few caveats. If I pass someone in need who is elderly, pregnant, handicapped or has a small child, or if the weather is blisteringly hot or bitterly cold, I cannot, in good conscience, drive by without offering help.

My mother is a woman of contradictions. The big joke in our family is that when she dies, mom’s wake and funeral will go on for days because everyone who knows her has a colorful story to tell.

In December 1938, 29-year-old British stockbroker Nicholas Winton visited Prague to assist in Jewish refugee camps. Winton was shocked at the atrocious conditions, especially for children, who were facing almost certain death by the Nazis.

I picked up my younger children after school, then proceeded to the middle school to retrieve my oldest. Together, we drove to a nondescript building in a neighboring town. Once inside, we were directed to a room where the din of voices overflowed into the hallway. When we entered the room, however, the voices abruptly silenced. Every head turned to gawk at us.