Grace Romero, the Ridgefield woman for a trip to visit her family and ailing mother in Texas, still hasn’t had anyone come forward with her needed cash.
It’s been a tough few weeks for Romero, and the fact that she lost over $1,500 in cash somewhere in Stop & Shop or Copps Hill Plaza has sent more than one wave of depression over here. However, she is a deeply religious person (she is a Friend of in Ridgefield and teaches religion at a sister church in Bridgeport) and retains faith that the thief—or finder—will come forward; if not, she hopes that the money went to hands that need it more than she--even though she lives on a fixed income.
“I still have a feeling, I don’t know why—I have this feeling in my heart. If they do, maybe they’ll return it. Maybe they were in need, and they needed this money and said ‘Thank you Lord for dropping this in my lap!’” she said with a short laugh. “I don’t know…but that’s how I like to think about it.”
The trouble began on August 3. In a rush to the grocery store, Romero took from her safe keeping place—between the pages of a Bible—an entire bank envelope full of cash to Stop & Shop instead of selecting a $100 bill. At the checkout counter, she said she conversed with a couple high school students about their college plans and then checked out. She had some trouble finding her car in the Copps Hill Parking lot, circling it a few times, before getting back home and discovering her missing money which was stashed away in a black wallet.
Romero lives with disabilities, which she said likely attributed to her losing her cash. Yet how and where the wallet was dropped or stolen doesn’t seem to matter now—unless her mother becomes critically ill, Romero will not be visiting her family without that money.
“It’s something I’ve been going through emotionally,” said Romero, her throat tightening as she sniffled back tears. She explained that she had planned to surprise her family with an unannounced visit in Texas in early October, when her niece was getting married and her whole family would be together. During that time, she would be able to see her sick mother and be part of a meaningful family gathering.
Romero lives with her husband in the center of Ridgefield on a fixed income. With a daughter in college whom they support, there’s no other available money for her to use to facilitate this trip.
“I’m not going to go there and come back to a pile of bills…oil, gas…we’re on a fixed income with responsibilities,” she said. Romero said her mother is suffering from failing kidneys which are functioning at about 30 percent capacity.
“I would ask my family [for assistance] if my mother were to pass away next week, tomorrow, or next month. I know my sister would fly me down there then,” said Romero. “But just to ask her to fly me out just to go home, I don’t think I would. It would be nice to go and see my mom and nephews and nieces, be in the middle of all the pictures, even it’s for 24 hours or a day or two.”
“I just have to accept it and pray that my mother is around her other children and thank god that I’m not her only child. She’ll understand. She’s always asking me, ‘When are you coming to visit me?’ I say ‘mother, I’m always with you and you’re always with me; you live in my heart, mother.’”…I’m sure she’ll understand,” she said.
Romero expressed deep appreciation for those who sent out thoughts of concern for her in the comments section of the previous article, and for all of those who expressed sympathy.
“I appreciate from the bottom of my heart, those who are concerned. You made me feel like there are some people out there who do care for people.”
When asked of her reaction to inquiries about some kind of fund-raising efforts we received from Ridgefield Patch users, both in the comments and via email, Romero was hesitant to accept offers at first.
“I don’t want people’s pity. But if people want to help me…I don’t mind,” she said.
For those who wish to contact Romero, she may be contacted at 203-512-8825 and at GRomero21@aol.com.