A pillow sham sent by a World War II soldier to his mother finally arrived to its destination after being lost for more than 70 years.
The sham was sent originally sent in 1942 by Dominic O’Gara while stationed at his Army base in California. The gift was supposed to arrive at his mother’s home in the small Massachusetts town of Millville, but it never made it.
Last month, Donald Lamoureux, a Millville native, spotted a curious envelope while searching through eBay. He didn’t know what was inside but when he saw the address and date, he knew he had to buy it.
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Lamoureux purchased the mysterious package for $5, but what he found inside was priceless.
“There was this pillow sham that had been sealed away for 73 years, and it looked brand new,” Lamoureux told The Associated Press.
The white pillow cover was decorated with roses and had the word “Mother” inscribed in blue. The sham also included “Camp McQuaide, Calif.,” where O’Gara was stationed, and had lyricist Howard Johnson’s famous poem, M-O-T-H-E-R, written on it:
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M is for the million things she gave me
O means only that she's growing old
T is for the tears she shed to save me
H is for her heart of purest gold
E is for her eyes with love light shining
R means right and right she'll always be
Put them all together they spell mother
A word that means the world to me
“It was very touching,” Lamoureux said. “My grandfather (Rodrique “Pete” Lamoureux) was a World War II veteran, and Millville is such a small town, I just knew they had to have known each other.
“I felt this instant connection.”
Lamoureux tried to return the pillow sham to the O’Gara family but could not find any living members. He found that the World War II soldier had died in 1998 and his mother, Catherine, died in 1956.
Lamoureux turned to his parents and friends for advice and they came up with the idea of framing the pillow sham and hanging it in the senior center.
The center is only a short walk away from where the O’Gara family once lived in Banigan City. Ellen Ethier Bowen of the Council on Aging hopes to have the pillow sham hung by Memorial Day.
“This whole story just tugs at your heartstrings,” Bowen said.
Photo Credit: AP via ABC News