“I am so proud of you for taking care of the kids. Go get that sewing machine that you’ve always wanted,” the note read.
Santa Clarita mother Jamie Worcester discovered this note on the 26-year-old sewing machine she found inside her parents’ house. The note was written by her dad to her mom in 1994.
Worcester stresses that this was one of many gestures that shows the true testament of her parent’s love, through all of their hardships.
To anyone else this might be just an outdated sewing machine. For Worcester, it is what she uses to sew for hours a day, specifically since the Safer at Home regulations began. This has allowed her to make over 600 masks for the community, free of charge.
Every mask she sews is made with the thought of her mom in mind, she said. Replacing the machine with a more modern one might make her job easier, but there is nothing that can replace the history and sentiment behind it.
“My sewing machine, well, her sewing machine, is on its last leg too,” Worcester said.
Her mom, Leslie Worcester, suffers from Alzheimer’s and no longer remembers how to sew or who her family is. Worcester first noticed her mom showing signs of the disease when she was 13, and based on the natural course of Alzheimer’s her mom may only have a few more years left.
Worcester was a full-time caretaker for her mom, but as her condition worsened, she decided the best thing to do for her mother and her family was to place her in a board and care facility.
Because of social distancing restrictions, she hasn’t been able to visit her mom. This is why the opportunity to recreate memories in the spirit of her is so important.
“Just sitting down at the sewing machine reminds me of watching her and it is sentimental for me. Every stitch is love,” Worcester said.
The project is represented with “#LesliesMaskProject,” in honor of her mom. She knows that if she was able, her mom would be doing anything she could to help the community in a time like this.
Worcester has helped hundreds of residents and essential workers get masks they need for their safety. However, spreading kindness is nothing new to her.
“I just wake up and put my yoga pants on like every other woman and try my best,” Worcester said. “Sometimes that means we all sit together and watch movies all day in our jammies and other days we actually get to make a difference in peoples’ lives.”
Her dream has always been to be a pediatric nurse, because she is driven to pursue a lifetime of giving back, no matter how the field or the world is changing.
Being a mom to two young children, she teaches them the importance of spreading kindness wherever they go. She believes small gestures, such as leaving a dollar at the vending machine, can go a long way.
Worcester’s 5-year-old daughter also longs to create more memories with her grandma as she awaits her return from what Worcester explained to her, was “a long sleepover.” This inspired her to teach her daughter how to use the sewing machine so she can become the third generation to learn from it and keep her grandma’s legacy alive.
One memory that has been threaded through all three of their lives is the Halloween costume Worcester’s mom sewed for her when she was young. That same costume was passed down to her own daughter to wear.
If you are interested in getting a mask as apart of #LesliesMaskProject, you can contact her through Facebook @JamieWorcester. She completes orders on a first come first serve basis. Although she does not charge, donations are accepted and appreciated as they go towards paying it forward for someone else’s mask.
That is so awesome of you!! I’m sorry you can’t see your mom, hope you will be able to soon!! It’s sad and hard. What a lovely idea to keep your memories going and the legacy. His Bless You!!
That was God Bless You!! On my previous reply.
What a wonderful story, and an incredible contribution to our community.