Regina Deogracias Saura, my mom, passed away from complications due to COVID-19 on April 28 at Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago. As a nurse, mom comforted countless others and she followed the profession with much sacrifice. When the US put out a call for nurses to fill a shortage, she reluctantly left behind her husband and small children in the Philippines to seize on the chance of creating better opportunities for us. She recalled it was almost unbearable to be apart from her children, but she eventually sponsored our immigration and struggled to give us a start as a reunited family in a new country. She worked over 30 years at Cook County Hospital, serving Chicago’s vulnerable communities. One day, I was surprised to see her on the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times. It was the 1970s nurses strike and she was holding a sign on the picket line. The photo was in black & white but I knew she was wearing her white cat-eye glasses and fierce, bright orange coat. Mom didn’t have much leisure time. I remember she watched Cubs games while ironing and listened to Nat King Cole at Christmas. One day as a young girl, I saw Julia Child on tv make a cake with cognac. I asked mom to buy me a bottle so I could try and bake it. I used 1/4 cup and she drank most of the rest. It was nice to see her let go. Among those who will miss her are her husband, 5 kids and their spouses, 10 grandkids and their partners, and 2 great grandkids (will be 3 great grandkids in October!). Of these family members 6 are medical professionals caring for others like she had.
– Rowena D Saura, Illinois