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Angels In Our Midst (Iris Mckay)
PACE, FLORIDA - When she was only six years old, Iris Mckay frequently sat with her aunt who was confined to a nursing home. Another resident decided to entertain Iris by teaching her how she crocheted clothes for premature babies. Neither could know at the time, just how much that gift would mean. Iris McKay, Crochets for Preemies; Their baby was a preemie, born too soon. And they were trying to find doll clothes to put on the baby so that the baby could be buried. And I said, you know, I crochet, I could make something pretty. That chance encounter with grieving parents in a "toy" department, set Iris Mckay on a mission. She started crocheting booties, hats, and mittens for neonatal intensive care units across the country. Iris; This fits a one to two pound baby and I have seen these that actually would swallow the baby. O.K., this is a normal baby. Six years ago, Iris put down the crochet needles. She was too wrapped in grief after the sudden death of her mother. Iris McKay, ; I went through a depression and feeling sorry for myself that; that kind of thing. I said, you know what, Mama would be kicking my butt. But, she couldn't stay in that house. So, she packed her yarn and needles, walked to the Shell Circle K On Highway 90 In Pace, and laid claim to a table. Michelle Cummings, Store Manager; She's a woman, that, you know, comes from little means and not riches and wealth. But, she has a wealth of love and a wealth of knowledge that just shines. Irish has held down her crochet corner every day for so long, the employees and customers have become her family. They marvel at their friend because they know she's endured more than a broken heart. Her body is racked with the pain of arthritis. Iris; This is all joint, it's deforming here. I've got it here. I've got it in my wrists. I've got it in both feet, both ankles and both hips. I have it in my spine. Marie Wetherbe, Store Clerk; She keeps going. No matter how hurt she is, you know, how much she hurts, she comes up here and she knits. Iris; There's bad things that happen to all of us. We all have rough times and everything else. But, we can change how we view it by simply affecting somebody else who's had it bad. Michelle, She's taught my daughter how to knit. And she's passing her knowledge and her legacy on to the next generation. Iris; Eventually, it's gonna be where I can't do it. And I'll find something else to do. Because that's what her mother would want her to do. So, until she simply "can't", Iris says she'll continue her project for the preemies and her mom. Iris; I named it after my mom, I call it, "Betty's Babies." I dedicated it to her.