LETTER: Seeking a Place for a Little Library in Memory of Eliza

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Eliza Ruth Aidoo passed away on Oct. 6, 2021. Her uncle wants to put up a little library in her honor somewhere in Watertown (Courtesy of James Munroe-Ellis)

On October 6, 2021, my 17-month-old niece Eliza Ruth Aidoo passed away tragically due to complications of a serious illness. She spent her whole life in the hospital. Because of Covid, I was only able to meet my niece once. Her parents saw her regularly and my mother took care of her twice a day. We were getting our living room ready to be her room, with a nurse and equipment. Everyone was excited she was coming home soon.

Shortly after Eliza passed, my mom actively started looking for ways to “keep her light shining” is how she put it. One idea was putting up a Little Library in my niece’s honor. My niece loved to be read to. The library was just an idea. We had to find out first if it was possible. You see, we don’t own any property in town.

We received amazing news! Mr. Driscoll approved the idea and told my mom to meet with the head of the Recreation Department. The meeting went well and we received permission to go ahead and purchase the library. My mom had my aunt and two friends present at the meeting with Watertown’s Rec Director. They left excited and ready to honor Eliza in a way the whole town could appreciate.

The library was to go up at Filippello Park on the Arlington Street side close to where my grandparents live and the perfect place for children to check out our new library.

I paid for it myself. I was 16 at the time. It was the least I could do to honor my niece. 

Eliza Ruth Aidoo’s family wants to create a lasting way to preserve her memory. (Courtesy of James Munroe-Ellis)

This October 6, it was two years since Eliza passed and her library is still in the box. My mom was told that a town employee said “someone dropped the ball with this one” and we haven’t been able to get an explanation from those in Town Hall that know about this. 

I would not have purchased my niece’s library if we didn’t have permission. It was to be a gift to the town. 

I want to thank Councilor Airasian for trying to help us, even though he had nothing to do with the original meetings or decision. He has shown empathy and kindness throughout this experience.

I’m reaching out today looking for immediate help to resolve this issue and find a spot in town for the library.

I can’t explain the pain this has caused my family. 

Thank you for your time,
James Munroe-Ellis

3 thoughts on “LETTER: Seeking a Place for a Little Library in Memory of Eliza

  1. My sympathies on Eliza’s passing, James. With Councilor Airasian’s help this should all be worked out pretty soon.

    • That is an awful story to hear! My heart goes out to this family. How can humans be so unfeeling, uncaring & selfish. Should have been no question about this little library to honor Eliza and to make other children smile reading a book. “Dropped the ball”, not acceptable.

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