By B.C. Robinson
Once upon a time in a faraway land called Upper State New York, an eight-year-old girl named Mary Rose dreamt of great adventures. She fantasized about traveling to distant lands and meeting fascinating people. Her fairy tale journey began with a family trip to the city with the big shoulders.
“I thought Chicago was the greatest city in the world,” she said. “I fell head over heels in love with it and I told my parents that one day I would live here in a brick house.”
This was to become her life-long goal; this was her quest; this was her promise to herself. With a little bit of magic and hard work, Mary Rose Jeffry eventually made good on her promise.
“I got a scholarship to Northwestern University,” she said. There she met Prince Charming, her college sweetheart, a native Californian who lived for adventure. Everything was coming together, but like any good story, life is full of plot twists. He wanted to build her a castle for the two out west. And with the words, “I do,” her Chicago promise was put on hold as the couple started on an even greater journey. Even though she would miss the city that she loved, her new husband made it clear to her that if she didn’t like California she could always come back to the “toddling town.”
“It took a while,” Jeffry said.
A loving and beautiful marriage, three wonderful children, a career as a Special Education teacher, three adorable dogs and numerous trips around the world delayed her Chicago dream, but she knew that one day she would find her way back.
Several chapters later, Jeffry’s daughter found her own Prince Charming.
“She came to Chicago for culinary school and bought a home on Longwood Drive in Beverly,” Jeffry said. “I was so jealous of her living in such a beautiful area, I wanted to immediately buy a home next door.”
Her daughter would have two difficult pregnancies, and Jeffry found herself traveling back and forth to Chicago through hot summers and cold winters. It was rough. Then her daughter said the magic words, “Mom I’d love for you to live in Beverly.” After discussing everything with her husband, the couple put their west coast house up for sale the next day. With her daughter’s help, Jeffry bought her Chicago home, sight unseen.
“I pinch myself every morning,” she said. “I am so blessed to live in Beverly. The people here are just the friendliest, nicest, most amazing genuine caring people I have ever known. I have met more people here in the last three months than I did in all my years living in California.”
Now retired, Jeffry lives happily ever after, spending time with her grandchildren, gardening, quilting, knitting and reading. All in the place she had always dreamt of calling home, Chicago.