LAKEVIEW — Parent Danielle Babiarz thought something was strange when she walked through Blaine Elementary's garden Thursday afternoon.
A bronze statue of a little boy on a globe — a memorial to her son Vincent, who died at age 5 in 2010 — was missing its glasses. The Blaine community had rallied to raise money for the statue and put it in the school's parent-and-student run garden last fall.
"It felt like a violation," Babiarz said. "It's such an important thing to me. It's such a meaningful link to my son, and to have it defiled like that was just sickening."
Babiarz posted to Facebook about the glasses Thursday afternoon. And then — later that night — the glasses mysteriously reappeared back at Blaine.
Assistant Principal Gary Norcross told Babiarz that he didn't know who turned them back in.
The bronze glasses are slightly damaged, Babiarz said. They're missing one the temples, or sidepieces, and looks like the glasses were broken off the face of the little boy in three pieces, she said.
She doesn't care.
"I’m just very happy somebody bothered to take them back to the office," she said.
Luckily, the face of the statue suffered no damage, she said. She plans to find a way to reattach the glasses more firmly to the memorial.
The statue itself is from a catalogue, but it spoke to Babiarz immediately. Her son Vincent, who attended pre-K at Blaine for two years before passing away in a drowning accident, loved looking at maps for hours, she said.
Babiarz volunteers frequently at the school, where her older son is still a student.
Community members initially speculated that someone took the glasses for the bronze, while Babiarz now thinks maybe the whole thing was an accident.
Regardless of who mysteriously returned them, she's glad the memorial will return to its full form.
"The sculpture itself was a labor of love," she said.