“Self-promotion was new at the time,” Maureen of New Lenox said. “Bur she was willing to give it a shot.”
Sophie also started a blog, “A Never Ending Path,” where Sophie chronicled the highlights of her daily walks on the path near her New Lenox home.
Her last entry on June 17, 2010 starts with, "On the path I took today there are several wooden bridges separated by about a mile or more. I stopped at the first one I came to and watched the water flowing beneath it, left there by the recent rain. I watched it as it dwindled and ended in muddy puddles of bracken and weeds.”
Sophie started writing in childhood. When Sophie was in first grade at the former Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic School in Joliet, she won a writing contest and received a rosary made of glass beads as a prize, Maureen said.
In a 2009 Herald-News story, Sophie said she also penned "silly, little tales" about her friends.
Also in that story, Sophie shared insights into her writing process, including tips for writing believable stories.
“Writing has always been difficult for me,” Sophie said in the story. “Staring at a blank sheet of paper is daunting. But at the same time, it was fascinating making up imaginary situations and creating characters with their individual habits and traits. Once I got started, it flowed pretty easily.”
Sophie grew up on Draper Avenue during the Depression, the second in an immigrant family of five children.
"She and her brother did not learn to speak English until they went to school," Maureen said.
As an adult, Sophie worked a variety of jobs: at Woolworths, at a bank and on an assembly line, while living at her parents’ home and raising Maureen.
“She was very independent,” Maureen said. “Being a single mom and getting a divorce, that was not the thing to do at that time. Women depended on their husbands.”
Years later, Maureen thanked her mother for not being a traditional mother, she said.
“I think she was a little shocked,” Maureen said. “But she was not a traditional mother. She did not go to the meetings at school. She did not stay home and bake cookies. That probably made me the same way."
Maureen herself loved staying home with her children and baking cookies, she said. Her resemblance to her mother is in the mindset.
"I am not a traditional person. I don’t have traditional ideas. I’m very liberal in my thinkings," Maureen said. "And I believe I got that from her.”