One of my mom’s best friends died yesterday. Her name was Fran. Her daughter, Kristie, is the person I wrote this letter to last week.
Fran and her husband Bill were the loves of each other’s lives. Bill died of a heart attack in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, and it was awful to watch their family grieve his loss. Yesterday was Bill’s birthday, the same day Fran was reunited with him. Bittersweet!
I want to share something I wrote to Fran before she died. Thanks for letting me air some of my sadness here.
Fran, you are a deep part of my childhood and the fabric of my family.
I can close my eyes and still see the inside of your house, coming over to play with Kristie after school, and I remember when you let me see your stash of cross stitch supplies. (It was like finding a hidden treasure!)
I remember Peaches/Apricot. (What WAS that dog's real name anyway? I can only remember that Mom kept messing with you!)
I remember running away to your house when my world was crumbling in college, and you were the only safe refuge I knew.
I never see a piece of Black Hills gold without remembering how you love it.
I hear your laugh in my head and see your eyes crinkle up in joy as you cackled and razzed my dad for something. And I can still hear the distinct way you said my name.
Remember that pendant that Bill gave you? The one Dad had a mold made of, and gave copies to me and Mary? I still have it, and still use that symbol with my daughter and my own husband to tell him I love him. Did I ever tell you I gave one to him as a wedding gift?
Your impact on my life has been immeasurable. You are unforgettable, indomitable, spunky and ALIVE. But most of all, you are loved!
I am praying for your peace and comfort, and hope you know how much my family loves you - the ones who are still here and the ones who are waiting to hug you again.
I love you, Frannie!