Her name was Francis

Her name was Francis, but we called her Fran.  Later, I found out that others even called her “Frannie.”

Fran was wise and strong, stubborn and grateful.  She was aware of her blessings and enjoyed life to the fullest.  She was challenging and supportive.  She was funny and she was vivid.  She could feed an army or her small precious family the finest of meals with ease and laughter and afterwards joke about all that it might add to her hips and how she welcomed it there.

Fran was beautiful.  I only knew her for the brief 10 yrs. that she was married to my Uncle Ed, but those who knew her  lifetime of 36 yrs. all said the same.  She was one of a kind.

Fran died on June 16th, 2010 after an almost 5 yr battle with breast cancer.  I miss her and I wish I could figure out a better way to sum her up than in this measly little blog.  Although, she would love the fact that she wasn’t easily sum-up-able! =)

June 16th, 2010 feels like a million years ago and just like yesterday.  It was the day I woke up in a hotel room where I had been “living” for nine days with my Aunt Janie who had been there nine days prior to that.  It was the day I stepped out of bed, planted my feet on the stiff blue carpet, stood up, and walked over to the mirror to see that my swollen eyes were already crying.  It was the day I walked into my 6 yr old cousin’s room to see my uncle  rocking her back and forth as he told her that he loved her.  It was the day that began with the still quiet presence of my Aunt Fran and it was the day that ended with the phrase, “Today was a great day, because today Mommy went to be with Jesus.”  (I’m STILL trying to come to grips with that phrase.)

June 16th has come and gone twice now, both with anticipation and sadness, and it may very well come and go again a thousand more times.  But never again will a day go by that begins with the earthly presence of my Aunt Fran.  She will forever be present with her Maker and only remembered here.

All of her “firsts” are over here on earth and thankfully, so are all of her “lasts.”  All the goodness she has left behind is wrapped up in her family, her beautiful little girls, her grown-up and strong stepsons, and her husband who she loved with more passion and joy than I may ever understand myself.  She loved them well and she loved them completely.

I hope she felt as loved by us as we did by her.

I love you Aunt Fran.  See ya soon!