My friend, Fran, died yesterday. The euphemism is “passed away” but somehow, for Fran, this just doesn’t seem right. Fran “told it like it is” – so, my friend died. Period.
I visited her, for the last time, in the hospital just two days before she took her last breath. I don’t know if she had any idea that I was there or not – she seemed to be sleeping heavily and I didn’t want to rouse her. Then again, I thought I might have another chance to visit later on when she was awake – but it wasn’t to be. Perhaps I should have awakened her? To say goodbye to her? Hopefully she knows I was there because I cared.
I’ve known her for a long, long time. Probably more than 20 years when I think about it. We both boarded our horses at the Gallaway Ridge Training Centre in Hampton “back in the day”. Fran of the acerbic wit. Fran the horse sitter. Fran the artist. Fran the friend.
It was black and white with Fran; you were her friend, or you weren’t. I’m lucky to have been counted among the ‘good guys’ in her estimation.
Generous to a fault there was nothing she wouldn’t do for her friends. Eight years ago, when Joel and I got married, she came to our farm and spent a whole day decorating for our ‘big day’.
In addition to her decorating skills, Fran was a talented painter who shared her love of painting with numerous others encouraging even the least talented to give it a try. A few years ago she took up quilling – an art form requiring infinite patience to take teensy little strips of paper, roll them up and combine them into unique pieces. For our wedding she created our cake topper this way – a goose egg painstakingly painted white, decorated with quilling and beadwork and inside a wee tableau showing daisies (my favourite flower), candles, two rings and a ‘parchment’ saying ‘with this ring…’ – quilled.
I’m going to miss answering the phone to hear her raspy voice saying “Hey Cec, how’re ya doin’?”
Safe journey across the rainbow bridge, Fran. You will be missed and you will be remembered.