This week we celebrated the life of a dear friend and community leader. A remarkable woman by any measure, she was a wife, mother, and grandmother. She was a philanthropist, an author, and an artist. She was beloved by so many, each with a story to share of how she touched their life – this is my story.
We met through our mutual love of the arts at our local art museum. She took me under her wing, as a new arrival to the community eleven years ago. Perhaps an unlikely friendship, as she was 35 years my elder, it was instantly clear that we were kindred spirits and the friendship flourished. She was an encourager, a listener – she shared her wisdom with humility and grace. Our friendship of long lunches, hand written notes, and encouraging emails and texts made my world brighter. While our relationship was not unique, she was a wonderful friend to many, it was significant to me. She was a mentor, an example of living a full and gracious life – one deeply rooted in faith and always finding joy in the present moment. Her steadfast belief in me inspired me to be my best self.
She created a legacy of connection – from one generation to the next, from one friend to another. She gave generously to her beloved community. She loved her family strongly. Her legacy was built one kind gesture at a time, one story at a time; such a gift to all of us fortunate enough to know her.
Her legacy now lives on in all who adored her. As I begin this New Year, I will keep her light and love alive in my heart. I will remember her wisdom, I will send more handwritten notes, I will encourage others, and I will love my family more fiercely than before. I will try to make her proud, for I know she guides me from that “great cloud of witnesses.” (A favorite scripture from Hebrews 12:1)
Much love my friend, Gran Fran XOXO