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To Fran, Day 66

April 20, 2010

I definitely now understand why I write everyday.  Frankly, with my life now so structured around my blog, skipping a day only results in a funny backlog of posts in my brain, such that now I have about three days worth of content floating around from the weekend and yesterday.  I have so much to say about Nadine Sierra‘s fantastic senior recital on Sunday and yesterday’s stunning Monteverdi Vespers concert by the Clarion Music Society, but that will have to wait for tonight’s writing session.

Today, I must also take a short break from my career-centric posting and spend some time telling you about Fran Connor.  Mostly, I loved her and would have written about her anyway but also, this woman deserved far more than the painfully short obituary she received after her passing this Sunday.  At only fifty-seven, Fran died suddenly in her sleep after having lap band surgery on Friday, and her dear husband Joe suspected nothing when he went to wake her in the morning.

Considering my sister’s husband more of a brother than a brother-in-law to me, I hold his family very much as an extension of my own.  Fran and Joe come to Harrisburg, PA every Christmas and occasionally for other events throughout the year, and I had the extreme joy of seeing them both more often than most of my blood relatives.  Although I honestly have no interest in pondering the pain of losing a parent four years younger than my own, I truly cannot begin to imagine how her sons Keith and David must feel at her loss.  Aside from the obvious nearness of the issue of mortality, I even found myself first in denial and now in distraction over the surprise of losing such a beautiful person and friend in my life.

So generous in love and spirit and kindness, Fran never took too much interest in amassing wealth or impressing others.  Her family and friends can attest to the dear and charmingly silly outpourings of emails and forwards and greetings Fran shared regularly.  She loved her cats, her friends and games on Facebook, and perhaps one might think her love of auctions, garage sales and flea markets falls into the same category of uncomplicated sweetness.  When my sister had to bargain with her mother-in-law at Christmas to bring less than a truckload of presents for her beloved grandchildren, I realized just how her extreme generosity and love bore the responsibility for furthering a passion for gift hunting.

In her more recent life with Joe, I believe she found a stronger and deeper passion for living than she previously knew.  It saddens me greatly that she lost her life after bravely undergoing a procedure designed to enhance it even more.  Although I can only attest to Fran’s kindness over the last fifteen years or so, I know her family adores her and will miss her for the rest of their lives.  To Joe, Fran’s husband, to her son Keith, my sister Becky and their children Kendal and Matthew, to her son David and his wife Kelly and their kids Ali, David and Adam, to my parents and Keith’s sister Robyn, to all of the friends and family who love her most: my deepest and sincerest condolences.  May you find consolation in the legacy she leaves behind in you and in the grace of knowing that she passed in the most peaceful way possible.  To Fran.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Donna Wright permalink
    April 20, 2010 3:52 pm

    You couldn’t have said it any better!

    • Janette Svoboda permalink
      April 20, 2010 4:22 pm

      Well said Abby. I wish I had been fortunate to have know her.

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