Thursday, March 30, 2017

Legacy: Fran

Photo by:  Elena Prokofyeva
I knew Fran from the church where I worked for nine years.  When I found out that she had passed, I drove the 45 minutes back to the church to attend her funeral, because she was one of the sweetest people I have ever met.  Whenever I would see her in the hallways or the pews at church, she would always greet me with a smile and a hug.  In her Southern accent, she'd say, "Hi, Lisa," her sweet, shortened version for my name.  Fran was the grandmother of one of my youth group students and I always enjoyed greeting her and talking with her and her late husband Fred.  At her funeral, I enjoyed learning more about her life and her legacy.

When thinking about Fran's legacy, there are so many things that I could include.  The three things that stand out to me about her life are her relationship with her husband, the way she raised her children and her faith.

I loved hearing about Fran and Fred's relationship.  They met one day in an elevator at work and that led to an almost seventy-year relationship.  They were loving and caring towards each other throughout their lives.  I remember seeing them hug each other at church and I would smile and hope that I will still hug my husband so lovingly at her age.  She supported her husband in his career through her administrative skills and I'm sure with emotional support as well.  They seemed to truly have a partnership, that which good marriages are built on.  She and Fred were an example to us all of what marriage should be.

Secondly, Fran did an amazing job raising her children and being a part of her grandchildren's lives.  They shared that she was very involved in their lives and hobbies, never missing a play or ballgame.  She also made sure to celebrate each milestone and made their birthdays and holidays very special.  She cared for each one and shared with them her faith.

Fran grew up in the Presbyterian church and began teaching Sunday school at age 16.  I was amazed to learn that she continued teaching it for over 30 years!  One can only imagine how many children's lives she touched.  Her faith gave her a positive attitude and an excitement about life.  She wanted to share it lovingly with those around her.

In describing Fran, the words to "The Old Rugged Cross" come to mind:  "I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown."  I can picture Fran up there in heaven, dancing with Fred and wearing a beautiful crown with many-colored stones.

May we all seek to be a little more like Fran.

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