I want to tell you about my very dear friend. Frances. As I write this post, she lies in a hospital bed, recovering from a bad fall. She fractured her femur last week, and has since had surgery. She is doing fairly well. She is a tough gal. She has had a tough life. It has made her strong.
Frances lost her sight when she was quite little. She had painted a shed with a pesticide thinking it was paint. It splashed into her eyes and destroyed her eyesight. She recalls many nights when she rocked her little body to sleep to ease the pain in her eyes. Often her pillow would be saturated by morning. Her eyes never stopped running. She recovered partial eyesight later in life when she was given a Corneal transplant. She has very little vision now at 97 years of life.
Life has never been easy. Blind. Deaf. She never complains... Others, she will tell you, have far greater problems. When you ask how she is, she answers by asking how YOU are.
Frances came into my life when I needed a friend. Our friendship grew into a love affair. She comforted me when my marriage was failing, and lovingly directed me to leave when the relationship became unhealthy. She was instrumental in introducing me to my now husband.
We have spent many afternoons discussing the problems of the world. We have shared solutions that would heal the world. We part with a prayer. It helps.
If you were to ask me what one thing I have learned from our friendship, I would have to say that "relationships are more important than things." She said that often. She lived it.
I have struggled with my relationship with a close family member over the years. It is a never ending battle that is permeated by seemingly peaceful periods that are short- lived. Even during those times, conversation is difficult with that person...comparable to finding my way through a mine-field without detonating those hidden dangers. When I was at wits end, Francis was there to guide and comfort without judgement. How lucky I am to have known you.
And so dear friend, I hope that you recover so that I can share this, my testament of adoration, with you.
I love you, Frannie. Get well soon.