About Franny

I used to promise myself that one day I would set the alarm, get up early, brew the legendary cup of coffee and then begin writing about Franny, my late mother.  For years, that particularly morning never seemed to materialize. It wasn’t until my daughter began asking me questions about her heritage that I decided to commit myself and put my memories of my mother’s life into a story.  But how do I tell my mother’s story when she is no longer here to proofread it or provide me with a real critique? Good question. Fortunately, none of those reservations contain the slightest bit of importance.  Just tell the story through the memory of love and all will be well. This is what I tell myself.

Though born in Flint, Michigan in the Fall of 1929, Franny grew up in a small town in the bootheel of Missouri. She had a big voice and a particularly fine sense of humor. As far back as I can remember, she used to own up to the fact that her own birth had been the cause for the Stock Market Crash of 1929. She set her audience laughing because she was tickled by her own self-deprecation. Her croaky guffaw could be heard into the next county. Her laugh was a mixture Phyllis Diller and Lucille Ball.

My mom didn’t live a long life. She died at the age of 58. In our modern era that is not old. I was 25 years old at the time and quickly learned how to pretend that all was well. The last 9 years of Franny’s life were fraught with accidents, hospitalisations, surgeries and a total loss of independance.  She had been involved in a terrible car accident which left her with a massive head injury and a host of other injuries which plagued her for the remainder of her days. Fate is a cruel master. A drunk driver hit her car causing her to rocket through the windshield just a few months after she had gotten her own alcohol consumption under control. Yes, Fate can be unfathomable. In 1977, I was 14 years old and didn’t wonder why my mom hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt.

Franny ca.1946



10 thoughts on “About Franny

    1. Hi Evelyne, so nice to “see” you again!
      I appreciate your comment. That particular photo is one of my favorites of my mom. At this stage of my life, the events from the past seem so clear, yet dreamy. I want to write all of it down so that my own children have a record.

  1. This is far by one of the best article I’ve read here in WP. This is a wonderful tribute to your Mother. A written legacy. Great choice of the image too, really brilliant. My father passed away at an early age too, so I can relate to the feeling of loss. Franny would have been proud if she have the chance to read what you have written about her. I am sure your daughter is proud to have a Mom like you. Thank you for letting me know Franny through this lovely post.

    1. Hi Christina,
      How sweet of you. Your kind words have brought tears to my eyes. One of my reasons for writing my mom’s story is to give her a voice to all of the grandchildren and great-grandchild, who never had the possibility or opportunity to meet her. I also hope that my contribution will help my siblings look beyond Franny’s alcohol problem. I hope to re-awaken memories of the good times and to see her for the unique, loving and generous human being she really was.

      1. You’re welcome Yvonne. This is the same value I wanted to instill with my daughter once I grow old . My Father was in the same situation as Franny,that is why my heart immediately goes through you & this particular post. I love the thought behind it , the lesson learned from it, and the inspiration that your writing have evoked. I think this is best part of writing, to be able to write the unspoken words. Have a great weekend.

      2. Absolutely, Christina.
        As adults,we see are parents with different eyes. It is difficult to write, by I will see it to the end. This afternoon one of my brothers told me that he has read these posts. He said: “Good job”. That means a lot.
        Enjoy your weekend.
        See you on WP!:-)

  2. I love reading how you put everything in order. There is a sense of peace coming from your pen. After all these years I never knew it was a drunk driver.

    How often do I drive by the place of her death with disdain. I’m forced to drive by there on the way to work certain days. The nasty building is leveled but it’s still s sad corner.

    I long to see her again…

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