For a Friend

A year ago, the hearts of many were heavy as we received word of the passing of an outstanding lady that my wife and I were lucky to know and call friend.

We last saw her at handbell practice in early November after returning from a week-long Caribbean cruise. She was fighting chest congestion for a month, thus at the end of rehearsal, my wife and another ringer convinced her to escalate her troubles. Later that week she went to the hospital, received X-rays, was admitted, and never returned home.

Being gracious, funny, and a good one to kid, those that knew her, loved her. No matter what she did, she always gave it her best, and with the ability to laugh at herself … and, much too young to leave the living.

We, and the family, thought she would be home for Thanksgiving or shortly thereafter, but the lung cancer was too aggressive and too advanced. I can’t recall ever crying for so many consecutive days – not for any friends or my grandparents, aunts, uncles, or parents. It was very hard for us in this house, and it also impacted our entire holiday season.

Nonetheless, we grabbed our bootstraps, and focused on her husband because that is something we could do here and now. I’m proud of him as he’s done well, and I’m happy with the little part that I’ve played.

Today is the first anniversary of her passing – thus, why I couldn’t do a cartoon post. She wouldn’t be much for the today’s hub-bub, thus would be fussy with me to post as normal – but that’s ok, she’s not here to stop me … besides, I can use this to  kid her again!

I’ve thought a lot of her this week, and even write this with tears – but it’s something I had to do for a good lady.

A few days after her funeral, I posted this tribute to her, as I share a constant reminder I have of her.  Besides, I know I’m a better person today because of her role of a portion of my life – but my wife and I still miss her.

Her funeral was difficult for the entire handbell choir as she was one of us, besides, her husband asked us to play. I still recall the difficulty of that rehearsal for the entire choir, but also his strength and pride through his smile as we concluded at the funeral.

Today is a good time to share this beautiful version of Beside Still Waters we played with heavy hearts for our friend and handbell colleague.

Meanwhile, “Hey up there – how are the butterflies?” (actually, an inside joke for her that I couldn’t resist)

60 thoughts on “For a Friend

  1. This is a very touching and poignant piece–thanks for sharing. It is even more powerful to me since my mother died earlier this month. The holidays will be hard, but I appreciate your reminder that we need to focus on living each day so we can get to the next holiday–and still share private jokes with the loved ones who are gone. Thanks.


    • Patti,
      Sorry to hear about your recent loss … yet here you are, not far removed from a grieving event, and pointing to the positive aspects of this post …. so thank you! Strength to you in the days ahead and my positive memories aid your healing.


  2. A profound and insightful tribute to a dear friend. My father passed away around this time last year so your thoughts come at the right time for me. We grieve for their passing, but we have been so bless with their presence while they were with us…Thank you so much!!!


    • Clan,
      I so much a believe that memories are an important part of the healing process – just as you said, to realize “we have been so bless with their presence while they were with us.” Thanks for sharing your story and strength to you during this time.


  3. What a lovely tribute and it’s so lovely that you have brought her memory to life. It is always so difficult when we lose someone who has had a significant and positive influence in our lives xx


  4. She sounds like such a wonderful person……so special of you to pay tribute to her memory on the anniversary of her passing…..It’s good to stop and say “ are the butterflies up there”……May little invisible butterflies lift your heart today..:)


    • Zannyro,
      This lady was a hoot. Not as a comic funny, but her personality was genuine, but even pushy at times, which in her own way was funny! Hope you read the linked post I did a year ago. Thanks for the good thoughts!


  5. A beautiful tribute Frank. Those special people never really leave us, do they? They are a part of us and even though we miss them, we know we were blessed to have them in our lives.


    • Lame,
      Well said about the pluses and minuses about being human. Interestingly, on the one year anniversary, we just received an invitation from the family for a holiday open house. Wow … and the fact that they sent it today speaks volumes. Thanks for visiting.


    • Cuttlefish,
      A simple lady with a huge heart, a feisty side, and a sense of humor. Glad you listened to the handbells … and yes, that song is fitting … just a mix of melancholy and joy through reflection. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


  6. I didn’t know her, but having met her through your words, I think she’d forgive you this one transgression. And what better send-off than with the handbells she herself loved so much?
    An excellent tribute – I can even hear the catches in your voice. 😉 Well done, indeed.


    • John E,
      I don’t know if you recall me readily mentioning the sudden battle last year … then posting the tribute post that I linked here. Thanks for the kind words … and on this anniversary day – it’s been a good one. Plus, see my reply to Lame. Thanks again!


    • Shimon,
      Many thanks for listening … and I hope you enjoyed the beautiful song. Much can be done with handbells (and I hope to have a special post for that in the near future). Thanks for your kindness.


  7. You’re a very good friend, Frank. It must have been truly shocking to have a dear friend go into the hospital and then not return home. It’s a lovely tribute you’ve shared. She was obviously someone special, and I’m certain your care and compassion to her husband has made a huge difference for him over this year. Blessings.


  8. This is lovely Frank. So lucky to have good friends to remember in such a loving and wonderful way. Sometimes I think the generosity of our spirit in our remembrance is a reflection of how well we have chosen our friends in life. Clearly you chose well.


  9. What touched me the most is the love you’ve expressed. It feels like her physical body is not with you, but she’s in your heart. Some people shine even thought they’re not here.


  10. What a heartwarming loving tribute Frank. It’s awfully sad and hard to understand when someone who is only 56 dies so fast… I’m listening to the beautiful music as I write this… it must’ve been an amazing addition to your friend’s funeral.


    • Rosie,
      I’m still amazed that the choir got throughout without breaking down. I recall getting emotional early, and telling myself NOT NOW …PLAY. 🙂 … and it worked. Plus it is a beautiful song that was fitting for the occasion. Thanks for commenting.


  11. Pingback: On Premiering a Fantasia | A Frank Angle

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