around the frame dec 2014 – our experiences

Dear Frances,

I know where my Christmas decorations are. My family did a good job of moving me. I’m just in no hurry to put them up. I will be alone.

It’s a good thing I have memories of Christmas in the past with my mother and grandmother. And later when my girls were young. Better times.

You said, “…finding a new way of life requires time and prayers.” You are right. Some things I wanted seem to just happen. But, not everything.

I had thought I would be with family for the holidays. It didn’t quite happen. Plans changed at the last minute for Thanksgiving. My daughter, Anita, and I got together, but we didn’t have a car. Relying on others for transportation, plans got rushed and squeezed. We had little feeling of togetherness.

Now my brother, who takes me everywhere, and his wife who’s become my friend, are going to Florida for Christmas.

I couldn’t go with them even if they asked. I have to work the days before and the days after Christmas.

Suddenly, I feel like I am waiting again, waiting for my new life to be “right.” Many outcomes of my new life I didn’t expect. But, I still believe in miracles. I wait and pray.

Love and prayers,


LindaSue (See also, How I Met Frances, p.8 ) “I keep praying for direction. God will show me the way.”



I’ve got to say that I feel for you when you talk about missing friends and family when splitting your time between Florida and Michigan-Indiana. Having moved as often as I have (I am up to … three Canadian provinces, fifteen or so towns, and twenty-five to thirty different ‘homes.’) I know what it’s like to have to deal with distance from people you care about.

Luckily, that sort of thing doesn’t really matter with good friends. You can always pick up where you left off.

Anyway, I have to pack for the weekend. Dan and I are heading up to Belleville to see

my mother and help get a few more things moved for her.

Hope you and JK are well.


Lynn : )

Lynn (Nov. ‘14) adds, “Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend, we got the last load of stuff out of Mom’s apartment and she’s finally moved into a ‘home’. Ironically, after years of swearing she’d never go, and all the trauma of the move, she’s happier than she’s been in probably 20 years, and enjoying making new friends. What a great holiday gift!”


Dear Frances,

I finished the last official day at my previous job yesterday. Now, I am very pensive.

Just as I was ending my old job I had to appear for jury duty!

OLG (my new employer) did not want me to postpone. They were concerned I might be recalled when Religious Education registration started.

Thank goodness, I was released from the jury duty before the end of the day. But, I still missed five hours at the old position and so I have to go back to finish up there. I’m hoping an hour will do it.

Time will tell.



Georgene (Nov. 14) adds, “I am excited about my new position. It starts tomorrow. I am probably foolish for not taking a break between jobs, but I want to keep busy.”


Dear St. Frances!

Sometimes I feel I’m going nuts. Then, when I’m with other women, the feeling boils down to a living-with-a-man thing and I don’t feel so sorry for myself.

I remind myself the hubs works, pays bills, borrows money from the bank, pays it back. He also makes sure we have wood to burn and checks the fuel oil tank. But, it would be so great to have a hubs that does the jury-rigging (fixing things the way I want them). I’m talking about things like building shelves, chix coops, pens, and a wood shed.

I can design what I need, but someone else has to put it together. If I hire it out, that costs money.

Okay, enough complaining.

You have a great day and I will catch you later!


Malaina ( Dec. ‘14) adds, “Some parts of life I just have to dream.”


Hello, Frances:

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. My brother-in-law’s death is affecting his children more than other family members. But, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and we weren’t close.

I worried about how Bill would evolve with it, but he is okay. I encouraged him to visit the minister at his church and he did that. It helped a great deal. The minister is a kind and compassionate man and I like him. Whatever they discussed, it helped Bill tremendously.

I’ve detached from the situation for the most part, although I am grasping to understand bipolar disorder. I’ve decided that mental illness’s effect on the person and family is very much like alcohol: cunning, baffling, and powerful.

Having grown up with an older schizophrenic brother, I know how much havoc, stress, sadness, anger, and spent energy is involved. Bill’s brother was seeing a psychologist and was taking his meds, but that didn’t prevent the outcome.

At the post funeral lunch, my sister-in-law was literally bawling into my ear, hugging me and saying, “I never meant for this to happen!”

I believe that she had a strained relationship with her brother. I felt for her. The problems and dramas of the mentally ill person require so much energy that siblings can get lost in the shuffle and/or become unwilling actors. I did.

I’m going to sign off for now. I need to get about the day.

Love you my friend,


Linda Rosenthal (Nov. ‘14) says, “We’re awful busy with work, too. It’s been a great year financially. That said, there hasn’t been much time for play.”

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