My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #610: Memories of My Dear Friend

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-11-2012 12:17 PM 1602 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 609: A Bit of a Roller Coaster Ride Part 610 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 611: Wrapping Things Up »

I’ve come to the conclusion that if I didn’t write about yesterday, there wouldn’t be a blog entry today at all. It was such an emotional day for me, that it encompassed me and nothing else was really important. I realize it is somewhat off topic, but when I began writing here I warned you all that there would be days like that for me. After all, I am human and as humans we are driven by our emotions more than anything else.

Yesterday was the memorial service for my dear friend Fran, who passed away earlier this week. I have known Fran ever since I came to Nova Scotia nearly eight years ago to the day. On my first visit here, I had met her and the rest of the girls who met at her place every Tuesday to paint. Since I am also a painter and had some things published, they invited me into their group and treated me like ‘one of them’ from the moment I met them. In fact, all the girls were a big part of my decision to come here to Canada to live. They were so friendly and welcoming, that I knew that I would be going to a place where I could be happy.

For five years, every Tuesday was spent at Frannies with the girls. We took a couple of months off in the summer, as it was too hot to be in her second floor studio, and the kids were out of school and the busy summer months were full, but come fall, we eagerly reassembled and once again fell into our routine of talking, laughing and creating. When I moved here to Meteghan three years ago, I wound up having to leave the group, as that was when I put my car in a ditch and figured out it was too difficult for me to travel to Bear River, which was nearly an hours’ drive from where I now lived. It seemed that our group was breaking up anyway, for no other reason other than life getting busy for all of us.

Yesterdays’ memorial service was held at the Bear River Legion. I had never attended a service such as that and there were many, many people there. I thought that I was holding things together pretty well until I got there and saw all the girls again. Seeing everyone together, as well as being in Bear River itself brought back a flood of memories and emotions to the surface that were buried deep inside. There was a wonderful picture board of Fran in many different stages of her full and wonderful life, from a young girl until her role as a teacher and grandma. There were several pictures on the board of our group, and the days up in her studio.

The memorial consisted of some words by the minister, and then friends were invited to speak and reminisce about their favorite memories of Fran, and we found ourselves laughing through our tears. There were so many stories and memories. It was sad and wonderful at the same time. By being together, we not only mourned the loss of our dear friend, but celebrated her wonderful contribution to all of our lives.

I spent the day and evening thinking about those Tuesdays. What a wonderful chapter that is in my life. Those girls are more than friends, we are all family.

There were eight or nine of us ‘regulars’, with others drifting in when they could on their lunch hour, or on the way to Digby or wherever – just to drink in the atmosphere for an hour or so and have a cup of coffee with us. We always had food there, and it got to the point that we had to set up a table in the adjacent room for our snacks, as the table got so full that there was no room for out painting supplies! The coffee pot was always full and flowing and every week was a celebration of friendship and creativity.

We all counseled each other on children, family and relationships, and wiped tears from sorrow as well as tears from laughter. We kidded and told stories of our families, children and maybe even gossiped a little bit from time to time. We all adopted the phrase “nothing leaves Frannies” as a pact that we were free to speak our minds. And that we did. :)

In all the years that I have known the girls, I have never once heard a negative or cross word spoken between us. We were like sisters in every sense of the word and if one of us was in need, the others were always there to get them through whatever they were experiencing. I don’t know what I would have done without them in my own difficult times, as they were there for me through some of the hardest things that I have had to encounter. More than once I sat with Fran and talked through the night, as she always had a spare bed and an open heart.

I found some pictures from eight years ago. This was the day I first met Fran and the girls at Fran’s place.

This is Angie and her daughter Nicki:

This is Bev. She sat right by Fran and we laughed because Fran would playfully bop Bev on the head when she “misbehaved”, or even when someone else did because Bev was the closest to her.

This is Brenda. Brenda was good enough to drive me to Frans’ in the winter months when my Mustang couldn’t handle the snow.

Nicki was the quiet one (although you could get her going, too!) She probably got more work done than any of us!

And here is Fran and I. It is a bit blurry, but the only decent picture I have of us:

I am grateful for this wonderful chapter in my life. While my heart is heavy for the loss of my friend, I am so glad that I have my memories of the many days we spent together. It was a privilege to know such a wonderful and talented person (Fran was an incredible painter) and I am very happy to be a part of such a wonderful group.

Thanks for letting me share my memories with you all today.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

17 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3062 days

#1 posted 02-11-2012 12:19 PM

Its good to take time to remember.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View flskipper's profile


24 posts in 3721 days

#2 posted 02-11-2012 12:33 PM

Beautiful memories can never be replaced. Thanks for sharing

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2830 days

#3 posted 02-11-2012 01:49 PM

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Just remember all the good times, and celebrate her life. It’s ruff tho, I know

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View patron's profile


13607 posts in 3367 days

#4 posted 02-11-2012 02:40 PM

“nothing leaves Frannies”

bless you ladies

this says it all

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3458 days

#5 posted 02-11-2012 03:08 PM

I am so sorry about your friend Frannie.
You have focused on the wonderful times… they will sustain you now and in the future.
Enjoy those memories….

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View KnotCurser's profile


2025 posts in 3094 days

#6 posted 02-11-2012 03:15 PM


I am very sorry about your loss. It’s been less than a month where you said the same to me over the loss of my Father. I really valued the closeness of friends during that time – now is the time to gather them all closely and remember the best times you all spent with Frannie.

Be Well,


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2868 days

#7 posted 02-11-2012 03:41 PM

I remember you mentioning her in a blog or two in the past. I’m sorry for your loss. I will keep you and her family in my prayers.


View William's profile


9949 posts in 2868 days

#8 posted 02-11-2012 03:42 PM

Also, congratulations to yourself for having the strength to post at all with the loss of such a dear friend. Fran, I would think, would have wanted it that way.


View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10123 posts in 4078 days

#9 posted 02-11-2012 04:58 PM

I’m sorry for your loss of Fran… she looks like a wonderful happy lady… it’s nice that she was able to share her life with you. & vice versa.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2914 days

#10 posted 02-11-2012 06:25 PM

Hi Sheila.

My dear friend, your picture of Fran looks like someone who took life by the horns and lived every moment, be it good or ill, without complaint. I doubt she would want you to be sad at her passing. Rather, wouldn’t she tell you to get the girls together, put on the coffee, put out some “goodies” and remember the good times together. Do like you did at her place; chat, paint, and enjoy each others company. She’s not really gone as long as she is remembered with love. Your post makes it clear she will be with you for many years to come.

I measure the wealth of a person not by their bank accounts, but by the number of friends they have. You, Sheila dear, are rich beyond the dreams of King Midas. The friends you have around you are like money in your pocket. The ones like Fran who have gone on to their reward are like a savings bond. You may not be able to touch them now, but when your time comes, you get to “cash in” those ‘bonds’ and see them again.

Just don’t be in too much of a hurry, okay? We’d miss you here every bit as much as you do Fran.

You have an IOU from me for one large hug, payable upon demand. All you need to do is come out here and pick it up. Until then, here’s a remote control one. HUG!

Your friend in Winnipeg,


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2914 days

#11 posted 02-11-2012 06:30 PM


About posting here: remember my dad’s words, “a burden shared is half a burden, a joy shared is twice a joy.”

Thank you for sharing both the burden of your loss and the joy of your memories of your friend.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3329 days

#12 posted 02-11-2012 07:30 PM

what a wonderful chapter in your life, im so glad you all have each other and fran was such a dear friend to you, so glad you got to have all of there friendships…thanks for sharing this…you know my heart goes out to you…and thanks for the call the other day, your as wonderful and special friend to me to, you know that….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3141 days

#13 posted 02-11-2012 10:04 PM

I´m not a good speaker less a good writer but I can say and will say
thank you for sharing it with us Sheila

best thoughts

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3530 days

#14 posted 02-11-2012 11:07 PM

So sorry to hear about your loss Sheila. It is tough to go thru but at you have all of the memories of her. She will live forever in your heart and mind.

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#15 posted 02-11-2012 11:20 PM

Thank you all so very much for being my friends and expressing your warm thoughts. It is a comfort to know that she is not hurting anymore and while she will be missed, everything she taught us and all the joy that she brought to others will always be held dear in our hearts. It is also a comfort to me to know that I have all of you as friends. Even though we are spread all over the world, we are a wonderful and close group. I truly appreciate each of you and your kindness. :) (((HUGS))))


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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