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March 11

Dear Ed,

You know, I can’t believe it’s really been so long. It doesn’t feel like it, but then the list of things we haven’t talked about yet is definitely four years long. It’s hard to believe everything that’s happened.

First of all, you know the Red Sox won the series, right? Of course you do; we all figured you made that a priority. And you remember that yellow house, the one a few doors down? Well, we bought it, just like you said we should do if it ever came on the market. It was a nice place. We moved your prickly pear cactus there too, but there wasn’t a great spot for it so we put it by the cherry tree, since you always liked cherry trees.

And then there was my soul-sucking job — you remember the one. It’s not that it was a bad job exactly, it’s just that it was killing me, slow and sure. Things just kept getting more unhappy in Silicon Valley, you know? Your grandson had a terrible time in school and we were all just miserable. So we left! That was about two years ago. We just decided that, one way or another, we were heading back east, and I was going to do something fibery for work. So it’s Ohio, near Chad’s folks, and — of course — this house is also yellow. Yellow houses for the win, huh? I finally got that Taylor guitar. I think about you when I sit on the porch with it, playing and singing and drinking a beer.

Man, you know, my old lady Inanna cat kicked the bucket too. That was last year. She was a damn good cat. She was a lot happier here in Ohio, too — that wheezing allergy thing went away and everything. California never did agree with her. With any of us, I guess. Most of us are out, now — there’s just my sister hanging on there.

You can’t believe how big your grandkids are. Every time I talk to Quilla on the phone I realize she’s a teenager, or might as well be. And my son has bigger feet than I do now. He can mow the lawn on the riding mower — really. Every time I’m getting all motherly nervous about stuff, Chad reminds me to think about the things you taught me to do, and what would Ed say?

I wonder that a lot, you know — what would you say? I want to call you up and ask for your opinions and tell you the scoop on my life, all the time. I want to show you all my yarn projects, and still have some of those arguments with you. I ought to tell you you were right and you told me so about some of it, too. I’m teaching more, and writing stuff. In fact, you know, funny story — I got a check from Interweave a bit ago, for a Spin-Off article, and when I was looking at the stub I noticed I had a vendor ID. It said “FRANQ1002.” I guess FRANQ1001 was taken, huh? I guess I really am a chip off the old block. I like to think you’d be proud. Sometimes I can almost hear your voice saying “Attagirl!” like I was 7 or 8 and you were the age I am now.

In my mind’s eye you never got any older than that, you know, not even the day you died, four years ago today in the early afternoon on the Connecticut seashore with Canada geese coming home. We have Canada geese here in Ohio, and I think of you every time I see them. Hell, I think of you every day. And man, I wish you were still around. I still hate it that you died. I still find it darkly amusing, too, to bear in mind that it was fibrous growths in your bone marrow… you know. Fiber. In your bones. That took over your blood and did you in. “Leave it to Ed to be killed by a fiber disease,” we’ve scoffed, in morbid Franquemont fashion, joking about the inappropriate, because sometimes that’s the best course of action.

Well, Pop, it really is a load of crap. I was counting on you getting to be an old geezer, y’know? And I know; you said you were sorry. It’s not what you’d have chosen. I wouldn’t have been ready for it whenever it happened. But it seems surreal, you know? To realize time marches on, relentlessly; to know that no matter how any of us felt when you died, the world didn’t really stop. Days and weeks and months and YEARS, yes, years have passed. Like I say, I hope you’d be proud of what I’ve been doing with them. You left a few threads hanging here and there and I’ve tried to pick up a few of your dropped stitches, but you not being here is still worse than mothholes.

Love always,

Abby

P.S. If you see any of those old cats give ’em a cuddle from me. I hope it’s nice where you are, and there’s lots of great projects to work on, great bleacher seats for the important ball games, great music and all the time in the world to read whatever you feel like. We all still miss you here.

P.P.S. Yeah — I know. I said “you know” a lot. Totally subconscious, I swear, and yes, I do remember you telling me your mother broke you of that habit by saying “Yes I do know,” every time you said it. See, I was paying attention. I swear I was.

27 thoughts on “March 11

  1. What a beautiful portrait you paint with words and what a wonderful daughter your father had.

  2. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time. In fact, it’s been one of my favourite resources. You helped me choose my first spinning wheel. And then my second.

    I also met your father at a basketry conference many years ago and learned a great deal from him. The one story that sticks with me is the story of the “Drunken Basket”…

    Believe it or not, I didn’t make the connection between you two until Denny talked about being your roomate at SOAR last year. My first reaction was “Ed Franquemont is THE Abby Franquemont’s father???” and not the other way around. You’re obviously very proud of him…but I’m certain he’s proud of you too.

    Thank you for all that you share.

  3. Oh Abby, you’re making me cry. My husband’s dad was “Ed” too, although he was better known as Big E. SB misses him every day, and I see how much he hurts. I’m so sorry you’re hurting too. I know he’d be SO proud of you! *big hugs*

  4. Lovely and poignant, Abby. Thanks for that window to the soul of a loving child-parent relationship.

  5. That was beautiful Abby. My sympathies.

  6. that is a very moving tribute to your father. It made me realise I need to write something to my Dad. You do always miss them. My sympathies.

  7. Yes. He knows.

  8. girlfriend….you really do need some nuts. today, of all days. hugs.

  9. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks of things like this to discuss with their dearly departed parents.

    The irony for my mom’s passing would be that she had the biggest heart around and that it was a heart attack that took her from us.

    I sure wish I could have met your dad. If he was 1/2 the spinner (and according to the Legend of Ed he was) that you are, he would have been amazing.

    Hugs and gentle blessings to you Abby.

  10. Oh Abby, I’m in tears reading this. My mom has been gone for 22 years now, but I still remember those first 10 or so years, every time the anniversary came up it hit me in the gut like a schoolyard sock. It didn’t matter if I tried to remember or tried to forget, it was there. It’s mellowed now, I wouldn’t say gone, but definitely mellowed to a sweet sadness.

    What a beautiful letter.

  11. I lost my dad two years ago this month, and I still talk to him every day. They’re with us… both in spirit and in the women they helped us to become. Hugs.

  12. {{{{{{{{{{{{{HUG!}}}}}}}}}}}}

  13. Many people were counting on Ed to be an old geezer. He left us a lot of work to carry on. Fortunately, he left us with a terrific model of the spirit and capacity to do that work.

    You inherited not only his fiberific tendencies, Abby, but the ability to talk about them in real language.

    Thanks for sharing this with us today.

  14. Thanks for sharing your letter to your father, Abby. He sounds like he was a very good dad. My father died one year ago today so the tears from reading your letter were helpful.

    *big hugs*

  15. Every year, on Dead Dad Day, I read the guy the riot act and tell him about the grandkids (my neice and nephew that he never saw). He’d’ve been giddy. I’m so hugging you this minute Abs.

  16. A beautiful and touching letter. I wish every child could have that type of relationship with their parents.

  17. Dear Abby,

    You’ve helped me so much with my spinning, I really appreciate all you’ve done. This is an incredibly eloquent and heart-rending tribute. Take care.

  18. That was beautiful.

    *pours out a glass of beer for Ed*

  19. *hugs*

    He would be very proud of you, knowing you’re doing stuff that you really love and enjoy and understand so well.

  20. What a beautiful and moving tribute to your dad. There is clearly a fibery-gene which runs in your family!

  21. Abby: Thank you for sharing so much, your fiber, your knowledge, the glimpses into your wonderful childhood and your family. I never met your Dad, but if he as a fraction of how knowledgable and giving you are, I know he was a very special person. But remember, he is with you in so many ways: In your fiber, your memories, and in your son. Those are strong connections.

  22. So beautiful and moving. I miss my Dad too and my husband misses his Mum. We both miss being able to talk to them about the little things.

  23. tears flow down my face. my dad’s been gone over 11 years, but i still miss him more than i can ever say. you did a good job of saying it. thank you very much from a new reader who one day hopes to learn how to spin.

  24. Four years? Wow, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.

    Don’t be such a stranger.

    Sleepy

  25. I loved that Abby it brought a tear to my eye it was simply beautiful I love it! so much it is like how you would really talk to him. Thanks so much it leaves a mark that all of the Franquemont’s will honor and cherish in the years to come thank you so much!

    Love,

    Quilla =)

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