I've known Fran for over 25 years. She was "my other mom."
When I met her, I was in a very unhappy marriage. She lifted me up....dusted me off...and loved me unconditionally. I could do no wrong.
She was my safe port in a storm.
She was my mentor.
She showed me that one could be happy in the face of adversity. She knew....
She lost most of her sight when she was just a little girl. The circumstance surrounding this loss don't really matter. What matters is how she managed the rest of her life as someone who would be deemed, eventually, legally blind.
She learned Braille. She sewed her own clothes...with only her worn clothes as a pattern...and she sewed them by hand. She tells me that she even drove!!
She was artistic.
Eventually she would receive a Cornea transplant which allowed her to see fairly well for a few years. She was so grateful....
She came by her artistic talent honestly. Her dad was Frank Hollister who created the Stained Glass windows on the Peace Tower in Ottawa. One of my fondest memories was our trip to Ottawa where she was escorted to see these magnificent works of art. I am not sure what she saw as she would never want to disappoint anyone by saying she saw little....but I know her eyesight was fading.
Her house was a safe haven for everyone... Why? Because she loved everyone unconditionally.
When the world was turned upside down, Frances became a Bahai. She knew that the world needed a healing balm, and the Faith was the path towards peace. The Oneness of Mankind....the elimination of prejudice of all kinds....the essential harmony of science and religion....the equality of men an women...the common foundation of all religions....the acknowledgment and respect of the station of Christ....these were the principles of the Baha'i Faith that she taught all of us....and she taught us so much more.
She was ever grateful....for all things.
She did not fear death. She looked upon it as merely a step into another journey...another adventure...
I believe that she will be reunited with her beloved Cameron.
Rest peacefully, my friend. You have earned your wings.