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April 16, 2012 / Zoe

Auntie Francie

My Auntie Francie wasn’t my Aunt. Not even close to my Aunt, she was my Great-Step-Grandma, but considering she’d held that position for around 70 years I think it’s fair to say that the ‘step’ is not a consideration. She asked to be called Auntie Francie when my Mum was born, rather than Grandma, because Grandma made her feel old. I think she was only in her 40’s at that stage, so I guess she had reason to feel that way, but the name stuck even as the great-grandchildren came into the picture.

My Grandad’s mother died when he was 10, after having a great big pile of children (7, I think!). Auntie Francie came into the picture quite soon after that, and took over the care of the children left at home. She had one son of her own, but I guess, what with all her step-children, that was enough for her. She lived just behind my Grandparent’s home, in a little house which I remember fondly for its phone with great big numbers, and bottles of soft drink next to the fridge.

She had a degenerative eye disease, and she could never see in my lifetime. When I was a kid she could still make out shadows, so when she came over to our house we would stand in front of a big window so she could see how big we were getting. She also had vivid memories of the places she went when she could see, memories that never faded like her sight did.

One of my middle names is Frances, chosen for my mother’s beloved ‘Aunt.’ I have always felt a strong bond with her, my dear namesake. It’s a special little link that will make me connected to her forever.

Auntie Francie passed away this weekend. She was in her late 90’s, having lived a rich and wonderful life, despite the loss of her eyesight. She will be missed by many children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.




Leave a Comment
  1. houseofhumble / Apr 18 2012 5:18 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss Zoe. No matter how old or sick someone is, it is never easy saying goodbye. It sounds like Francie was an amazing woman. Much love to you xo

  2. waterlilies84 / Apr 17 2012 2:21 am

    I’m sorry for your loss. I pray your happy memories carry you through this time. She sounds like a remarkable woman.

    Lily-Thinking Thoughts

    • Zoe / Apr 17 2012 9:50 am

      Thank you Lily. It’s always hard when someone leaves us, even when they’re nearing 100 years old. xo

  3. Annika (@Live_Long_Day) / Apr 17 2012 1:06 am

    I’m sorry for your loss, Zoe! xox

    • Zoe / Apr 17 2012 9:49 am

      Thank you Annika! xo

  4. Lesley Anne Wright / Apr 16 2012 11:48 pm

    I’m sure she was very proud of her family, “step” or not, and I know she must have adored you just like I do.

    • Zoe / Apr 17 2012 9:49 am

      Thanks Lesley, that’s lovely. xo

  5. Max-Gratitude / Apr 16 2012 9:15 pm

    Hi Zoe,
    Just wanted to say thanks for writing this post. It’s beautiful.

    • Zoe / Apr 17 2012 9:49 am

      Thank you Zoe. xo

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