Delly's Letter - Franny & Me

We had a very special relationship, My "little mommy" is how I remember her those first few years. With unconditional love, a smile, plenty of kisses, a few firm words and an armload of sympathy and understanding (lifelong characteristics). Fran always loved me, supported me, championed me and flattered me with her unwavering faith and support. Fran played a pivotal role in defining the woman I am and the child I was.

Franny always wanted to do the right, honest and true thing; so I didn't. Fran found comfort in traditions, so I rebelled against them. Fran loved the familiarity of the oldies, so I craved all things new and untested. Fran also cared about the happiness of every person in her wide circle. She took on the responsibility of making everyone's life a little better.

My memories of Franny include; her chubby little face, at 3 or 4 years, explaining how to jump my crib across the room so that our beds could touch. At 5 she began to insist on holding hands for our group safety - especially when Karen joined our exclusive group. When Fran was 6, we fought about who would get to be the "mommy" of the new little Lisa. When she was old enough, we all held hands together. Our private little string of 4 sisters, with our birth date and birth order carving out our places and personalities.

The visual memories are many. In junior high she bought a used khaki shirt - a real WWII relic, had all her favorite friends autograph it and proceeded to wear it every day for about a year- without washing it, because the comments were too sentimental to risk loosing in the wash.

I picture her laughing and flushed, her shoulders vibrating, always truly amused by me. Then I remember her eyes all warm and soft, like melted- chocolate, filled with care, in loving support and bleeding empathy for all my drama.

We traveled via public transit as teens and we pretended to speak a foreign language. She loved this game and actually pursued the language later. On her 16th birthday, I hosted her first (and maybe only) surprise party. With no more than a handful or two of attendees, and few gifts, she was delighted and overjoyed - and spoke of how touched she was, for many years.

Before fax and email, we had telex. When she moved to Israel in '73, we communicated via telex, sometimes daily - to share news and gossip and support. When she returned a year or so later, I believe family unity was her goal and it was a success. Her efforts and her return brought me back into the family.

A few years later, when she had lost so much weight that she was simply unrecognizable as she stepped off the plane, I remember our eyes meeting and the immediate connection we both felt in knowing and truly loving eachother. At that time, for the first time ever, we were mistaken for eachother. What a blast.

Fran taught me how to diaper a baby; on Melody and not a moment too soon. Something special was between my Franny and my Melody. Melody was the daughter Fran didn't have, and Fran was simply Ema to Melody. Never a threat, always just giving of time, presents, unconditional, unwavering love and support to me and mine. Especially during the trying times.

We shared a room for fifteen years. We also shared our sense of humour, our past, our hurts, our weaknesses, our laughter and our joy. Someday I will come to terms with not being able to share our future. In the meantime, I will miss her always, during special holidays, family celebrations, her birthday, mother's day, on all days.

She was my older sister and I do not remember my life without her.