Monday, January 6, 2014

memorial piece written by Robert F. Winne for Fran Garlock

© from a page written in Robert F. Winne's handwriting

I found this memorial piece written in note form (with some cross-outs and revisions) in Robert F. Winne's notes. It is about his sister's husband's mother, Fran Garlock. Fran Garlock lived in Brockport, NY, where Robert (my father) grew up. This piece is in his own words (and probably addressed to his sister's husband, Fletcher Garlock):

I am writing to express a feeling of shared sadness that your mother is gone. Fran was a lady so much alive and alert, it is hard to adjust to the reality that she is no longer with us. Her continuing presence and spirit has come to mind many times in recent days, as well as some impressions of her character that I thought I might set down here.

Some things I will always remember about Fran:

Her sheer pluck in successfully managing her complex one woman enterprise, and doing it with high humor and vigor.

Her wry wit that demolished pomposities wherever she found them.

Her no-nonsense view of the world, and our lives in it. She was no theorist about life; rather, her wisdom came out of a keen observation of every day realities. This clarity of perception that included people and critters, fruit tress and soil was something I found beautiful to behold.

Her choice was to preserve, what might be called, the 'Herriott image' of a gracious country life, a life I often felt had been somehow preordained for her. The sense of fit between person and way-of-life seemed perfect. I was always awed by how completely and elegantly she carried it off.

Her experience at nurturing all these living things gave her some pretty basic understandings about the nature of life. We humans often get so caught up with our uniqueness as a species and with our delicate temperaments that we get cut off from our primal natures, with what John Updike has called "... a sense of what lies beyond history's edge -- our daily, animal lives persisting in their chronic cycles."

This is to send much love and support, and hope that all the offspring will cherish the memory of such a fine lady.

more of my father's lovely every-day handwriting (notes are about Fran Garlock) 

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