About Storybook Memories
(Introduction added September, 2023)
Mom lived a fairy-tale, storybook life filled with abundant, glorious memories. In the last few years of her life, mom’s memory began to fail badly. At the onset, she would say, frequently, “Dear God, please don’t take my mind.”
But He did and I was there to witness it, hour after hour, day after day, year after year.
I railed against losing that part of my mother. I did everything I could to keep her memories alive. I knew every story from her life by heart and I repeated them to her over and over again.
I would never let her forget how beautiful she was, how intelligent, how generous, how kind. Mom was very creative with writing, crafts, cooking, entertaining. I collected her creative output here on this website, to display back to her and also as printed pages in a binder we called “Frances’ Storybook Memories.”
For most of 2019-2020, this website and the printed binder was used by Ned and caregivers to display mom’s photos, videos, stories and poems to her.
Collection of Poetry by Frances
Frances wrote simple, positive poetry about her experiences and philosophies. This page lists, by title, all her poems posted to this website.More ...
Frances wrote a series of poems about her experiences and philosophies. This article presents all her poems on one, long page for easy scrolling through the entire collection.More ...
On Mother’s Day, 2016, Ned’s mom reads a poem she wrote to her own mother.More ...
Handiwork by Frances
Over the years (decades) Frances has knit over a hundred sweaters for family and friends (and herself). Mom made over a dozen just for me. I brought some out today to show mom and photograph them for display.
Over the years (decades) Frances has crocheted numerous items for her home, to give as gifts and to sell. These last few years, she hasn’t been able to do much. Rummaging through her closets and drawers, we found these items, made in years gone by, but possibly not photographed until now.
Video of a Christmastime table setting, with red tablecloth (made by mom), two crocheted trivets, a square crocheted doily under a porcelain Christmas carousel music box.
Mom has crocheted numerous items for her own home, to give as special gifts and to sell at her annual senior boutique. Here are some of her favorite pieces photographed in 2012.
Mom was proud of her prodigious crochet production, making dozens of doilies in just a few months. Today she spread them out on the bed to admire her work and asked me to photograph them.
Frances crochets dollies and table runners, knits sweaters, scarves, caps and afghans all year long for sale at the annual Autumn Leaves boutique to raise money for seniors.
Recognition for Frances
Article from the Slobodna Dalmacija Croatian language news magazine about Frances, Žuva and Frank together again (for the first time in 69 years) in the home where they were born in the village of Lumbarda on the island of Korčula in the Adriatic Sea.
The “Young Ladies Institute,” a Catholic Women’s auxiliary for St. Sebastian’s Church selected Frances as their “Woman of the Year” for 2006. There was a Catholic Mass and reception in celebration on October 21, 2006.
Honor certificate awarded to Frances "by the King and Queen of Yugoslavia" upon her completion of seventh grade. Mom tells the story in a short audio clip.
Mom’s Italian biscotti cookies were legendary. She made many batches over the decades and gave many packages of them away as gifts. This post contains the recipe mom used as well as photos from her biscotti baking, August 2011.