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: My 2002 Chrismas letter:

January 1, 2003

Dear Family and Friends:

Happy New Year! This letter brings love and heartfelt good wishes for you and yours. This is a picture of me with a restored 1946 Piper Cub. One of last year’s resolutions was to have more adventures, and this flight was one of them. It was wonderful to have all my children home for Christmas, and to hear from each of you as you sent your letters and cards. (Some of you sent cards to my old address; remember that I’ve been at 2501 Bank Street 93304 for two years now!) You can also email me at franny@inreach.com, or if you ever want to know what I’m doing or what I’m thinking about, check out my weblog at http://www.crummy.com/jabberwocky.

I’m living all by myself this year. For company I have my German shepherd, Gretel, who at two has not left puppyhood yet, and my old cat Jellybean, who is ten and takes her job as the household pillow denter very seriously. I also adopted a lively little black and white kitten and named her Xochitl. I spend my time in the garden and doing scrapbooks for my children, doing family history, and teaching a couple of classes at the college. I miss working very much, being lonely for both the students and my coworkers, so I try to stay busy so I don’t feel all disabled and depressed. I am in charge of activities and the newsletter at church, which keeps me hopping.. And yes, 2003 will finally be the year I finish fixing up this house!

I also traveled some this last year. All three of my children had their wisdom teeth extracted within the same twelve months, so I went to play nurse to them. I made multiple trips to Utah and San Francisco. I went to Houston for niece Kristin’s wedding. I also visited my aunt LeJeune in Washington and served as an adult leader for a week of girls’ camp with the teens from church. The big deal of the year, however, was a trip to London. We spent most of the time visiting museums, but only got to see a tiny fraction of what is there, so I’ll have to go back. A highlight of the trip was seeing the fossil archaeopteryx as well as the immortal iguanodon thumb spike at the British Museum of Natural History.

One of the reasons to visit London was to see Rachel, who spent six months on study abroad in Europe, where she shopped, learned about history, shopped, traveled, shopped, studied hard, shopped, made friends with students from other campuses of the University of California, shopped, got to perform in Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, shopped....It was a treasure to my English teacher’s heart* to see my baby playing Portia (The Merchant of Venice) on stage at the Globe. Rachel is now a junior at UCLA. (*Yes, English teachers do have hearts!)

Susanna spent winter semester doing an internship in a Romanian orphanage. It was a wonderful experience for her, and she saw a lot of Eastern Europe. She wanted to bring a lot of orphans home with her, but I wouldn’t let her. She did bring home many absolutely fascinating souvenirs and tales of wild adventures. Susie is at BYU, where she is now a senior.

Leonard is still working at Collab.Net in San Francisco and enjoys his job very much. He has a wonderful girlfriend and a promising career. He went with me to London to visit his sister over Thanksgiving, and comes highly recommended as a museum-trotting companion.

As I enter my fourteenth year of living with AIDS, I reflect upon what a good life I have had, and how blessed I have been. I have a top-notch family, beautiful children, and wonderful friends, and I’ve lived in many interesting places and done a lot of fun things. I’m especially grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the joy and fellowship I find there. Even as I find myself growing weaker, I reflect that I’ve lived fifty full and exciting years, and I know that my parents are waiting for me across the threshold to the next life. I can’t wait to tell Dad about the archaeopteryx!

Love, Frances


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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.