Thursday, June 23, 2011

The reason we wore red, and found a reason to smile...on the Summer Solstice of 2011.

Mary Frances, wearing a splash of red, on her 90th birthday.
This past Tuesday, June 21st, was the day of the Summer Solstice. In the northern hemisphere, it is the longest day, the day of more life-giving light than any other time of the year.

It was also the day that my mother passed away.

Mary Frances, was an extraordinary woman whose life reflected gentleness, generosity, and remarkable strength. The warmth of her ever-present smile and the sparkle in her eyes was her trademark. Although she had not been well for some time, I believe that she chose her day, of that I am sure. When she took her last breath, surrounded and embraced by the love of a close friend, we were 7000 kilometres away, on the other side of the world. My mum never wanted to be a bother, to anyone. She never was. The fact is, it was always a privilege to be in her presence. We had spent a part of most days with my mum for many years - because we wanted to - but at the moment of her transition from this world to the next, we were not there.

It was just like her. Rather than have us around fussing, it would have been her wish that we be somewhere else - preferably outside, somewhere beautiful, breathing fresh and pristine air, being thankful for life...with all its challenges, valleys, and peaks.

When we received the news, there were tears, even though she had lived a full life of 93 years - with a good many outstanding outdoor adventures of her own with my dad! We needed to do, therefore, what she would expect us to do. We hiked back up into the solitude of the Scottish glens. It was there, in the midst of the pouring rain, the wind, and the swirling mist that we felt her spirit embrace us with warmth and love - and that brought a smile to our faces, in the midst of the sadness we felt. We knew, as clearly did she, that this was where she would expect us to be.

Back up in the heather in Angus, Scotland,
Summer Solstice 2011...with a "splash" of red. 
As for the "red". I can't tell you how many times my dear mum would tell me that if I wanted photographs to amount to anything at all, someone should wear some red. :) Well, I figure she's probably right.

Your spirit of generosity and love will remain with us forever, mum.

And we know that the adventure, peace, and happiness, now and always. As a special friend said, "She flies on."

With deepest affection for a special mother,

Duncan and Joan.


  1. Rest in peace.

    Thoughts are with you and your family.

  2. She was a special lady and you all shared such wonderful love and care for each other. We shall miss her even though she is really still wtih us.

  3. Lee, L, and Giovanni, thank you my friends. Duncan.

  4. Hugs, prayers and Angels, Duncan and Joan - Sheila

  5. We thank you for the feelings you share and the awe of your thoughts. Our sympathy to you Duncan, Joan and Jeff.
    Kerry & Ruth

  6. Sheila, Kerry, and Ruth...bless you for your kindnesses. Duncan.

  7. Your blog is beautiful Duncan. The picture of your mother is wonderful. Safe travels to you both in Scotland! Your mom would love the idea that you are there.

  8. Thank you so much, Jen. I'm glad you found us and you're so right, she would. Warmest wishes to you all. Duncan.

  9. Dear Duncan and Joan,
    I am writing with deepest sympathy in regards to the passing of your Mother . Francis was a wonderful inspiration to so many.
    Take care,
    Roxanne smith

  10. Thank you so much for that, Roxanne. It was wonderful to see you at the airport in the Spring. Bless you. D & J