Frannie's Blog

My photo
Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada
I look for beauty and truth in everything. It's not always there of course but I try to find it or make it happen. I love people who make me laugh.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Sister

This is my sister Lynne Deragon at the age of several months. She was born after WW II and thus was in the vanguard of the Baby Boomer generation. ( I, on the other hand, was refered to as a 'war baby', conjuring an image of tiny Maurice Sendak fighting troops.) I remember very clearly the day I first met her.

As you can see I was thrilled to have a little sister!

A few years ago Lynne and family visited us from Toronto on her significant birthday. We all watched as she opened her gifts on New Year's Eve. What was she looking at here?

She was looking down at this pouch which contained something I had spent the previous autumn creating from bits and pieces of stuff and memories.

This is what was in the pouch; an art journal celebrating her life. Details follow.

These first two sections represent the day of her birth, January 1st, symbolized by a champagne glass bubbling forth, followed by the blue bunting bag she wore home on the first day I ever saw her, riding along in the back of the taxi. I remember feeling quite disappointed that she wouldn't even open her eyes to look at me, no matter how hard I stared at her.

Ever the actress, even in school she sometimes assumed roles, arriving for class in costume, ready for recognition. She has told me of her Dutch Girl attempt, showing up in grade three wearing a Dutch cap, folding her hands on the desk and awaiting the teacher's approval. Apparently that teacher was not impressed.

However, a few years later she got her recognition and starred as Snow White. I remember sitting next to Dad in the school gym, watching her sing and dance while Dad stifled tears.

In her teens she sang folk songs in the Joan Baez tradition, playing at Montreal's Yellow Door and Toronto's Riverboat coffee houses. She had long black hair and played the autoharp.

Then she went to National Theatre School in Montreal and performed major roles in plays at Centaur Theatre and other venues. She has also done a lot of radio, t.v. and film work.( You can Google her name to find out more.)

These sections show Lynne in her longest-running roles: as daughter to Phyllis and Jack and as sister to me... well as wife to Frank and mother to Melissa and Joanna.

These final sections show Lynne, the friend to all creatures, holding her Bichon Frisee, Lillie. She has also cared for horses, dogs, (Lillie is not really a dog), cats, bunnies, canaries and even fawns.

The birthday cake depicted to the right is my idealized version of our favourite cake, butter-brickle, which Mom used to make so well.

And here is how the cake really looked when I made it. Definitely homemade, not so photogenic, but delicious nevertheless. I know she enjoyed it. So did we all!


Lynne said...

Fran, This is the most beautiful gift. The thought and creativity and time and talent and, yes...LOVE (despite your frowning photo early on)you stitched into this oeuvre touches me very deeply. I love you madly.

frannie said...

Aw shucks...tears coming. You're hugged. xxx

javajazz said...

this is so very sweet!
so wonderful that you two
share such loving closeness...
and what an incredible gift
from Frannie...!
a gorgeous labour
of love...!

frannie said...

Hi Lisa. Nice to hear from you again, always with such positive comments.

Knatolee said...

Wow, I would ditch only-childhood in a second if I could have a sister like you. What a gorgeous, meaningful gift! And my Mum's name was Phyllis too.

I wouldn't mind the cake either!

UB said...

So warm, loving and kind! It pull on my heart cords!

frannie said...

Hi Knat,
My sister & I used to scrap a lot but after it was over we were best friends again.
As for the cake, it's all about the icing, browned-butter, and the toasted almonds.

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

What a touching gift from a sister who obviously loves her. I am sure she will cherish this for years to come.

I loved the photo of the two of you.
My sister, Bonnie, and I are like that. She is one year older than me.

Your sisters face in the photo with the cake was so beautiful, it showed her creative life that you depicted in the gift. I love to see peoples lives in their faces.

frannie said...

Yes, we're a pretty creative family...not a lot of $$$ most of the time but we're rich.

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