When I was a young woman, my mom and I dreamed of running a shop together when we were ‘old ladies.’ It would be a bookstore/bakery and serve as a gathering place for the women in our small town. There’d be many varieties of plants, fresh flowers, a crochet circle, and kittens everywhere. It wouldn’t be fancy, but it would be a happy, comfortable space full of friendship and love.
It was a dream that I still hold very fondly in my heart.
My mom was my closest friend and a beautiful person. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the easiest life. She struggled with Collagen’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and depression from the time she was in her early 30’s. She lived with excruciating pain every day and was home-bound for many years. My mom was only 67 when she died, way too young.
Mama once told me that she never felt like her name suited her. She said if she could have chosen a name for herself, it would have been Francesca. She loved this name, and when she daydreamed, she became Francesca; young, healthy, confident, and adventurous.
She is still fondly remembered in our little hometown. Everyone knew her to be a kind and giving person. One of her endearing habits was to send little cards to people, and she always signed them with ‘Yours Truly’. We decided that the name of our shop would be ‘Yours Truly, Francesca’ so she could finally be the woman she’d always felt she was in her heart and mind.
Remember back with me to the 1970’s…. when Carol Burnett had her weekly variety show. Our whole family had the best time watching this program. Even years later Mama and I enjoyed spending time together watching the reruns. At the end of every episode, Ms. Burnett would tug her earlobe as a sign to her grandmother that all was well and that she loved her. My mom loved this: she felt it was such a loving way to pay tribute; although made as a public display, still sending a private message. And so signing my posts as ‘Yours Truly, Francesca’ is my version of tugging my earlobe and paying tribute to my mama.
I don’t have the kind of shop we envisioned we’d share, but this online space of Sisterhood of the Crone is still a special place for women to meet, read, share, and connect with friends, just like we imagined.