Health & Family

Notes from mom arrived every day during college

Kathleen Frandano Franek

Kathleen Franek and her mother, Bobbie Frandano, who died in 2014.
Kathleen Franek and her mother, Bobbie Frandano, who died in 2014. --Courtesy of Kathleen Franek

I have more articles of mail from my mother, Bobbie Frandano, than I can ever count. I graduated from Charlotte Catholic in 1990 and from UNC Chapel Hill in 1994. She died in August 2014, and as I shared in my eulogy, I don’t think there was ever a day I didn’t get mail from her when I was in college. From my three years in Alderman dorm to one year in an apartment on Airport Road, there was always a card, note, letter or postcard waiting. I joked that we would all be set for life if only she and Dad had bought stock in Blue Mountain Arts and/or Shoebox Greetings cards.

I have relished looking back over those notes, sharing the mundane details of our lives despite talking nearly every evening on the phone.

I would update her on my social life, about a weekend in Charleston for a fraternity formal, making campaign posters when I ran for President of my dorm, even the pain in a tooth. She would tell me about the new priest at church, the funny things the family dog did, as well as send me the occasional Charlotte Observer article about our fabulous Tar Heel basketball team.

One thing I will always cherish is how she addressed every single piece of mail to me, through my four years in college. She wrote my name out formally – “Miss Kathleen Frandano.” Then she added a tiny capital “I” in front, so that it read “I Miss Kathleen Frandano.”

That constant influx of mail was Mom’s way of saying that I was never far from her thoughts and always close to her heart. Now it is I who miss her. I was blessed to have her as my mom and best friend.

Kathleen Frandano Franek, 44, lives in Waxhaw with her husband of 22 years and their two children, Rachel, 18, and Adam,13. She is a marketing specialist for East Coast Mortgage Lending.