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Losing a cousin

Posted Thursday, August 23, 2012, at 10:15 PM

Carol Marie French, 59, died Friday, Aug. 3.

She'd battled cancer for years, but Carol Marie (this was always what we called her. I suppose it was because she also had an aunt named Carol.) finally succumbed.

Carol Marie was a special education teacher and a role model for many. She seemed to always be organizing things. We didn't spend a lot of time together, so there's a lot I don't know about Carol Marie. But I know she had passion about others, especially family. My grandmother was a quilter who made each of her grandchildren (there are 27 of us!) mostly hand-pieced quilts with Sunbonnet Sue and Sunbonnet Sam.

For Grandma's birthday (not sure which one)some of us decided to make a quilt for Grandma. It would be a friendship quilt. Each cousin would provide one quilt block.(Easy, rignt? Insert maniacal, shoulda-known-better laugh here)

Carol Marie agreed to put it together -- she ended up doing plenty of the work herself, including some of the blocks.

She made it happen, because of love. Not just for Grandma, but for all her brothers and sisters and cousins.

Those are the kinds of things I remember about Carol Marie. Now that she's gone, I still have a couple of things to say.

Dear Carol Marie,

It's Lynn Ann,(another family naming thing)

You know, the little, always quirky, sometimes silly, often quiet city cousin.

I want you to know that I admired you and I always thought it was cool that you became a special education teacher.

So in honor of you, I'm going to take better care of myself.

I'm going to get in better shape. I'm going to get that mammogram I've been putting off for a year and a half.

And I'm going to tell people I love that I love them more often.

And I'm going to do some of those things I've always meant to do, but never seemed to have the time or money.

In loving memory,


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Lynn Wade
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