A while back I mentioned my Patron Saint of Animals, St. Francy.
Now I’d like to honor her by telling you about my friend, Nancy A. Smith, who recently and suddenly passed away.
NANCY A SMITH, ATTORNEY AT LAW
I met Nancy when I needed to incorporate my fledgling business several years ago. One of my peers (I cannot remember who) told me that Nancy was a real ‘go-getter’ who had just hung her own shingle and needed work.
She sounded perfect so we met for a drink… and 5 hours later we were on the road to a beautiful friendship.
Nancy was my 6′ tall Amazonian powerhouse girlfriend who loved animals as much as I did, had a shock of curly red hair and had a booming presence that would make people stand and take notice.
I was her crazy little producer friend who owned an art gallery and had horses and stuff…
We were like Mutt and Jeff. Oddballs but two of a kind.
A TRUE FRIEND
Not only was Nancy my buddy, but she would get me out of business tangles and make sure all my business dealings were good. She was a real champion for the underdog – literally.
She rescued as many animals as possible.
One of her dogs, Lilli, came to her after a neighbor let her run loose and was subsequently hit by a car in front of Nancy’s house. The neighbor wasn’t interested in fixing the puppy so Nancy scooped her up and brought her in for emergency surgery.
That’s who she was. She took care of those that needed her.
I also admired Nancy because she loved her folks and family so much… and I admired that she had remained Catholic, even though it wasn’t popular at the time. I admired that she purchased her childhood home so that her parents could still live there after they had retired.
And, she could sing.
B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L voice. Like an angel.
Nancy was with me when we heard that Princess Di had been killed. One of those events in life that remains with you.
AND THEN I MOVED AWAY…
I moved to Northern California so we couldn’t meet for drinks or visit each others’ houses and animals…
But, luckily for me, Nancy appeared almost daily when she replied to my donkey, Norma Jean, on Norma’s FB page. Yup, almost everyday, there was a comment from Nancy. I loved that! We kept in touch through the voice of my donkey. It was fun and funny. She made me smile with her advice to my donk. I’d make her smile back with Norma’s replies.
Until Nancy quit writing comments to Norma Jean – abruptly.
I couldn’t figure out what was wrong… I emailed Nancy quite a few times with no response. I checked her FB page. Nothing.
Lots of friends on her FB page were asking after her. Even Nancy’s birthday came and went without any acknowledgement of all the well wishes.
So, I emailed two of her siblings.
That was when I got the news that she was very, very ill.
And then, in just a matter of days, she was gone.
I haven’t had many friends of mine pass away.
The fact that I wasn’t able to speak with Nancy or visit her before she left, haunted me a bit… But then I started feeling her around me. Kinda just hanging out when I was watching TV or in the barn with Tess.
I felt as if she was around and it was really, really comforting.
So, I took to talking to Nancy. You could call it ‘praying’ but I was just chatting with her…
…until that day in the barn when I became enraged and frustrated and mad and demanded that I get a little help with Mama Tess. I begged Nancy to help me with Tess. I begged her. I wept. I was adamant that this mare would not pass from this founder – not on my watch. I offered a deal. And, like I always did in life, I asked Nancy to make sure this business deal was handled.
And, totally honestly, I think that night was when Tess made a decision, too. She watched me rant and rave with big eyes. And after that day, MT has fought even harder, laid down less and become more solid in her own conviction that she was going to be OK.
So two weeks ago, when I got the horrible news that Tess had a bone infection which would be her demise unless surgery could be performed (that I couldn’t afford), I again went to Nancy.
This time, I perused her FB page which her family has kept active. I looked over her posts and read them in her voice… and after a while, I wrote to her.
This time I was praying.
I told her that I had no idea how this surgery was going to happen, but I was giving control to her because I had done everything I could think of to do.
I told her that I was now going to deem her “St. Francy” for all of the good work she had done for animals during her lifetime. And, for all the continued good work she was doing on the other side.
Then, I asked her to use her big voice and clear the way for Tess’ surgery…
And the next day, Tess’ surgery was granted on a very generous (Thank you, Langdon) payment plan.
St. Francy came to the rescue!
She handled it, just like she always had.
And I bet, if you wanted to add her to your circle, that flaming red hair and booming voice might just clear the way to answer your prayers for your beloved pet…
Wow. Tough story to write. She will be with you and all the critters who need her…in the best way her spirit can. Peace to her…and you, her friend.
Thank you for an awesome start to m day. I love stories of the fearless! Redheaded at that. This story, Dawn, got the tears bubbling bt they are from appreciation and a very heartfelt aknowledgement that this Nancy A Smith (with the ordinary name) was a real saint. She is indeed looking in on you, her dear friend, as are all who are passed and those who are still here, checking in from afar. I remember your story of the night you broke through. YOur story allowed us a glimpse into your personal battle and liberated me too (and I am sure many others) from the fear we felt for you and Tess, replacing it with powerful faith. Your bold grip on hope now goes before us like a banner and now we know who St Franny is. I’m more inspired and comforted knowing she is with you and your precious Tess.
This is such a lovely story! Am writing thru tears and I know the feeling lately of trying to keep a horse alive. I can just see you in the barn, bargaining and yelling and pleading. Sometimes I wonder why you fight so hard, but am beginning to understand the more I read your stuff.
Go Dawn and Go Tess!
Such a beautiful post…in memory of your good friend, Nancy, “Saint Francy.” Lovely, humorous, spiritual. I too have lost such a friend. And I also feel her with me. Blessings. I cannot say R.I.P. to Nancy, for she is ever busy over the Bridge. And this is certainty where she is, with her animals, over the Rainbow Bridge. Love. <3