Letter to the Editor: A Tribute to a Friend: Francha Barnard

Baileys Harbor lost one of our own last week. You might have seen her walking around town – a little lady, in all kinds of weather, striding through a town she loved. 

Francha had her hands, thoughts, beliefs and convictions in many endeavors. You might have observed her in action at our town meetings over the years adding her voice and concerns. Oh, we can’t forget her two Ps – poetry and politics!

Francha was a patient of mine first. I can tell you she was one of my most compliant and determined patients ever in physical therapy. I admired this dynamic woman, and as I got to know her better, I became a friend. 

When we lose someone we care about, suddenly we have a tendency to play back the last time we were with them. What did I say or do? Did I waste that last precious time? Did I tell them that they mattered to me, tell them, “Thanks for being my friend”? 

The last time I saw Francha, she was dropping off the last of a batch of mushrooms she had been growing. See, we shared a love of growing mushrooms and sharing them. I’m sure that anyone who knew Francha was thinking the same thoughts about their last time.

I guess there is a lesson here for all of us. You never know when the person you know or love will walk out your door and never come back in. It’s a reminder to us all: Don’t take life for granted.

So goodbye, my friend, and “May the Force be with you.” You will be missed.

Carol Schmidt

Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin