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Jackie in 1995.


Volunteer and Girl Scout Leader

      Jacqueline Rogers Franklin, 68, a Washington area resident since 1948 who had been active in Girl Scouting and volunteer groups, died July 13 at her home in Silver Spring after a heart attack.
      Mrs. Franklin, who had been a volunteer with the National Girl Scouts Council, was a Girl Scout leader in Washington from 1968 to 1971. She then was a craft consultant with Girl Scout groups until 1978.
      She was a volunteer teacher at Lafayette Elementary School in Washington from 1970 to 1975. She then spent about five years with the Rock Creek Nature Center, where she had been a volunteer crafts teacher and had done administrative work for the Friends of Rock Creek Environment. In the late 1970s and early 1980s she taught crafts to senior citizens at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville and at Glen Echo.
      Mrs. Franklin, who was born in Norwalk, Conn., Grew up in New England. From 1948 to 1950, she worked in the classified advertising department of the old Washington Times-Herald newspaper. From the early 1980s until earlier this year, she was a child care provider in her home.
      Her marriage to Philip E. Franklin ended in divorce.
      Survivors include five daughters, Deborah J. Krause of Hernando, Fla., Diana F. Wood of College Park, Jennifer A. Hernandez of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Janice F. Carmody and Stephanie F. Carmody, both of Silver Spring; two brothers, Joel C. W. Rogers of Baldwin, N. Y., and Thomas N. R. Rogers of Santa Cruz, Calif.; two sisters, Winifred R. Humsey of St. Paul, Minn., and Julie S. Smith of Columbia; and 13 grandchildren.

In her twenties, living the young-married life out in East Pines with Phil and with just one little girl, Debbie, to keep her busy, Jackie did a lot of glass painting. She went through a Pennsylvania-dutch phase, and I remember a recipe box she decorated with this phrase:

      Every day should be passed
      as if it were to be your last.

Win thought that was a horrible sentiment. It was so negative. Why not dwell on the positive?

I don't know. It didn't seem such a bad sentiment to me. Still doesn't.

Anyway, Jackie was always thoughtful and always creative. Always making things. Arts, crafts, poetry, stories, cookies. All her life that was her vocation -- making things. It was her way of being.

A couple of years ago, a year after Jackie's death, Joey sent me copies of some of Jackie's poems, which Mary's sister, Jane Wingate, had put on her computer once with the hope of getting them published somewhere.

Why speak the truth and tell him
What hectic lives we live?
Why tell him how the children screamed
and fought, tearing each other's hair?
No -- better for him to think they were gentle...
better he thinks that they try.
Maybe someday I will have a dream,
forgetting what now I deplore,
seeing only small arms stretched out,
small golden children no more.

      When Jackie was living in Kensington her house became the center for family gatherings. Here she is, mostly hidden by me, bringing in food from the kitchen at Thanksgiving 1981.
      Joel and I had driven east in a car that Jae and Sukie Kim had given us. What a luxury it was to be driving a car with a heater that worked!
      Some other photos from that day (all of them taken by Win, I assume):
      Jan, Joel, Tom: Jan, Joel, Tom [3 kb]
      Tom, Stephie, Diana: Tom, Stephie, Diana [2 kb]
      Julie Lynn, AJ, Julie: Julie Lynn, AJ, Julie [2 kb]
      AJ, Julie:  AJ, Julie [3 kb]

Jackie and Tom, 1981.  [12 kb]

Jackie in 1995 Jackie in 1995.

The last time I saw Jackie was in September 1994, when Lois and I were sightseeing in the east for a couple of weeks. She didn't seem particularly welcoming. She was tired from taking care of little kids all day, and her all-purpose response, when we were visiting, seemed to be "Whatever."

She didn't seem to care for Lois, and I can't figure out why. I thought everybody liked Lois.

Well, de gustibus non disputandam. Though maybe it was just that she was tired. Her heart was already weakened heart by then, though the doctors didn't tell her for another six months or so that she had congestive heart disease.

Congestive heart disease was said to be fatal. Was supposed to kill you within five years, in fact -- and the doctors said she had already had it two or three years.

She also had glaucoma, which her eye doctor told her would blind her within five years. "But you won't have to worry about that," he said, "because you'll already be dead."

What a card!

      Jackie and Winibee when Winibee came east in August 1995. Winibee housesat for Julie when she made her trip to Europe and for Jackie when she went down to Cape Hatteras.
      The two of them with Jan: Jan et al.  [3 kb]
Jackie and Winibee in 1995

I was planning to come east that August to see Jackie and try out an eastern life again, and Jackie wrote me enthusiastically at the end of June:

...I thought maybe you could visit here all of August and longer if you wished. You could then be looking for some sort of work locally or in areas around so you could settle close by...And if you stayed through August (that week I'd be away) you could be here for Gosty the cat, who only has to be fed + watered and let out for her convenience. She is not hard, but I hate to put her in a kennel, and you could help that way.
      I love you Tom and it would be nice to have you back on east coast + it would be nice to have someone here in case I pop off my animals could be fed + let out + children notified.
A card she sent me from Cape Hatteras in August 1995:
Not everything wonderful lies in California. Here the beaches like the ones of my youth beckon Josie + I feel the invigorating surf around us. Came with Jeff Diana + their dog + Josie. Jan, Mike + boys nearby. We've all been getting together + yesterday went "swimming" on Ocracoke on a wonderful drive on beach. My kind of weather with exciting winds + breakers making my kind of surf. You would love it + feel renewed + ready to fly.

Thinking more about her animals than herself. And looking forward to going down to Cape Hatteras one more time with her daughters. (Would you like to see a photo of her with Joey and Tanya in June 1996? Or one of her with Julie at Julie Lynn's wedding on July 4?)

She was still so involved with life that even though the doctors told her she would die and she had come to terms with it herself, I myself could not believe I would never see her again.

But the doctors were right. She collapsed a couple of weeks after her last letter to me -- in Jan's kitchen, in Jan's arms.

I think that was probably as good a way to die as any.

"She was my best friend," Jan told me that fall when I finally did come east.

      Jackie when she was about twenty and working in the classified advertising department of the Times Herald. Diana gave me the photo a couple of christmases ago. I had never seen it before and had no memory of Jackie as having been so beautiful. I kept staring at the photo when Diana gave it to me, wanting to know this young, beautiful woman who was no more.
      Jackie used to call me "Pickle Puss" when I was small. You can see that her smile turned down, too.
Where has she gone to?

Before her trip to Cape Hatteras in 1995:

      I long to do the things that gave me such high pure joys. But I no longer can -- canoe over the waves, exploring bays + rivers; swim and swim; walk long woodland trails, through tall grasses on narrow foot trails, hopping over streams, walking on logs.
      I guess I have to remember that I did all of those things until I no longer could, that I got such pure joy fighting the wind and waves, riding in on top of them. But I don't want to vegetate, and when I can no longer see or work, there is nothing more to wish for. Just being able to breathe, is not enough.
      Maybe this is all the dream, after all. When I wake up, I will run beaches everywhere with my pack of dogs, canoe over leaping waves, laughing at the wind, the sea. Then I will see Win + Joel. "Stay awhile, let's talk," they'll say. And I will. And there will be all the others there also. And I will not be lonely again.

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Copyright 1999 T. N. R. Rogers. All rights reserved. Last revised 29 oct 99.