Tonight’s blog is a personal one, but something that needs to be written for someone special….. our Fran.
When we started The Main Street Mouse over 7 years ago, we wanted a place for Disney fans to come together and talk, a place to share info and make friends. Little did we know, that not only did we bring together some amazing people, that some of these people would become like family to us. One of those special people is Fran. We met Fran through her following TMSM, and she became such a enormous part of our day to day life. Disney is something that brought Fran so much happiness, and when she found our site, she felt like it was a good fit, because she was among like minded people who felt the same. Very quickly, Fran became our biggest supporter. She posted in our FB group TMSM Fan Nation every single day, reminding people to support our efforts and to have a magical day. She did the same on our main page. Every blog we posted, every picture, all of it….. Fran shared, commented or usually both. Fran took time out of her day to spread sunshine and love no matter what was going on with her in her own life. Everyone knew Fran, and everyone loved her.
Back in 2014, when it came time for our first TMSM Meet Up, Fran was there. I couldn’t wait to finally meet her and thank her for being so supportive and wonderful to us. I’ll never forget meeting her for the first time. She walked up to me, gave me the tightest hug (she’s famous for her hugs) and cried. At the time I didn’t understand why she was crying, but soon after she told me. Fran had battled cancer, and finding TMSM gave her so much happiness and a safe place among friends. She thanked me for the site, but truly, she’s the one who needed to be thanked. People like Fran are so rare, she’s just one in a million, and I was thankful to call her my friend. After that, Fran never missed a TMSM Meet Up. She was always there. When she came to town a few times each year, we’d always spend time with her in the Parks or have lunch or dinner. We always made time for Fran and her family, like I said, they were our family too. At the meet ups, people always looked forward to meeting Fran. Everyone already felt like they knew her, because she was such a strong presence in our day to day lives in our group. Fran had so much personality for someone of her small stature. She was funny, and her heavy New York accent….. as Fran would say “Oh my Gawdddd”….. just the best.
Fran never missed a beat. Everyday when I’d wake up and get online, all my facebook alerts were Fran. She always posted on everything TMSM related. She was there everyday to greet people with a positive message, or just her usual heart stickers and such. But it was something you could count on every single day. Two weeks ago, I checked my morning alerts… and there was nothing from Fran. I noticed it right away, because it wasn’t like her. Another day went by, and it was the same. I sent her a message to find out what was going on, but didn’t hear back right away and I got scared. Other people were asking me if I knew what was wrong as well. When she did get back to me, she had told me she was having testing done and such, and even though I was worried, at least I was hearing from her. Day after day we waited. Then one day, it all just stopped. Her daughter Michelle had told me that Fran took a turn for the worse, and it wasn’t looking good. As heartbreaking as that was, we still prayed, we still held out hope, because truthfully, the thought of not having Fran was just too much to bear. She is just THAT special.
When Fran was here in November for the last meet up, she actually stayed a bit longer afterwards, so we got to thankfully spend a lot of time with her. The night before she left, she said she’d see us in January, that we’d get together, and go see “her Castle” and of course grab some ice cream. Last night, while at the Magic Kingdom, we got the word that I was dreading to hear. Our Frannie had earned her wings, and our hearts just shattered. How can someone who brings so much joy and love to everyone she knows be gone? It’s not fair. After composing ourselves, we decided to leave, we were so upset. We stopped by her Castle, said a prayer for her, and headed out. We told her daughters that we’d handle telling her TMSM family the news, and I wanted to be respectful to them, and of course her. When it came time to share the sad news, my heart just broke again. I knew that everyone in our Ohana would be so upset to hear, and I was right. The outpouring of love for Fran was just as I expected it to be. When I say that everyone loves Fran, I mean EVERYONE loves Fran. She truly is one of a kind, and she brought so much to everyone she met.
So here we are, the day after, and so many of us are at such a loss. Our hearts go out to Fran’s husband and her three daughters, we can only imagine their grief. Fran was and is our ray of sunshine. She is a blessing to me, my family, all of our friends, and I will never be able to express how thankful I am to her for always being there. There is a void in our TMSM group, and in our hearts, that I’m unsure if we’ll ever be able to fill again. Fran was one of the best people I’ve ever met in my lifetime, and I doubt I’ll ever meet another like her. God blessed us with her friendship, and I’ll forever be grateful. We plan to honor her as much as we can, do whatever we can, because she’s worth it and so much more.
Fran’s family has asked, that in In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Make A Wish in honor of my Fran at ~ https://secure2.wish.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=donate_now&chid=100-000#sm.00005nnony1tgd96vtw2h7uhrv353
She loved meeting kids and bringing joy to them at Disney from Make A Wish. Please put Fran Randazzo- Hesse in the “in honor of” section when making a donation, and use the following email for all e-cards: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, I ask that if you make a donation, somewhere include #TMSM so her family knows that you are part of Fran’s Disney Family.
If you can’t make a donation, considering doing some sort of act of kindness in memory of Fran. She was the sweetest person, she’d do anything for you if she could, and I know she’d love it if we could share some of her spirit and generosity with each other. Scott and I have more planned to honor Fran as well. It’s the least we can do. Our hearts are broken, but deep down, they’re also filled with gratitude. They say friends are the family you choose, and we’re beyond blessed that Fran chose us. From all of us at The Main Street Mouse…. to the Hesse family, thank you for sharing Fran with us, we are praying for you all. To our Fran; We love you. We miss you. We will keep your legacy alive. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for the love and friendship, you will never be forgotten.