Francesca

Old Young Friends

Today I received a WhatsApp notification from the fiancé of Francesca, a girl that I have known for about 10 years, notifying me that she has passed away from a cerebral aneurysm on the 14th June. This is terribly shocking as she had only just had her 30th birthday! I cannot imagine the upset and grief that the family and friends of Francesca have been going through since she passed away over a month ago whilst in Sicily, a place that she had recently moved to with the man that made her so happy.

About 10 years ago I moved to Italy, I was first of all providing massage to the Italian people in Mestre, a town just next to Venice, but on the Italian mainland. However, the work was inconsistent at best and due to my poor Italian skills it was somewhat difficult for me to get more clients. This led me to seek alternative employment, and I ended up as a meeter and greeter of English speaking tourists in and around Venice, and also as an English teacher. Anyone that has experienced my English skills can lift their jaw now. It was a fun job, but one that left me feeling terribly nervous as I am not a particularly confident person at the best of times, and can lack organisational skills when confronted with new tasks. Without any training I was thrown into a classroom and then another, traveling around many obscure towns of northern Italy in search of the places that had been specified for me to teach in!

This led me to my meeting with Francesca. In a small town called Fossalta, I taught two Italian girls, and both of them had very good English skills. This was fantastic as I was able to have very conversational lessons with them, which was actually very easy, relaxed and comfortable. One of the weekly group lessons that I really enjoyed. On leaving Italy I remained in contact with Francesa and a few years ago she visited with her brother and I was able to accommodate them up in the house of a friend, thanks Stevie! They had a nice trip I think and were able to enjoy some of London, whilst I was busily working my days away.

I guess the older you get the more chances that you have to lose the people that you know! In the back of my mind I am aware that she was a very similar age to Sara, and this makes me respect the time that I we all have a little more. It enthuses me to try and waste time less and enjoy my moments more! I appreciate that death must come to all of us, but I hope that I get as long as I can with the people that I love!

I am grateful for the opportunity to have known Francy, as she was a bubbly and joyous person that liked to take opportunities and was carving her own story with her love of fashion. She was a wonderful inspiration and my life is infinitely better for having had her presence in it!!

Wishing you all a fulfilling day of happiness and living the best that you can, whilst we may not have it all, we sure do have a lot to be grateful for! So go be grateful, I will be doing the same!

Links to the Italian newspaper announcements of the celebration of her life:
http://www.ilgazzettino.it/nordest/venezia/malore_improvviso_francesca_muore_a_soli_trentanni_per_un_aneurisma/notizie/292821.shtml
http://nuovavenezia.gelocal.it/cronaca/2013/06/21/news/palloncini-rosa-e-tanta-gente-per-l-addio-a-francesca-toffolo-1.7296252

2 thoughts on “Old Young Friends

  1. Phyllis

    How very sad that you have lost this memorable friend. At least you have the foresight to learn something from her passing…and enrich the lives of others. xx

    Reply

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