Tomorrow we'll have to send off an angel- in small communities like Cortona we notice the loss of one of our citizens. Tomorrow we will say good bye, though the priest will remind us that it's only "Arrivederci" to our friend Francesca. While returning from the train station, the black and white obituary notices flicker past the moving car-sometimes we glance, catch a glimpse of a name- today I saw "Francesca"-it stuck in my mind and as Carlotta and I took our walk to buy our piece of bread for lunch we found our friend Dee reading the notice- Francesca Nandesi, age 36 passed away last night, funeral at San Filippo's at 3 pm tomorrow.
Only 36-but which Francesca? Oh no, that Francesca, who lived the life of one much younger than her years, but was filled with a joy for life, a sense of community and gave-gave to us all. Some would judge a life as imperfect at birth when defects are detected, but think again. Francesca, though medically diagnosed to be imperfect, was a perfect citizen of this city.
She greeted and inquired about the whereabouts and well-being of her fellow citizens. She was involved in community service with the Caritas rummage sales and scouts. She held a job with pride and performed it with diligence in the City Hall. She was a proud aunt-especially fond of sharing news about the twins in Bologna.
Francesca was a ray of sunshine and a breath of fresh air. She was the example of a good citizen of Cortona, a caring individual, generous in good will toward her fellow man. Her enthusiasm for life a life that others may have judged as compromised by her handicap, she lived fully and happily. I remember the glimmer of joy in Francesca's eyes as she informed Carlotta and myself that she was off to the sea in Vada-she'd be gone for almost all of August she told us with glee- we knew that we'd miss her then, we just didn't know how much. Ciao Francesca...