Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Baby

This is Chip again. And this time I'm really stumped. What would Frannie say?

Frannie's gone. I told you that she was in the hospital, and that her breathing had gotten worse. What I didn't know at the time was that something had gotten catastrophically worse. And just five days later we were out of answers, out of options and out of time. Fran died yesterday evening.

I think Fran would probably tell you that she's ok with this. She really didn't want to be sick anymore. She didn't want to be poked and prodded. She asked me to be sure that the doctors listened to her and treated her with respect. For those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning, you know how much Fran wanted to be heard...needed to be heard.

She would also probably tell you that the life that was thrust upon her by Hodgkin's Disease, and ARDS and Pulmonary Fibrosis just didn't work for her. Never worked for her.

So Fran Lipman, our girl from Fresh Meadows Queens; product of the Port Washington Union Free School District, Penn, and NYC; the adoring step-mother of my son, Lydon; my friend, my great love, my rock, my life is gone. I'd like to believe she's somewhere she can breathe easily, but I'm not sure I'm left with enough faith to believe there is a better place. I know for certain that she is not sad anymore, she is not gasping for breath, and she's not scared.

Thank you all for reading Fran's blog. She loved writing for you. And was so excited to sit at the computer and tell you about her anger, her struggles, her triumphs, her friends and her family. It gave her a place for that remarkable voice to be heard. And it made such a difference in her life.

So, I'm pretty sure that Fran would tell you that this is ok. But I miss her so much.


  1. Oh Chip. I am so sadden by this news. And I am even more grateful now that we were able to spend an afternoon in a crazy New York City blizzard sharing old memories and new dreams.

    Fran did not get the health she deserved, but she did get all the love she deserved in you.

    I am here when ever you need a friend.


  2. Chip,
    I'm really sorry to hear.
    Love you guys and my heart is with you.

  3. Chip,
    I'm terribly sorry to hear this sad news.
    My heart goes out to you.
    Miriam Lang Budin

  4. Dear chip,
    I am so upset that Frannie is no longer with us. Although she was not a big person in statue, she had a heart of gold, a love of life, a love of friends and family and most of all you- as she said . You were the best choice she ever made.Chip, you were and are amazing. Thank you so much for making my cousin Frannie so so happy. Chip, as we were there for Fran, we are here for you. Please let us know if there is anything, and I mean Anything we can do for you.

  5. Unimaginable quiet...any time.

  6. When we need them most, words are not enough. Fran is now free from the burden of her illnesses, but the void she has left will never be filled for those who knew her and love her. Chip, we hope you will find comfort in knowing how much you both mean to so many people. We are a phone call or e-mail away. Please let us know if we can be of help in any way.

    Gloria and Larry Freund

  7. I am so sorry, Chip.
    Mary Perkins Morris

  8. Chip, I think you are well aware that we are there for you. If there is anything I can do or anything you need, please do not hesitate to call. Blessings on you my strong friend.

  9. Melissa, Gary and AlexMay 9, 2011 at 5:07 AM

    Chip - the sadness and anger at the just plain not fair-ness of it all will last for a long time. But so will the knowledge that your love for Fran is deep and beautiful and true and that will last and last. All your wonderful care for her these last few years is a testament to what you built together. Our thoughts are with you and Doug, Lydon and Erna.

  10. Chip,
    I know how special Fran was and how much you cherished her and your relationship. I know she was your life and I am truly so saddened for you and your loss. love, Connie

  11. Oh, Chip. My heart goes out to you, to Lydon, to Frannie's family. I can't imagine the pain of your loss. I can't imagine a world without Fran in it. I am terribly sorry.


  12. Watch, if you will, that beautiful ship slip away from her dock out into the open sea, finally to pass below the horizon.
    Someone says, next to us, “Well, there she goes!”
    Gone where? - Only from our own sight.
    No, she is just as large of mast and hull and sail as when she was here.
    Her departure and diminished size is in us, not in her.
    And just as that moment comes when someone says: “There, she's gone”.

    Other voices are ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

  13. Chip:

    I am stunned and saddened. So sorry for you and for Fran. Selfishly I guess I had hoped she would come back from this latest blow, and we could all get together again for some obscure takeout and talk about PDS HS or Richard Feynman or George Clinton. I really enjoyed those afternoons, and Fran's emails and blog, and her incredible book, and especially her biting, brilliant take on everything.

    My thoughts are with you. I am so sorry. The world is a smaller place.


  14. Fuck!
    Allen Richardson just gave me the news. I had no idea it was so critical. What can I say, Fran was the best. Set the standard for every account person I worked with my entire career - only later after leaving G&R did I learn from others that creatives and account people weren't suppose to be good friends. She will be missed. She is missed. I'm sad.

    - Rob Strasberg

  15. My deepest condolences. Such a fighter, such spirit. I'm glad she found her voice, which lives on. And I'm glad she had you by her side. My thoughts are with you.

  16. Chip,
    I'm so deeply saddened. Fran was such an amazing person. She was great to work with and fun to be around off campus. Many of my fondest memories at G&R include Fran. The world has become a smaller place.

    -Nick Grace

  17. Hello Chip,
    I am still trying to get my head around this. Knowing frannie has passed is just unbelievable to me. I am so heartbroken for you. You honored her every day by holding her hand and her heart with such care and love. If there is anything I can do to help you through this, please ask. Peace to Frannie, and solace to you, my friend.


  18. "You can shed tears that she is gone,
    or you can smile because she has lived.
    You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back,
    or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.
    Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
    or you can be full of the love you shared.
    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
    or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
    You can remember her only that she is gone,
    or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
    You can cry and close your mind,
    be empty and turn your back.
    Or you can do what she'd want:
    smile, open your eyes, love and go on."

    Jodie Hayes

  19. PS-
    Above quote by David Harkins - British Poet

  20. Chip, I'm so very sorry about Fran. I know she had a terrible struggle, and that every minute was difficult for her. She was incredibly brave, and I'll miss reading her terrific writing. Lots of love to you both...

  21. Chip, I wasn't sure how else to tell you how sad I feel to hear about Fran. I wasn't @ G&R very long, but having both of you there was a comfort and a reassurance that my Dad was in good hands.
    I'm sure Fran and my Dad are playing tennis.
    Love to you and all.
    Best Wishes,
    Jess Grace

  22. Chip,

    Very saddened to hear about Fran, she was a terrific person and we had a lot of laughs at G&R. I don't know what else to say except I'm very sorry

    -don miller

  23. i'm so very sorry to see this news Chip-
    thinking of you and sending love-

    Leigh Hansen

  24. Jennie Caras HaireMay 9, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Chip, I am so sad that you lost Fran. You spoke about her with so much affection at the reunion. It was a gift for you both that, as you said, "She was OK with this." Wishing you peace, and sending a virtual hug,

  25. Chip,

    So sorry for this loss. The first thought that went through my mind when I heard the news was the title of a book I heard about quite a while ago: "Why bad things happen to good people". Never read it and I doubt it has an answer that would even come close to satisfying any of us but it just popped into my brain because it seemed to sum this all up.

    My memories of G & R, Fran and all the fun times we had are something I will always cherish.

    Pat Sutherland

  26. Chip - The pictures of Fran so clearly tell her story: Full of love, laughter and so much happiness with you. She will be remembered and missed by all of us. Jen Maas Jones

  27. chip -- i know fran was the love of your life and your best friend -- blessings to you. denise

  28. Abby Wittenberg TaylorMay 10, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Dear Chip,

    I am so saddened to hear about Fran. Her kindness and wit made her so much fun to be around. Her feisty voice endures through her blog, pictures and the memories she has inspired among us. My thoughts are with you and with her. Sending peace and love, Abby

  29. Dear Chip,

    My name is Mary Burcul, my daughter Amanda works for you in your Toronto office. She had been telling me about your situation and we were both so saddened to hear the news of Fran's passing. Amanda sent me Fran's blog and having read it start to finish, I felt compelled to write and express my deepest condolences. The world is a sadder place for having lost someone so witty, brave, intelligent and kind. My thoughts, well wishes and prayers to you and your family.



  30. Oh so so very sorry.... and apologies that I only now heard the news. I'd met Fran in college and tho we hadn't seen each other face-to-face in years, we'd communicated frequently both on FB and via her blog. I feel very fortunate to have known her, her wit and her humor, all she brought to this world. She's very much missed.

  31. Martha HendersonMay 15, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    I am very sorry for your loss!

  32. Chip-

    I'm very sorry for your loss. Very.

    I know this all just happened and the world is spinning right now. Save this link. It's something I know you'll find useful in a few months:

    You aren't alone. I'm a widower (lost my dear Maggie on May 4, 2009.) There are many of us online who are sharing our journey through grief as a community. When you are ready, please join us. Check out Men are welcome.

    You don't have to go through all this alone.

  33. Chip,
    Hope your getting along as each day passes. I think about Fran often. She is truly missed.