Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A fond farewell for Frankie

Our children were so sad when it was time for volunteer Frankie Asher to leave. There was a true sense of loss and many tears.
We gathered in the big banda to give a family farewell to the man who put so much effort, imagination and love into the time he spent with us.
He filled every minute of every day.
Mama and Papa were delighted that they had come home in time to  get to know him better, to see what he had achieved and to say thank you.
His farewell was emotionally charged from the very start.
Unbeknown to Mama and Papa, Frankie had taught a choir of kids from our family and our day pupils to sing "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", just for Mama.
It was a beautiful gesture, it was sung with such feeling, such love, that both Mama and Papa could not hold back their tears.  Nor could anyone else.
Mama told Frankie: “Thankyou is a small word for all the things you have done for the Happy House family,  we are very grateful all you have done for us, for all your hard work,  your generosity and for the love you have brought to the Happy House.
''We are not rich people here, we do not have lots of money, but what we do have to give to you is our love to put into your heart and to bring you back to us.”
Little Saumu,  one of the first set of twins to join our family (we now have four!) , presented Frankie with a beautiful card to wish him a safe journey  home.
Then Frankie made no apology for his tears telling the family how sad he was to be saying goodbye.
“I don’t want to leave, I would rather stay here, but I have to go.
“When I arrived here I drove through the gates, I had no idea what to expect.
 It was my first day at the Happy House and like very child here, every teacher and every uncle and auntie have experienced, it was my first day at school and I was scared.”
Frankie thanked the teachers for making him such a part of the school and the uncle and aunties for welcoming into our home.
Then he told the children: “Happy House kids, I have never in my life, never, met a group of children as charming and as friendly and as well-mannered as you.”

 As the farewell came to an end, each child, uncle, auntie and teacher bade him goodbye and  a safe safari.
Frankie will not be forgotten. He has become a much loved friend.
As he has made a difference to us, we have made a difference to him. Our family will be a part of his life, always, and he a part of ours.

Thank you Uncle Frank for being such a friend, for all you have done, for the love you brought and for being such fun!