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Over, But Not Out

Hello Dear Readers and Blogging Friends,

Thank you for your notes full of concern and love during my absence. Molly the Cat, the Husband, and I appreciate each and every one of you. I believe the Mama's spirit does, too.

Yes, it's true. I'm sorry to say that the Mama is no longer with us. She left her aged, tired body behind on April 1, 2016 and is now soaring freely and, I verily hope, peacefully and happily through eternity.

So for today's post I give you the Mama's obituary, which I'm linking with the letter O at ABC Wednesday. Please be sure to check out this weekly meme begun by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and administered today by Roger Green and his ABCW team. 

Frances Domingo Echaore lived to the grand old age of 94. Hollister was her first and only home in the United States, having immigrated from the Philippines nearly 67 years ago with her one-year-old son to reunite with her husband, the late Santiago Echaore.

Born Francisca DeGuzman Domingo, this nonagenarian was born in Urdaneta, Pangasinan on the island of Luzon in 1921 to Ciriaco and Emeteria Domingo. As a child, she loved to climb coconut trees, ride the water buffalo, swim in the canals, and run and skip among the banana trees. She learned at 9 years-old to be responsible when, upon the death of her father, her mother pulled her out of school to care for her two younger brothers. Although her book learning stopped, Frances never stopped learning. She became skilled in dressmaking, cooking, hairdressing, and farming, among many other things. In her early 20s, Frances endured the horror of World War II.

In 1947, Frances married the neighbor's son, a U.S. Army veteran, who had been away for almost 20 years working in Hawaii and California. After their son was born, the young couple decided that opportunities for him and future children would be better in the United States, so Santiago returned to the U.S. and within several months earned money for Frances' and Junior's fare. The mother and child sailed for about 30 days on the U.S.S. Wilson with other U.S. war brides from the Philippines.

In the 1960s, Frances became a naturalized U.S. citizen, of which she was very proud, and she got her first and only job in the seed research industry. She was hired by the SRS Seed Company, which subsequently was purchased several times and became known by other names. Frances turned out to be a plant whisperer. She did not simply have a green thumb. She sported green thumbs and fingers on both hands. Nearly everything she touched grew abundantly. Through her work, Frances took part in getting the stink out of broccoli and inventing the oblong tomato, among other accomplishments.

In 1986, after more than 26 years at the job she loved, Frances retired and enjoyed landscaping her new home, growing fruit trees from seeds of the fruit she ate, and caring for an abundant vegetable garden. Until the last few months of her life, Frances worked diligently, happily, and peacefully nearly every day, regardless of the weather, in her garden. Besides gardening, Frances enjoyed reading, watching game shows, hanging out with Molly the Cat, and, until she could no longer manage the crochet needle, creating elaborate doilies, bedspreads, and table cloths.

Frances always doted on her children and grandchildren. She was proud of them and their successes. Her son, Santiago Echaore, Jr. (Annabelle), retired from a career as a teacher and administrator while her daughter, Susan Echaore-McDavid (Richard McDavid), continues to be an independent writer and editor. Frances had five grandchildren and two great-granchildren.

Along with her deceased husband, Frances lost two daughters, Valentina and Shirley.


  1. It must be a great loss but i hope that the countless good memories give you comfort.

    Have a nice abc-wednesday-day / – week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

  2. I'm so sorry to read your sad news, but this is lovely tribute to someone who was obviously a wonderful and very talented lady. Sending you hugs from across the ocean xx

  3. You have had such a difficult month plus the last few months must have been hard because you could see her slowing down. You and your husband are golden because you gave her a home and a place and you did it willingly...many children don't do this for their parents. During this time, she planted so many things around your home so she has not left you but has breathed life all around you and continues to do so. It's so beautiful what she has left for you. I always considered it an honour to read about what she did and h ear life. She looks so pretty in her dress. I know you will share more stories and I will look forward to your future posts. This is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Birgit. I didn't want to see how much the Mama was slowing down so it was quite a plummet when she fell off the cliff. I am glad that we were there with her all the way to the end. It was an amazing journey. Right now all that stays in the front of my mind was the funeral plans. I like to think they were a grand party for the Mama and for me.

  4. This is an excellent and loving tribute to your mum. She was a great lady and though you will miss her, you will also be grateful for the good memories and the way she handled problems.
    Thanks for the way you introduced "the Mama".
    Wil, ABCWTeam.

    1. Thanks, Wil. It was with ABC that I began "showing off" a lot of the Mama. :-)

  5. Such a lovely tribute to your beautiful mother. I hope that the memories of all the good times will comfort you.

  6. A touching tribute to The Mama, I have so enjoyed reading about her and the wonderful way she had with her plant and flowers and all the amazing produce she nurtured into life and abundance.
    I thought I would share this writing with you as it sort of fits your loving tribute to The Mama;

    Do not stand by my grave and weep
    I am not there i do not sleep
    I am a thousand winds that blow
    I am the diamond glint on snow
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain
    I am the gentle autumn rain
    When you wake in the morning hush
    I am the swift, uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight
    I am the soft starlight at night
    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there I do not sleep
    Do not stand at my grave and cry
    I am not there I did not die.

    (written by an American lady, Mary Frye in 1932)

    My sincere condolences to you Susie, your husband and family, and not forgetting Molly the Cat.
    With love and hugs,
    ABCW team.

    1. Di, thank you for the hugs and that poem. Even though I've been visiting the Mama's grave site nearly everyday, I know she's not there. It does help me focus my day by saying hello to her and the Daddy, with whom she's buried.

  7. Bon Voyage Frances.

    When I saw the Mama had moved on on April Fools Day, I smiled. Although I only knew her through your posts, I think she embodied the Fool/Trickster (of Tarot and Mythology) rather well. :)

    May you, and the Husband, and the Molly-by-Golly, all be at peace too.

    Big hugs

    1. Thank you, Widders, for the mighty hugs. They are comforting. I read some about the Fool/Trickster. It does sound a lot like the Mama. You had her pegged. She went fighting, biting, and spitting in her own fashion to the end. I'm very fortunate to have her genes.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about the Mama, whom I got to meet through your anecdotes about her love of gardening. I pray that you and your family find peace in knowing that she is soaring "peacefully and happily through eternity." Blessings.

  9. Oh, my dear. Now I wished, I would have kept track of you!! For the last few weeks I've been hanging on, trying not to end up in bed -hate when I'm sick.
    Am so sorry, Susie:( It was so obvious that you loved her very much. You spoke so much about your mother's gardening skills, that I have the feeling I know her through your writings.
    Have worked for Hospice in the past - the first month is always a shock and feeling numb, but it still takes some time that you'll completely are ready to move on. Let me know if you need to hear from me - my email is jeannette (dot) coevorden1 (at yahoo (dot) com My thoughts are with you, dear Susie.

    1. Thank you, Jeanette. I appreciate your generosity. Hospice people are wonderful.

  10. Sending you lots of healing energy and hugs ~ know it so hard to loose our loved ones ~ I also know that she is watching over you like never before ~ This post is a magnificent tribute to you Mom who sounds like quite a lady with a wonderful and loving family and history ~ Hugs to you, dear one.

    Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

  11. I will be missing her pictures.

  12. I am sorry about her passing. I was getting a real feeling for her from your posts.

  13. Your mom still seemed so active and vibrant working in her garden. I am surprised she is no longer here :(.

    1. Active and vibrant, perfect words to describe the Mama, Julia, thank you very much. She was that all the way to the end.

    2. At least now she is happy and you will be with her again :)


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