Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My guardian angel... RIP Marie

It is again with a sad heart that I post a RIP message. This one comes very late, I did not know. Since I met Marie, I have always wondered if it is possible that God might grant us a chance to meet our guardian angel in this life. ... story time...

After my second year of college, I was preparing for my first Co-op (it's Drexel's extended version of an internship). I had secured a job with a firm in Moorestown, NJ, but I found myself in the midst of finals the week before I was to start working still without a place to live. My parents house was a solid 2 hour drive from the office. I couldn't seem to find an apartment whose landlord was willing to rent for only six months to a college student. I was supposed to have an appointment to see an apartment and my parents were on their way to Philadelphia when I found out that it had been leased that morning. We went over to NJ anyway and drove around a bit looking for signs of places that might be for rent. Before we headed back to Philly, my mom picked up a local newspaper.

The following Monday she picked a real estate add out of the paper and gave them a call. She picked what seemed to be a local company rather than a large chain realtor hoping to get help with what seemed to be a special housing request. It just so happened that the realtor with whom she was speaking had an extra room and was willing to meet us and possibly rent a bedroom/bathroom in her house to me for the summer. Once again we headed to NJ. We were greeted by Marie, a lovely person with a quaint townhouse in a nice development that was only minutes from the office. We decided that if she felt comfortable opening her house to me it was worth a try. I had no idea how wonderful a situation this would be! (Marie had no idea how much stuff... including a digital piano... I could fit into one room and not have too much clutter.) We spent lovely evenings together chatting, cooking for each other, cooking together, watching the french news(not that I understood a word of it), talking about each of our classes, and laughing about how often I had to call for directions home after getting lost on the NJ roads. Marie and I kept in touch through the next school year and I returned the following March for my second co-op. Marie and I continued to stay in touch. She would often attend my chorus concerts. We would chat about our busy schedules and talk about the possibility of maybe finding time to go out for dinner.

This week, I called to invite her to my next chorus concert and found that her phone had been disconnected. Thinking back on a conversation in which she had talked about moving, I called her cell phone. Again I found that the number had been disconnected. Perhaps she was finally on the trip to France she had been planning to take...? In hopes of getting updated contact info, I called Edgar (the real estate office). She passed away in February... I didn't know... they recognized my name and apologized that no one had my contact info. I can only imagine that it was sudden... as we had spoken not long before then and she had said she was well and I should let her know about my next concert. Although I wish I could have said goodbye, I'm now convinced more than ever that I did get a chance to meet my guardian angel. That my mom's phone call was not just a chance coincidence.

RIP Marie! I will miss you! Don't forget about my concert on Sunday
O:-) I know you'll be there in spirit.


View/Sign Guestbook
Marie Elizabeth (Franzen) Rader
RADERMARIE ELIZABETH (nee Franzen) On Feb. 8, 2008, age 58, of Mt. Laurel, NJ. She was a volunteer with the Philadelphia Orchestra and member of the NJ Committee for over 20 years. Daughter of Paul W. Franzen of Phila Pa. and the late Lavene Franzen. Sister of Dr. Trisha Franzen, Dr. Paul Franzen Jr., Mark Franzen, Lizanne Hagedorn, Valerie Franzen and the Late William Franzen. Memorial Service Tues. 11 A.M. at the First Presbyterian Church, 101 Bridgeboro Rd., Moorestown, NJ. Memorial Mass Wed. 10 A.M. at Immaculate Heart of Mary R.C. Church, 819 Cathedral Rd., Roxborough, PA. In lieu of flowers the family request donation to be made to Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Dr., Marlton, NJ 08053 or to Mount St. Joseph's Academy, 120 West Wissahickon Avenue, Flourtown, PA 19031. Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News from 2/10/2008 - 2/11/2008.

Friday, May 16, 2008

RIP Friend, mentor, Mom-away-from-home...

McMenamin, Antonia B. "Toni" (Sulena-Wetzel)
View/Sign Guest Book

ANTONIA B. "TONI" (nee Sulena-Wetzel), May 13, 2008. Beloved wife of Patrick J. and mother of Cara McMenamin Wing, Esq., Patrick J. McMenamin, Jr., Esq. and Roger McMenamin, Esq; also survived by 7 grandchildren and a brother, Robert Wetzel. Relatives and friends are invited to attend Funeral Mass 11 AM Sat., May 17 at Immaculate Conception R.C. Church, 604 West Ave., Jenkintown, where friends may call after 10 AM. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Eastern PA, 2 International Plaza, Suite 245, Phila. PA 19113 are preferred.
Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News on 5/15/2008.


For those in the Honors College at Drexel, Toni was probably the first person on campus to welcome you by name. She knew who we were, she knew what was going on in our lives, her door was open, she was always there for us. Toni was everyone's mom-away-from-home! If you wanted/needed anything, Toni made it happen... like the time a baby-grand piano showed up in my dorm because I mentioned that some of the other dorms had them but the honors building didn't. Toni fixed our class schedules, our housing problems, our co-op issues, sometimes even our personal issues! Toni will be greatly missed!

For Good (Wicked)
I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you

Because I knew you
I have been changed for good

Monday, May 12, 2008

apartment update

While I have taken more pictures of my temporary apartment, they are trapped on the camera while the batteries are charging. In the mean time, I'll leave you with this thought... the walls are a lovely cream color with white moulding... the green tint was a result of using the webcam for the first pics.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Temporarily relocated to D.C. ... here's a tour

Here's a quick picture tour of my temporary apt. in D.C. It's awesome... there's a full size fridge, a garbage disposal, a dishwasher, a big bed, a comfy full size couch (and a matching comfy chair), two... TWO tvs, a kitchen/dining table settings complete with wine glasses... all this is only @150/day... the "cheap" hotel room I had before was $350/day and had merely a bed, a tv, and a bathroom.
Well, with no further ado, the pictures... (sorry about the quality, I used the webcam for these shots)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

When in Rome, do as the Romans...

So for many people, today was the feast of Ascension Thursday... but when I called the Basilica here in D.C. to ask for their Mass schedule I got transfered to several very confused people. I was asked questions like, "Why would there be a different Mass schedule on Thursday?" Apparently (According to Fr. George... who I called in bewilderment) most of the Dioceses have decided to celebrate the Ascension on the nearest Sunday. There are a few (Allentown, Philadelphia, Boston, etc.) who have decided that they will continue to celebrate Ascension Thursday on Thursday. Who celebrates a Thursday on a Sunday anyway? How does this make sense?! I will be back in Philadelphia for the weekend... somewhere in between I will have missed celebrating the Ascension.

Can someone please explain what these people are thinking?!