Monday, January 12, 2009

Very Sad News

It has been a very hard week for us.
My Mom passed away.
She meant so much to me that I cannot even start to put it all into words.

My Mom, my friend, my inspiration.
She taught me many things.
She always put others first.
She had a great sense of humor.

She was my most loyal fan, my biggest blog follower, and Curator of the Frank Gardner Museum.
( That's what I call my parent's house.)
Some of you may remember reading a comment from her now and then, but usually she would just send her comments directly to me. She knew most of you through your comments, and would read each of them enthusiastically. She would often mention that I should get another painting up, because the comments had slowed down.

She supported me in my quest to become an artist. Even when she may have thought it was best to get a "real" job.
She supported me in my decision to stay in Mexico. Even when she may have thought it was too far away.

There is a huge hole in our lives and we will truly, truly miss her.

I am in the cold snowy northeast still. Back in Mexico and painting by next week.

The following is a portion of her obituary.

Gail B. Gardner
(March 26, 1936 - January 5, 2009)

Gail Butler Gardner, 72, of Poughkeepsie passed away Monday, January 5, 2009 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.
Born in New York City on March 26, 1936, she was the daughter of the late Elsa Marguret Klein and John Butler. She was educated at Hunter College High School in New York City and received a BA degree from William Smith Hobart College in 1957.

She was married to LaVergne Frank Gardner on April 11, 1959 at St. Georges Church in Gramercy Park in New York City.

Gail was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother.

She was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie, the Junior League of Poughkeepsie and the Vassar Brothers Medical Center Auxiliary of which she was a past treasurer for the Nearly New Shop.

Gail worked for Citibank in New York City before moving to Poughkeepsie. Later she was the clerk of the Board of Education for the Poughkeepsie City School District and the secretary at Columbus Elementary School until she retired.


Jeffrey W. Phillips said...

Frank, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your grief in some way spurs you on to greater creativity in honor of your mom and her love and support of you.

Solvay said...

Oh NO, Frank - OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't know what to say, but my heart is crying for you. I am SO SO SO sad for you.

Frank Gardner said...

Thank you Jeffrey. I hope that it does.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Solveg.
Thanks for your thoughts. It was not my intention to make everyone sad.

Marian Fortunati said...

I'm so sorry Frank. No matter how or when we lose our moms it is always a deep deep sorrow.
Even though she'll always be in your heart... you'll find times when you'll just cry over the memories.
Be well.

Stacey Peterson said...

Oh Frank - I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. She sounds like a wonderful woman, that you were blessed to have in your life. Hugs and prayers to you and you family...

Solvay said...

oh, generous Frank: surely we all know you were not trying to sadden us, but we ARE sad because we all love you so very much, and so, how can we not be sad when you are sad?
and, we will surround you with words because we cannot hug you any other way...........

innisart said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Frank. She sounds like a beautiful person, and I'm sad to have never met her. May the love and support she gave to you continue to grow- in the form of the art she enabled you to set free.

My thoughts are with you.


Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

frank, i'm so terribly sad for you and your family. to have such a supportive and encouraging mother is a wonderful treasure and i hope you will find peace in celebrating her memory.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. She will always be in your heart and soul, and in wonderful ways will continue to guide you in life and art.

Daniel Corey said...

Sorry Frank

Don Gray said...

Frank, my deepest sympathy in such a difficult time for you and family.

adebanji said...

Accept my Sympathy cos moms are precious!

Janelle Goodwin said...

Frank, So sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Losing a mother is the hardest.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Thank you for including her photo, Frank. She looks like a person of infinite curiosity who knew how to have fun. You should take the time to grieve. And know, too, that you will never really 'lose' her. When you get home you will hear her comments in your head, you will remember her from a scent, you will feel her beside you from time to time. But my thoughts are with you as you join the ranks of us who have lost their mother - because even if you DIDN't have a great relaitonship with her - it's the first, biggest relationship in your life. Take care of yourself, Frank. I am so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Oh Frank- this was like a punch in the heart to read. Shocking, really. I recall reading her occasional comments and through her words, could feel a mothers' pride in her son.
It's evident that she supported you and how lucky you are to have had that.
Perhaps through this very personal yet public blog of yours, your mother got to witness the reach of your talents and kindness towards other artists. Not every parent gets to know that.
Solveg has said something very true and poignant. We cannot help but share your sadness because you've come to mean so much to all of us.
I'm so very sorry.
These are times that can only be endured as the passing of time wraps us in some vague distance.
The shock, the empty sadness will do what it does, as will you and your family. No right, no wrong.
This was a very touching photo and reading of her obituary. Oh even that word- it's so final.

So, so very sorry and sad.

Dean H. said...

My sincere condolences, Frank.
Her love will stay alive in your heart...that will not depart.
May her spirit live on and be there in the light you show in your paintings.

I know whereof I speak...I lost my beloved wife on Easter of 'o4. I experienced and am experiencing all that I mentioned above.


Anonymous said...

Frank, I am so sad hearing about the loss of you Mom. I can't even imagine what you're going through. All my best to you and yours.

Jennifer Bellinger said...

"She whom we love and lose
Is no longer where
She was before;
She is now wherever
We are." St. John Chryostom

I'm so sorry for your loss and hope these virtual hugs and expressions of love will give you and your family comfort. God Bless.

Jack Riddle said...

Frank--so sorry to read this news. Losing a beloved parent is one of the most devastating blows you can have. You will feel sad for a time--and you should let it come--then the sadness fades to the bittersweet memories, and then comes the joy of knowing your Mom was in your life. And you will delight in telling Erin about her grandmother.

Bill Sharp said...

My condolences, Frank. I lost both my parents over the last six months. It's a weird feeling breaking that thread of life you were created from.

Marc R. Hanson said...

Frank, I'm sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family.


Susan Carlin said...

Oh, Frank. "Surround you with words because we cannot hug you any other way" is so right. I suspect that your generosity and kindness and encouragement were learned from your mother, and so we've all been beneficiaries of hers through you. My loving thoughts are with you.

TSL said...

I cannot add much, if any, to what the others have written in their comments, so eloquently. My heart goes out to you. I lost my artist father May last year, and I've had a terrible struggle keeping the joy of art up, kind of slipped away a little with him. My prayer for you is that you continue to do good things with your art. Your mother, like my father, would want you to. Blessings upon you and yours.

Allison Currie said...

Sending my condolences even though I don't really know you that much, because it sounds like your mother was an amazing pillar of strength for you. I'm sorry she passed away, the flesh deteriorates but the love given to others never dies, it sounds like you've got a lot of love to remember her by...

Jennifer Thermes said...

Oh, Frank-- I'm so sorry to hear this. Your Mom sounds like she was a wonderful person, and I'm sure you will treasure her memory. Take good care of yourself-- my thoughts are with you. -Jen

Paula Villanova said...

This is such sad news Frank and I hope you and your family find comfort during this tough time. She was so young, but she clearly had a loving and appreciative family and that must have made her very happy in her life. It was so cool that she supported your art...I enjoyed reading some of her comments!

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Marian.
Thanks for your thoughts.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Stacey.
She was a wonderful person.
The service Friday was standing room only and out into the other rooms. She will be missed by many people.
Thanks for your prayers.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks for all of your words Solveg.
Everyone's kind thoughts and prayers DO help.
Virtual hugs.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Matt. That is a very nice thing for you to say.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Christine, thanks.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Maggie. I am sure she will continue to guide me along my way.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Dan.

Frank Gardner said...

Thank you Don. It is appreciated.

Frank Gardner said...

Right you are Adebanji! Moms are precious.
Thank you very much.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Janelle, thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comments Kelley.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Bonnie, thanks.
Yeah, my Mom loved reading the blog... seeing the paintings, reading my posts and always, ALL of the comments.
You all mean a lot to me too.
Thanks for the kind and touching comment.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Dean.
Yes, her spirit will live on.

It must be very hard to have lost your wife. A husband and wife become one person after many years of being together. Then one half is ripped away.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Takeyce. I appreciate hearing from you.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Jennifer.
That is a beautiful quote, thanks for adding that.

Yes, all of the virtual hugs are great, and the expressions of love.
Maybe since they are electronic pulses of energy she will be able to feel them all too.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Jack, thanks for the kind thoughts.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Bill.
" It's a weird feeling breaking that thread of life you were created from."
How very true.

I cant imagine how hard it was loosing both of your parents in such a short period of time. I am hoping my Father will be around for a while.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Marc. Much appreciated.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Susan, thank you.
Your suspicions are probably true.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Tina, I have not tried to get back to painting yet. I have no idea how it will go.
Thanks for your kind thoughts.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Allison, Thanks, I appreciate it.
Yes, she gave a lot of love and strength.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Jennifer.
She was a wonderful soul.
I wrote about as much as I could. I wish I had the strength to have written more, so that you all could have learned more abut her.
Maybe in the future.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Paula.
Yes, she was young.
I'm glad you caught one or two of her rare comments.

FCP said...

Frank, I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. Your darling family will be in my thoughts and prayers. May you find comfort in your memories of your mom.

mike rooney studios said...

let me add my condolences to all these other from your 'blogging' family. it doesnt make it better, just more bearable. safe travels back home to mexico

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Faye.
I appreciate your thoughts very much.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Mike.
Never too many good thoughts and prayers at a time like this.

Melinda said...

Oh, dear Frank. Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your precious mother. My husband and I will say a special prayer for you, your father and all of your family.

May you experience the peace that passes all understanding for as long as you need it.

We grieve with you. And, we know, from you and your work, that your mother must surely have been a gift to all of those who were honored to know her.

It is obvious that she was very proud of you.

We are honored to follow your work and are blessed to have you in our lives, even if mostly by great distance.

Take your time. Be generous with yourself. The world is surreal right now. said...

Very sorry to hear about your loss. It is tough to lose a parent or a child. Pass on the good things you learned from her and she will live on in others.

Barbara Pask said...

Oh Frank, what a shock to come here to find this. My heart aches for you, my own mother has only been gone for 3 years. It does get easier with time. I am so glad your daughter knew her and will remember her. As long as someone remembers us we aren't really gone. Take care

Jason Waskey said...


I'm sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences.

You're in my thoughts.


Frank Gardner said...

Hi Melinda, thanks you very much for your prayers.
I appreciate it.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Bill.
I'll do my best.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Barb.
Thanks for you kind thoughts.
I'm glad that Mom knew Erin too. They got along well.

Frank Gardner said...

Thank you Jason.

Dianne Mize said...

Oh Frank, what sad news. I am so sorry. It brings to mind the day my own mother died. I felt the rug had been jerked from underneath me. I know that's what you're feeling now. Just know that there are a whole bunch of folks who've never met you that are really sad about this.

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your dear mother. I lost my mother when I was 19 and it was very hard. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Dianne, yeah, that's about how I feel.
I am real touched how people I have never met send me such love.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Rhonda, thank you for your prayers.

Anonymous said...

We're still caring and still sending love and support to you.
You get back what you send out, I believe that fully.

We never get ruined or spoiled by being loved too much.

My own mother who's 88, says she thinks it's a shame that families wait until someone dies to talk about them and tell how they were loved. Tell them while they're alive.

Sounds like you and your mother knew the gift of that adage.

Holly Van Hart said...

Frank, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. You were blessed to have such a wonderful mother. What a painful loss. Holly

Anonymous said...

A song of grief we share with you.
This pause, this awe, this wash of blue. This moment, standing round,
hands in our pockets, on sacred ground. This moment ours, our hearts close knit, finger tips touching, a gentle fit. Community at its best. One whisper that is blessed.


Logan Maxwell Hagege said...

Hi Frank, So sorry to hear the bad news. I know what it means to have a supportive mother, when being an artist. Thinking of you and your family.


Anonymous said...

Although it was under the sad conditions it was under it was good seeing you & your family after so many years. I'm very sorry I didn't get to see your mother. I'll miss her 'propheticness'!
It was also good catching up with you at lunch! Give my best to your wife & daughter & be wary of those teenage years!
Tom Gannon
Poughkeepsie High '79

Alicia Padrón said...

Hola amigo... Just wanted to pay a visit today and see how you were holding up.

71 comments.. see all these people who love you and care for you my friend? How amazing is that :o)

A big hug, and remember what I said before. I'm only a click away.


Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Bonnie, everyone's outpouring of love and prayers has really been heartening.
Your Mom sounds like a great person. She's right. Too often people wait until it is too late to let someone know how much they love them.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Holly, thanks.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Karl.
Thanks for sending that poem. I really appreciate that.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Logan.
Both of my parents were very supportive of me and my art. Even when they were not sure, or did not understand. You can't ask for more than that.
Thanks for your thoughts.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Tom, Thanks for being there.
It was great to see you and Pat and dust off some memories.
My Mom always enjoyed your visits.

Frank Gardner said...

Hola Ali. I hope you are feeling better.
Thanks for the visit.
We are doing alright. I am back home now.

It really is special to feel so many kind thoughts and prayers being sent our way.

I know Mom would be thrilled to see all of the comments piling up.

Edgar said...

Frank, this is terrible news. I'm so touched by your love of your mother. You were very lucky -- and she was too.

Jeffrey Hayes said...


I'm so sorry to hear of your loss; my deepest sympathy for you and your family.


Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Edgar.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Jeff, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Frank. It's so awful when someone you love and adore dies.

I remember the first time I read a comment your mom had written on your blog. It made me smile to read the exchange between the two of you. It was very endearing.

I know for sure that she had a loving, generous spirit because that's how you turned out. Now you continue to carry on her legacy and bless everyone you come in contact with, just as she did.

Love, Prayers and Hugs,

Frank Gardner said...

Gracias Silvina.
Lo agradezco mucho.

ale balanzario said...

Hola Frank, pase a saludarte y me encuentro con la noticia de la muerte de tu mamá, lo siento muchisimo, es muy dificil para mi dar un pesame.

Que hermoso haber contado con su apoyo siempre en tu carrera!!

Un abrazo.

Theresa Rankin said...

I am sorry to hear about your mom, Frank...I know it is hard and I can't begin to imagine your personal pain. Please accept my sympathies and know that I feel for you and your family.

Dar Presto said...

oh, Frank, I'm very sorry for your loss.

Frank Gardner said...

Gracias Ale.
Si, el apoyo de mis papas siempre fui muy importante para mi. No tanto como permiso, pero saber que me apoyaron en mis decisiones.

Frank Gardner said...

Thank you Theresa.
I really appreciate that.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Dar, very nice of you to say.

Unknown said...

Hi Frank,

My heart goes out to you and your family in the loss of your mom. She was obviously a very special person, and she has left behind a wonderful legacy... love, faithfulness, kindness, encouragement, commitment, strength, and more. I pray you find moments where your memories of her create smiles and laughter, and where her life inspires yours.

Solvay said...

...just stopping by to say HI. Thinking of you all every day....

Anonymous said...

"Art is the garden of humanity,
And we then as artists-
Its constant gardeners."

Stay the course Frank...honour everything that your Mom believed in and worked for by painting...and reaching out to others as you do in every painting that you make...and every post you write.

Much Peace.

Todd Bonita said...


My heart is heavy for you and your family. This is a nice, loving tribute to your Mom. She'll always be with you.

All the best my friend,

Frank Gardner said...

Thank you Joanne. Your words capture her perfectly.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Solveg. Thanks again for your continuing support and emails.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Bruce for all of your encouragement.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Todd, thank you.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Dearest Frank. This rips a hole in my heart for you. I remember your references to her in your posts and calling her house the Frank Gardner museum. I've read her comments on your blog and thought. "Franks's mother is a cool computer girl."
Don't think about making anyone sad. Here in the blogosphere we're all sort of neighbors and friends who care about each other. Reading this post hurt. I still have my mother who is 82 and I rue the day that I lose her.
Hugs to you.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Mary, thanks for adding to this long list of great support.

Candy Barr said...

On Valentine's Eve and the 101 post I'd like to wish you all the best with your next edition Frankster. My mom's bday was Valentines Day, and the red and pink and hearts and chocolate all remind me of her. Our Mom's unconditional love for us and our TALENTs make us what we are today, no question. Mine was told in Art class to "stick to birds & flowers" so she pursued textiles. We mourn our loss. Keep up the integrity in your art - it inspires us all.

Solvay said...

...know this poignant anniversary is on the 5th - and, well, now. Thinking of you.