It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up — that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Francine Estes Lucas’ dream was to see the world.
Lands and People, a seven-volume purple bound travel book series, published by The Groillier Society between 1929-30, captivated her imagination and as a child she could curl up under her covers with a flashlight, illuminating pyramids, glaciers and the people that populated them. When her father donated the books to the local library, Francine promptly went in and got them back.
“I went to the library with tears running down my face and stole my books,” Mrs. Lucas told a reporter for The Commercial Appeal in 2003. “You can’t steal what’s already yours.”
As happens to many of us, her youthful dreams were set aside for life. Marriage, college, work and finally a late in life baby and although she was happy, there was always something missing. At age 45, she began working for a local travel agency and finally, with her husband’s support (they did not share a love of traveling), she began to see the destinations of her dreams.
“Her favorite countries were Portugal and Greece” her daughter, Lisa Lucas said. “She visited Hawai’i at least 14 times. I called her a show off for that.”
Thirty-nine years later, Francine’s adventure of a life, ended. November 7, 2010 marked the end of a wonder filled 84-year-old life.
Going through her mother’s things, Lisa found a six-page handwritten list, Francine’s List, of all the places she had visited beginning with Thailand and ending with a complete list of cruises (26 in all). It is evidence of a life well lived. A live well traveled. May we all be so lucky.