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Letter to Mrs. Ford and Her Family

Dear Mrs Ford and Your Family,

Today marks the six-month anniversary of the death of my mother. I miss her as much today as I did the day she died. Sure, it's only been a short time, but in a few years the feelings may be just as strong. I know a bit of the pain all of you are experiencing.

President Ford was an incredible gift to us in the U.S. He was in the perfect place at a time when our country truly needed someone as unique as he was.

Of course, he has been a gift to those of us who live in his childhood city, Grand Rapids. It's really neat to see the incredible jump in interest about him. I was a kid living out west when he became president and will never forget the relief his presence brought to the White House, government and our country. The darkness had lifted.

President Ford has been a special gift to me. Fore I had the fortune to conceive, design and create that full-page informational graphic The Grand Rapids Press published for our readers to know how they could participate in honoring President Ford's life after his death.

Though our graphics department has more skilled artists, I was the one who received this historical project. It seemed logical because I am the one who makes the maps. Working "with" you all through Chip Emery has been a great experience. You all could have scrapped my work in favor of one whose work was technically more polished, sophisticated. But you didn't. With your help -- and time -- the graphic evolved and became more effective.

I thank you for that, and for the opportunity to participate in this historical event.

God bless you all. May you find time to grieve properly -- away from the masses.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Nancy JonesFrancis
The Grand Rapids Press

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December 2011