“I stayed up last night until I finished ‘The Fragrance of Heliotrope’. It was sweet and tender and sad all at once! It was so much Cecilia. I loved every page, for it truly showed her charm and courage. What a beautiful memory book for her grandchildren, her friends and all memoir readers to cherish.” – Claire Carney
What an inspirational lesson, too, on personal courage and on how to live fully even after chronic illness intrudes. This is a woman of great charm, who managed her insulin dependent diabetes for forty two years while raising and guiding a family, conducting an often adventurous professional life in this country and abroad. Before and following the onset of the disease, she interacted professionally and socially with royalty, U.S. Senators, wives of Secretaries of State, Ambassadors, Nobel Laureates, University Presidents and Professors, even a famous World War II General. In her last four years, coping unobtrusively with her blindness and other debilitating complications of her disease, she confidently maintained her social and community involvements: attending meetings, entertaining regularly, introducing or querying public speakers, even insisting on doing book reviews when her turn came round. It was all an inspirational performance, conducted with grace, winning smiles and confidence.