People associated with Glenwood Life Counseling Center — one of Baltimore’s longtime drug treatment clinics, a place that has helped countless men and women in their recovery from addiction — remembered Tekeyia “Precious” Frailing with a tree planted in her honor on Friday, the final day of National Recovery Month.
To say Precious was a special person is to understate her immense contributions as a peer counselor at Glenwood, a woman who drew on her own difficult experiences to help many others. She also became a certified master gardener and started a Recovery Garden across the street from Glenwood.
Precious died at 44 in April, a huge loss for her family and extended family. Her obituary in The Baltimore Sun, with extensive quotes from Lillian Donnard, Glenwood’s executive director, captured the scope of the contributions Precious made to the counseling center and its clients.
Having met Precious and having heard so much about her from my wife, I decided to ask her to play a part in my play, “Baltimore, You Have No Idea.” She agreed, but then became ill — and soon so ill that I had no expectation that she could continue as a cast member. But Precious insisted on learning her role and taking part in winter table reads of the script. She did so by Zoom from a hospital bed, and we were all blown away by the effectiveness of her delivery. Even as her condition worsened, Precious insisted on being included. So, when we held a second table read, she again participated by Zoom from her bed. She again impressed us — and awed might be a better word for how our director and other cast members felt.
News of her death came just a couple of weeks later, as we were already grieving the loss of my brother and brother-in-law. It has been a difficult year for my family, and here in Baltimore, Precious’s death added another layer of profound sorrow and brought about a very real sense of having been cheated. She was an angel serving many who needed her at Glenwood, and she would have been a star on stage. She was a powerful and positive woman whose death was a profound loss not only for those who knew her and needed her help, but for those of us who were just getting to that place. May the tree in her memory grow mighty and tall.