December 23, 2011
It’s been so hectic around here these past days… and weeks… and months. Actually, the year has been rock’n'roll beyond words. But hey, I’m glad I pulled through. Glad others around me — family and friends — have pulled through also. And especially proud of myself for making lemonade out of the mountain of lemons that were dumped on me in 2011. Wish I had some tequila to go with it, tonight…
All this to say that I didn’t have time to translate the story I posted on my French blog. It’s all about what Christmas was like for me in the 50s.
But here’s a drawing of what the front door to our house looked like way back then, at 296 Manning Street, in Verdun. May it be my Christmas card to you, Sweet Souls.
Peace & Love
December 6, 2011
Twenty years ago yesterday, my Mom died.
On the anniversary of my mother’s passing, I usually light a candle and place it beside the urn containing her ashes as soon as I wake up. But because of my latest move, the urn is still at my son’s place, so the morning went by without my accomplishing this yearly ritual.
After lunch, I was sitting on the couch, gazing at my small but cozy one-and-a-half-room apartment, when I got the answer to a question that had been bothering me for weeks: where can I put that cute lamp I love so much?
Of course! The brand new IKEA Billy bookcase in the corner — it definitely lacked a dash of light.
So I rushed to the closet, grabbed the lamp away from its hiding place, and proceeded to make a niche for it on the third shelf of my darling Billy.
Once the job was done, I sat back down on the couch to admire how the once gloomy corner was now beaming with a lovely green glow. That’s when I noticed, on the shelf above the lamp, Mom’s picture taken in 1987 on her trip to Belgium to visit my brother Robert (a.k.a. Bobby Baby).
A shiver went through my body… and instantly, I said out loud:
Awwww… Maman… Maman… Maman.
Well as soon as I finished pronouncing the third Maman,
the lamp went off.
The bulb chose that exact moment to burn out.
I knew it was a sign.
Mom was saying Hi!
So I got back up, took her picture off the shelf, put it on my work table, and lit two candles — one on each side of the picture frame.
They burned all day for my Maman, Yvonne Thériault, a native of Paquetville, New Brunswick, who died on December 5, 1991.
That day, she had walked the mile-and-a-half walk to the village, in sub-zero weather, to buy groceries. Mom didn’t own a car. She didn’t have a driver’s permit. Mom was an enthusiastic walker.
On her way back from the village, she had stopped over at her friend’s house for some hot coffee and the usual chit-chat. Then, as it was getting dark, she had walked home, had eaten supper, and had retreated to her rocking chair to watch television.
In the evening, television was all Mom had for entertainment. So she would sit in her rocking chair, all alone in that house of hers by the side of a dirt road. In the middle of nowhere. In Sainte-Sophie-de-Lévrard.
Oh how she hated watching television.
She used to say, C’est plate à mort!
Which translates to It bores me to death!
And so Death struck Yvonne in her rocking chair…
while she was watching television.
* * *
Since posting Reality Won’t Destroy Me, I’ve decided to connect to the Twenty-First Century: I now have Internet and basic cable television. With the television channels come — to my delight — more than forty music stations. As I type away, I’m listening to Flashback Seventies on Galaxy… after overdosing on Smooth Jazz Christmas.
But the good news is, I get to publish my blog posts and communicate with you directly from my humble adobe.
Life is so darn beautiful.
Hope yours is too.
P.S.: Thanks for all your kind words and cheers on Facebook. And thanks for taking the time to leave a comment as I really look forward to more action and interaction right here on my blog.
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