I’m sorry, I didn’t take any pictures this past week or weekend. The girls were with their grandparents all week and I forgot my camera at home when we went to pick them up. In Québec City. It’s a long drive but I couldn’t not attend my grand-maman’s funeral. I had to be there.
This is the best picture I have of her. Here with grand-papa, my little sister, and me, Christmas ’82. It was our last Christmas with grand-papa. And now, grand-maman is gone too. She loved us all very much. Her ten children and their own children. We lived far, a 5 hour drive from her house and she always wanted us to come more often. I didn’t realize it when I was a child. Grand-maman was the stoic sort. She didn’t express her feelings much. And she was quiet. She listened way more than she talked. As I grew older, I visited less and she didn’t like that. When I did visit, I caught glimpses of an intelligent woman with quite a sense of humor. I wish she had talked more before her brain started betraying her.
I remember. Grand-maman used to peel and cut potatoes and give me pieces to eat. They were clean and peeled but raw and tasted a little like soil. I still eat raw potato pieces once in a while. And I loved grand-maman’s spaghetti. My young taste buds felt just enough of a zip to make it tasty.
I had to go. It was a long drive there on Friday and back on Sunday. I’m so happy I went. Seeing my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Seeing my cousins’ children.
That’s Christmas ’78. I’m the baby. There were a lot more cousins to come. I remember Christmas in the big house. I remember watching those four boys in the picture running around everywhere. Actually, by then there were two more boys in those two families. I was quieter and I was amazed by the tornado of energy that tore through the house. They weren’t malicious at all, sweet boys, really. But so much energy!
And now, we’re all grown up with children of our own but I still see the little boys in my cousins’ faces.
I loved Christmas there. I loved the big family. I remember. My aunts would arrive with bags of bread that actually contained sandwiches. All that was left to do was cut them up into triangles. We had three kinds : eggs, ham, and cheese. And then, my favorite : chicken salad in teeny buns. I was happy to be staying at grand-maman’s house because a lot of leftovers stayed there and I got to stuff myself full of chicken salad sandwiches for days afterwards.
We had a small lunch in the church basement after the funeral. The sandwiches were there. I stuffed myself full of chicken salad sandwiches. They weren’t in the teeny buns but they tasted like Christmases past. When we left the next day, my aunt packed us a lunch. Mr. Mouse and the souricettes got a variety of triangle sandwiches but my bag was just chicken salad. Yummy chicken salad, just like I remember.