My mom was not French. She was of stout Midwestern ancestry, descended from powerful, silent, smart Swedes. however, after we had taken her to Paris for the primary time, she confessed to me that she liked Paris sufficient to assume that she had, in one other life, been born a Parisian—not a Frenchwoman to care about you, however solely a Parisian. In spite of everything, being French was, for the descendants of Swedes and Scots, a bridge too far.
I requested her why she had such an concept.
“As a result of being right here, in Paris, makes me courageous and just a little indomitable.” was her easy response. I by no means pressed for a fuller clarification.
She admitted, on the time of our journey, that being in Paris on the age of 84 was an expertise of a lifetime, one not more likely to be repeated whereas shackled to her earthly physique.
“Why the journey of a lifetime?” I requested him.
She answered matter-of-factly, “As a result of there’s time for work, and there’s time for your loved ones, after which there’s time for your self.” “I like paris!” introduced, as many have claimed earlier than it.
Though she had preliminary apprehensions of being “harmless outdoors”, she was in wonderful spirits, desperate to expertise all the things she might within the Metropolis of Mild. It was, because the French ladies say, “bien dans son age”. She was snug for her age.
In the previous few years, when her dying days have weighed closely on her shoulders, she has made lists of songs, individuals, and ceremonies she wish to eulogize— a ceremonie d’adieu, as I reminded her of the French time period, to her pleasure. And greater than as soon as she admitted that she would by no means return to Paris. Every time I’d repeat to her, “Même dans la mort, nous aurons toujours Paris, maman” (Mother, even in demise we are going to all the time have Paris). Actually, these had been the identical phrases I had whispered into her ear when she left her deathbed for the final time. Between us, over time, it grew to become a prayer, and I cry even now as I write the phrases of our secret code.
After I entered the Hospice, I requested her how she felt about it. “I simply do not have the endurance to go. I am prepared. That is sufficient. It is no enjoyable hanging round whereas my physique falls aside.”
My mom wasn’t enthusiastic about demise, however whereas she was alive, she was alive and inquisitive about her expertise. I strictly adopted what she did and did not like. As an alternative of a bucket listing, she delights in small on a regular basis moments and reunites together with her previous mates. I additionally loved her palliative care and the varied providers she supplies – “Who knew I would get free massages?” I seen a nasty allergy from Scotland. Referring to her medical doctors, nurses, and demise, she tells me, “We actually do have deep conversations. As a result of they’re concerned in life and demise on a regular basis.”
It jogged my memory of the teachings I realized many years in the past in Al-Anon: By no means confuse your joys and preferences with anybody else’s. Watch your thoughts and experiences rigorously and organize your life – and demise – accordingly.
My mom by no means considered herself as a “softwoman”. You were not from that technology. However she was a free lady – une femme libreAnd I would prefer to tease her. And now I’m positive it’s not amongst Les Desparos – The disappeared. As an alternative, you’ll all the time be with me, particularly yearly that I’m in Paris.
We aurons toujours Paris, maman!
#Carnet #Voyage #mom #French