Dégénération, or when you learn I’m half Acadian

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”― Mae West

On April 25, 2021, my beautiful Mémère passed away, aged 102. Yes, 102 years old. She would have been 103 on Canada day, July 1st.

I missed her birthday last year, thanks Covid. I was sick and unable to visit out of fear of making her ill (no, I didn’t have Covid).

Two weeks before her death, I got to visit her. She looked great! She held my hand tight, looked deep into my eyes. She loved having her family near. She was a very devout Catholic and I’d like to believe that she is in her heaven with her husband, my pépère (he died in the 1980s), and her daughter, my matante Clairine, who died almost 13 years ago in an accident. I hope she is surrounded by all her loved ones.

Ma belle Mémère, my mom and me

Her name was Albertine Doucet (née Dugas). She survived the Great Depression, WWII, and so many other calamities. She started life with no indoor plumbing, no phones, none of the things we take for granted now. After my pépère past, she got her driver’s license at the ripe young age of 66! She raised seven children, only losing one in her twilight years.

My mémère spoke very little English, but always had a warm hug and a huge smile for those who didn’t understand her words. She accepted everyone for who they were. She had a huge heart and loved all of us, and we are a BIG family.

My mémère survived to see the youngest members of her extended family six generations on. She was a great great great grandmother to my cousin’s grand-children! She was the matriarch of our family and I know it just won’t be the same without her.

For the first time in years, I won’t be travelling up north to see her on her birthday. For the first time in years, I’ll be making plans for Canada day locally. It feels weird.

Je t’aime beaucoul et je t’embrace ma belle mémère. T’es toujours dans mon cœur.

Mes Aïeux – Dégénérations

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