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My Memere

It is with deep sadness that I write this post about my late Memere.  Marie Roy Desjardins passed away last Friday, October 20th, and it’s been a tough week to say the very least.

I’ve waited some time to write this post because I didn’t know what to say at first. My Memere was my last living grandparent, and she while made it to 91, I’d also say that had a good run.  Her funeral isn’t until this coming week (almost two weeks after her passing), so I feel like the grieving process has lingered on for a little too long.  And yet, I also don’t feel like I’ve grieved her actual loss because we haven’t laid her to rest.  Thank God for my husband because it’s been an emotional few weeks, that’s for sure.

I loved my Memere.  Many people don’t even get to know their grandparents, or others don’t tend to like their grandparents due to major cultural or political differences.  Even though my Memere and I could have a great argument about politics, I still loved her.  I tried to call her once a week just to hear her voice, and even this past week I’ve gone to dial her number a few times before realizing that she wouldn’t be there to pick up the phone.

Growing up, I was always warned about “mean old Memere.”  She had six kids including my Dad, his three brothers and two sisters, and they all grew up together under the same small roof.  She worked in the mills at one point in her life, dealt with my Pepere being shipped off to war, and was just plain ‘stubborn.” There were some years that she didn’t attend my birthday parties as a kid because my parents “served alcohol.” And I still can’t recall if she ever attend a high school performance of mine because my Pepere was always in attendance instead, so she figured “why bother.”

And yet, my Memere was also a major part of my childhood.  She and my grandfather were always there to babysit me, my brother, and my cousins during the summer when we were off from school and our parents still had to work.  She always stocked up on everyone’s favorite ice creams and drinks in the fridge, I don’t think she ever had anything that she preferred in supply. You could tell she made certain sacrifices in her life for her family, and this made it easy to brush over her stubbornness.

Hell, later in life she began to soften, often attending my brother’s high school theatre performances, or my cousin’s concerts.  She even traveled all the way to New York City for the first time in her life to attend my husband’s and my wedding reception this past March. That simple gesture meant more to me than I think she will ever know…or maybe now she does…

I’ll never forget how my Memere and Pepere would wave goodbye from their screen door after anyone would leave their tiny, but quaint home.  They felt like captains who were always the last to leave their ship, or cooks who makes sure to eat last; my grandparents were always the last to say goodbye…

If I could, I would show them the same gesture and wave goodbye to them from my own screen door, but for now, I have faith that I’ll see them both again some day, regardless of how long it takes…

Rest in peace, dear Memere and Pepere.  May you both be reunited and enjoy your time together until the rest of us are able to join you.  ❤️

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