Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Au Revoir, Madeleine

 Speaking of old age and its ultimate consequences, we learned four or five days ago that Madelein Paret—Thierry’s mother and hence grandmother of Michelle’s children—has passed away after brief hospitalization in France. As Brigitte put it hearing this news: “Madeleine is home now.”

We barely knew the lady, but in the course of at most three visits to France we came to like her very much. The elder Parets lived (and still live) in Haguenau, a small city almost at the north-western tip of France—close enough to Germany so that Madeleine and husband Yves could speak a little German. Our meetings go back some 30 years yet produce sharp images of crowded dinners (all family) and Haguenau, the curious border town. Between then and now, we kept abreast of one another by mail and, later, Facebook.


Memory at our age: sharp enough to picture vividly aspects of events. But structured and chronological memory is week. I had to look up Haguenau in a Christmas list and then on a map. How long ago? I got there by taking our oldest grandson’s, Max’s, age today…


Requiescat in pacem, Madeleine. We’ll see you probably soon when the Earth train stops us at heaven’s gate.

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