My father just told me the news. His century-old mother died last night at around 2:30. So she didn’t want to face the hot summer weather.
She was one of those Quebec women who worked on the farm, who raised her children at the same time as she administered a farm, caring for her elders, a woman who certainly worked hard.
A fragile woman, slightly anxious, who, at the end of her days, was taking morphine to kill a horse. That is to say his strength of character and his taste for life. Proud, beautiful, always ready to laugh, despite her secret, even distant air.
My father accompanied her yesterday. She was fighting against her oxygen mask. My father ordered her to rest, but she replied that she had visitors! So she had her whole head till the end, could have said goodbye.
On my side, I can’t say that I was very intimate with her. I am from a time when confessing to homosexuality was not done, let alone to a grandmother. I’m naturally as distant as she was, after all. So I didn’t know her much and her natural insistence on asking me annually if I had a lover only increased this discreet discomfort in me that keeps you further away than it brings you closer.
It is of very little importance. I liked Germaine. How could I not love her?
What touches me most right now is my father’s voice this morning. He is 78 years old. He had in his voice a silent sadness rarely expressed, that of the little boy who became an old man and lost his mother. My father had been calling him almost daily for many years. Jacques has always taken care of his elders. He would go see, for example, his stepfather when he was in Arthabaska. Jacques likes to steal chatter. I can be a great talker too when I get started.
So I heard my father’s voice this morning. This is the silence of love that was expressed, in me too, towards Irene and Jacques, my parents. Oh, I often tell them, but true love, the one that pushes our veins, is not expressed. He is tribal and serene.