Modifié le : 2019/08/05

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.

Good­bye Germaine.