New beginnings and a final goodbye

Spring is fast approaching in Paris.  It is beautiful.  I love spring.
It makes me feel that life will be okay.  Winter in the city kicks my ass.  But before we welcome Spring I have to say a goodbye I've been putting off.
We recently lost our dear friend and neighbor Herve.  He is the amazing artist behind these paintings.  If you look closely in the one above you will see two people in the distance.  The title is "Nous Deux au Jardin".  Mime called Herve her tresor (treasure).  I think that is the perfect description of the one you love.  In their flat there is a picture of the two of them when they where much younger.  I asked who it was and she explained that it was indeed them in their youth.  They were fresh faced and dewy.  She explained it was very hot in Paris and a friend had stopped by and snapped it of the two of them while they were lying on the floor.  When I saw this I immediately thought of Mimi and Herve:
He and Mimi are like grandparents to the kids and if I'm perfectly honest to Brandon and I as well.
(Excuse the crazy eye in me, I had just finished cooking Thanksgiving and I get a bit of the crazy eye after making gravy.  Gravy is stressful.)
They were our soft place.  Everything you can imagine a storybook grandparent to be they were.  Mimi bakes the perfect quiche, paints, knits, always has goodies waiting for the kids after school and to top it off a drink ready for Brandon and I.
Explaining to the kids that Herve had died was not easy.  Jaylee understood, but Aidan doesn't understand it 100%.  So we did what I think Herve would have liked best and we painted for him.
Jaylee gave the grave a hug.  Heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.
Sante Herve, you are loved and will be greatly missed!


Becky said...

"Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I, and you are you: whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you alway used.

Put no difference into your tone: wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.

Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same that it ever was: there is absolutely unbroken continuity.

What is this death but a gateway? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near just around the corner.

All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!"

Henry Scott Holland

Peggy Rice said...

I love that!

Carol Wexell Wayne said...

What a loving tribute...and what a sweet memorial to leave on his grave....let us all live so that those we leave behind want to hug our graves and leave painted stones....

love love love


patty said...

Peg, my eyes filled with tears when I read your blog. I'm so sorry. I know how much he meant to you and how much they both helped you in oh so many ways when you first moved to Paris. Love you.

gg said...

oh, so sorry to hear about this for you guys. it sounds like he was your paris family. likewise, now his wife has you guys. love the way you had the kids remember him. they'll forever remember that. you're a great mamma!!!

DollHouse said...

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