Tribute to a Grandfather

January 21, 2015

My father, my dear father passed on December 30th, 2014. He left us all, family and friends in deep sorrow.   My heart is heavy with grief and at the same time I am so grateful for all his love, tenderness and generosity. The many wonderful memories I have of the moments, the years spent with my Dad  and family give some comfort in these days of separation  and they will accompany me every day. My father – and my mother – were never so happy as when their cherished “clan” was around them. Especially  when their four grandsons were there.

 

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Better than all I could tell you, I imagined you may like to read  a few excerpts of the thoughts and feelings his  four grandsons shared with the family and close friends during our farewell ceremony in the chapel.

“It was such an honor to be your grandson ! You have been an example that I will strive to follow all  my life. Kindness, humility, courage, you were witty and generous, you were all this and much more.  I will always remember how the Epicurean you were loved to share good meals with us, traditional or refined. You left us with dignity, head high, like the Lion you were, proud but wise and never complaining. I love you so ! (JF)

“Our grandfather was a rock, a beacon, a lighthouse where to look at in times of trouble. You showed us what moral rectitude and respect for anyone meant. What I learned through my grandfather’s kindness was his infinite tenderness, the mark of an unconditional love. A united family : this is  the Great Work of our grandfather, a heritage I will continue to cherish with you. (JB)

You are the grandfather everyone would have wished to have and whom I was lucky enough to have. Today we are separated physically, our pain is immense. However I feel that our sorrow will be appeased because I know you are in good hands. If Jesus takes as good care of you as you did of us, then your eternal stay in His company will be beautiful. Dear granddad, I send you millions of kisses. (V)

 

“The last thing you told me  was :

“I so wish I could walk again !”

Well, this wish I will realize for you

You will walk, run, jump, even swim

Because now I will bring you with me

Wherever I go and keep you in my heart always”

(composed, sung and played with his guitar in a rap style  by A.)

 

Papa, dessert gourmand

One of  my father’s favorite desserts : an espresso coffee with almond liqueur and chocolate ice-cream.

Merci papa, for all you were. We love you. Farewell to a place away from our eyes but in our heart you will remain.

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Compassion

December 15, 2012

compassion

A light in the snow

A touch of warmth

When your heart feels so cold and sad

Oh, So sad

Broken hearts

Will it bring  a little comfort

Knowing that others

Share the deep pain and

Tragic loss ?

Thoughts of love and

Compassion

for all those

Who lost a cherished child

A loved one

A dear friend

Empathy

Prayers

Sympathy

Compassion

A special birthday gift

December 1, 2012

Last July my family celebrated my only and favourite sister’s birthday. It was special. A birthday with a round number, the type that is more striking than a yearly celebration, you know? We had planned  a beautiful celebration for my sweet little sister. Each of us had a personal and particular idea for a gift. I had mine too but I needed everone’s help. By now, you should know what I had in mind 😉

A quilt of course ! Here it is :  our common project and my personal gift for Françoise’s birthday. Improvisation for the sewing part but not for the preparation ! When I asked family members and friends to give or send me one or two pieces of their used clothing, they did not know what I was up to (at least not all of them) but they joyfully agreed. The most difficult part was to get some used clothing from my sister herself. She was not meant to know anything about our project.

quilt Françoise, 5

Spring and particularly Spring cleaning helped me. Some time in February I told Françoise of the great feeling I was experiencing in sorting out my wardrobe, getting rid of clothes I no longer wore even though I liked them a lot. Which I absolutely meant.

“What a good idea ! I think it’s time for me to do the same.” said my nice  sister.

Taking a deep breath I told her : “Great ! why don’t you send some of your used clothes to me ? I know what to do with  them”.

And this is how it all started. After a few weeks my sewing room looked like a “souk” or African market. I was a bit panicked before sorting out the clothes I could use or not (too beautiful to bring my scissors close to them). The leftover garments I gave to an “Emmaus” charity shop.

The overall blue material in the quilt comes from a pair of linen trousers my sister wore and the grey stripes used be a shirt  belonging to her companion.This silk blouse and black velvet pullover, for instance, were amongst the favourite clothes worn by Françoise. I hesitated a long time before cutting through them but I knew she would love to find pieces of them again on her quilt. Underneath the block, Ninio-the-Beagle is “stuck” in total admiration 😉

A precious block made of one of my mother’s aprons bordered by a piece of her embroidered handkerchiefs. The hook belonged to my grandfather and the heart is sewed in one of my grandmother’s dish cloths. The three of them were very present in our hearts all along the birthday celebration.

Some family men’s  silk ties that have shrunk quite a bit.

T-shirts from family and friends.

quilt F. VeniceRomantic and beautiful, one of Françoise’s  T-shirts and Summer skirt.

quilt F. mom & dadScarf and pyjama as a flower.

Sons, nephews, cousins, friends: their T-shirts and shirts tags

A weaved T-shirt and the cuff of a cotton blouse.

quilt F. Dom & F 2

Precious  : one of my sister’s best friend clothing, her checked black and white trousers and rose t-shirt. My sister immediately remembered those clothes.

“We all love you, Françoise” (title of the quilt)

quilt Francoise, détail, coeursWith all our heart !

Françoise was So surprised ! and delighted. Such  excitement as she tried to recognize what belonged to whom, including her. A lot of fun. And a happy quilting that brought back memories, places, events. Sewing together all kinds of materials was not exactly easy but I enjoyed the slightly wonky look of this quilt. Different.

Mother’s Day

May 8, 2011

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day in Switzerland.  My own mother is no longer here but she will be  lovingly remembered indeed. This flower is for her;  her love of nature and flowers, her pleasure to sit in the garden,  inhale scents and let her eyes wander quietly over the greenery. She sometimes started telling of her younger years in the mountains she loved so much, a life of hard work that taught her a lot about nature, its beauty and dangers. I am happy to have written down much of all she shared although her words are in my heart forever.

The weeks preceding Mother’s Day are even more busy at  school over here… My sons always brought me lovely surprises  on the second Sunday of May. They still do but at that time there was mystery and secrecy, something they could hardly keep for themselves…”I have a surprise for you but you are not allowed to see it !”

The D-Day finally came  and  the suspense was relieved.  Both would wait till I woke and then present their gifts, nicely wrapped in a paper they sometimes  had created themselves. What an excitement  and impatience for me to open those treasures ! I received many, many wonderful drawings and gifts of all sorts, made with love and care;  I cherished them all. One of them is still in our kitchen : it is a small decorative wooden panel made for me in primary school. There was an original handmade  notebook on the right hand side that has been replaced countless times since then. Very handy. What still brings a smile whenever I write a note on my “to do list” is the poem one of my sons had composed for Mother’s Day on that particular year.

He had to find rhymes. For example : Isabelle/belle  – bruns/lapins – noir/loir – maman/tendrement. In English though it may sound a bit strange to your ears but so lovely to your heart 🙂

“Dear Isabelle,

How beautiful you are

With your  eyes

As brown as rabbits

And your  hair as black

As a   dormouse

This is just to tell you, Mama

That I love you tenderly “

The  French spelling is as creative as the images/rhymes he found and I just love the fact that his teacher left it untouched 🙂


To all mothers, mamans, mamas here and there  and elsewhere I wish a Very Happy Day filled with love, sharing, joy and gratitude.

With love

This is  quilt I sewed several years ago for a Mexican mama of many children who happens to be also a dear friend of mine, Fina.

Inchies, in images and words

February 14, 2011

They were so much in Love !

Sweet letters never stopped going to and fro.

Many tender words were shared

As flowers shone brightly for them.

Listening to their heart

They happily nestled in their home.

At sunset the breeze carried away their whispers

For a life of Love and Peace.

The  End

A Happy one 🙂

HAPPY VALENTINE´S   DAY!


“Inchies indeed”, another daysprompt suggested by Gerry in her  Gently Used Ideas Store.

http://todaysprompt.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/inchies-indeed/

An “inchy”  story I imagined for today,   few words and   tiny photos : a heart of soapstone, a pretty stationery, a Japanese book, an amaryllis, another heart, natural sculpture of moss, a quilt of houses seen in an exhibition, a Summer sunset in front of my home,  one of my friend Nicole’s mandala drawings that I colored and a pause, coffee for two.


In love

February 14, 2010

A young couple looking into each other’s eyes with so much love 🙂

Usually I am not too keen on taking pictures of people, I am a bit shy about it. On this particular occasion, I thought I would not be noticed at all, so totally oblivious were they of the people right beside them.  There were many tourists visiting the ancient castle of Gruyères. Now imagine that for a second they, “les amoureux”,  had looked around  or below the old window they were sitting on. It  was highly unlikely but just imagine 😉 This is what they would have seen : a nicely designed  garden inside  the castle walls. Over the walls, green pastures, forests and mountains. An idyllic landscape.

The castle is built on a hill and is quite a sight no matter what direction you come from. The young couple was sitting inside a large open window that you may notice on the outer wall of the castle. Better seen in the last picture, in Winter time.

Here is  is the  castle of Gruyères in Summer and in Winter. I have seen it many times but can’t help admiring this site whenever I am in the area.

Happy Valentine Day to all !

This was no Thanksgiving Day but these people were having some kind of celebration, for sure ! It was a few years ago in Lyon (France). I was walking along the river flowing across the city and stopped beside this barge where a long table had been set and beautifully decorated. Obviously they were waiting for more guests. A young man was giving a sweet kiss – un bisou –  to his partner. Another man smiled to me and said “pas de photo, svp”,  “no photo please”. Jokingly.

Thanksgiving was not celebrated on this river boat but all the guests around this happy table were definitely thankful to be together on that day. An engagement or a wedding lunch ?  And two of them even more grateful to the paths of life that brought them together.

Today as I remember this moment in Lyon, I thought of sharing this picture with you. To all of you who celebrate this happy day I wish a wonderful Thanksgiving !