I have picked up a project for this trip. I am testing this wordpress blog as a future way of fixing my personal website. On that personal website I have posted pages about my mom, dad and the Texas family killed by a stupid train – Josh, Jennifer and Donald – have all be on my mind a bit as I copy content from those old pages. I’m extracting content for later and I’ll revise or post again. I can’t believe it has been 10 years since I wrote this: http://randymarcotte.com/Reflections2.html
I’ve also been doing some drawing – doodling mostly. On our way out I grabbed an old sketch book. Years ago I scratched out a couple of drawings of my nephew Anthony before he drowned. That was the first real shocking death in my life and had a profound influence over me throughout the years. He was such a sweet boy. I only wish I had then some of the skills I have now to help Jeanne and Donald deal with the hell of his death. I wasn’t of much use then but when I remember how happy Anthony made me and those around him, it inspires me. If childhood (any maybe childish) simplicity and sweetness can be so impactful, perhaps we should all regress a little to childhood?
I just can’t imagine what Susan and Jeanne must do each day to hold the memories of their babies close as the world moves on and writes more stories. It is so shitty that the story of Anthony, Josh and Jennifer didn’t continue. They would have been awesome at selfies.
My mom’s birthday anniversary fell during this trip, though I often carry her in my heart, I know this marathon, this trip to France and some of the things were are seeing and exploring would have excited her. I miss how I would tell her stories of things that made me happy and that made her happy. That’s the super-power of a mother I suspect. I’m not sure she’d understand that I skipped Lourdes. My dad scratched out his thoughts on life in letters and I have that posted. I toy with turning his journal into book of some sort. I would love to have a conversation with Clovis again. Seeing his words again make me sad for his death, though he and my mom both died surrounded by love. I suspect that if dad lived now and had a blog or Facebook, he might respect the selfie as the artistic expression of self that it is. I suspect that Lillian would join Chris and detest the selfie. I’m carving a space. C’est Moi!
It has been sweet to have Chris by my side as I get reflective, slow down and take stock. I often joke that I #marriedup – but it is no joke. I am the luckiest man in the world to have someone so kind, loving, attentive (he is out fetching me a croissant and coffee as I write) and comforting. He embraces me as I embrace my mood-swings, joys, depression and random thoughts – and yes, selfies after selfie after selfie. Anita, my heart breaks for you and the loss of Don. I just don’t know how you do it and even though we don’t speak of him often, know that I often hold you in my thoughts and prayers.
During this trip I’ve been thinking about Josh and Jennifer a bit because of the picture I captured of their footprints. Seeing that picture again during this trip has me sad for the loss of more footprints they could have left on the world, glad for those that they did leave. It also struck me that I should spend as much time thinking about the living nieces and nephews and celebrate their footprints equally. It seems ironic to not revel in the joys of those living as much as I often revel upon the memories of those lost? Perhaps is it is as they say – remembering those gone helps keep them alive. I just wish these two sweethearts had more time to explore and experience the things that would bring them joy.
We also had the honor of joining Jean-Jacques and Alain gather in stories of Alain’s deceased wife, Lillian (yeah, just like mom!). They also recalled a mutual friend and often through the evening edged themselves towards tears of both joy and sadness as they told stories of people who clearly made them happy. It was very sweet and they often apologized for speaking so much of people we had never met. What they didn’t know is that Chris and I now feel like we have met them and have been touched by their stories. We were honored by the intimate sharing. It’s what we like doing for our dead friends and it was lovely to be part of that memorial giving for someone else. I hope some day people tell the same laugh-filled stories about us.
If they do, I hope they take a selfie.
XOX #uncleRandy #uncleKooKoo