Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Jeannette married my grandfather nearly 52 years ago making her my step-grandmother and now, my grandbabies' step-great great grandmother. I never called her 'grandma' or anything like it as she was just a few years older than my father, her step-son. He certainly did not call her "Mom". My father disliked her from the start. As my grandfather was a successful physician and she was young and pretty, he suspected some gold-digging. Also she was French-Canadian filling the house with French language and her many relatives whom he also objected to. Well you can't select your kids' spouses nor can you select your parents'. She was a difficult person to warm up to with her many rules. One was to dry the sink out with special towels after you use it so water marks don't form. She was very reserved as opposed to my grandfather's extreme gregariousness. She also considered me to be my father's 'mini-me' so it took years of convincing her that we were not the same. She and my grandfather were married 18 years, took many trips, threw many parties, and had a good marriage-very devoted to each other. After my grandfather died when he was 90, she moved back to Quebec moving in with her college roommate who also as they later found out, was a cousin. We kept in touch over the years and I tried to visit when I could-most recently 3 months ago. She was slowly forgetting English so no longer was comfortable writing it. I can read French all right but the Quebecois dialect is much harder to understand than the school version I learned. I was getting better.

She died yesterday morning of causes I don't understand. She had congestive heart failure but that didn't seem to be the cause. Towards the end, she started accusing her best friend of 80 years of all sorts of stuff. She seemed fairly lucid when I saw her in person in November except that she accused me repeatedly of not sending a thank-you note, which I had.

Not sure when the funeral is but this is really a bad time to travel north. She lived 600 miles away. We are getting our first snow storm of the season today. Even though this winter has been cold, 4 inches at a time is all we had. I got in a long run in yesterday. It was only 15 degrees but sunny and windless.

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