LILIANE MAHEUX: It happened in December and I’m still very moved by it. I have a friend whose 96-year-old brother learned he was going to die soon. He told his loved ones that he wanted to buy a new hearing aid. My friend, surprised, asked her why. Answer: he wanted to hear what people would come to say to him, so that he could respond to them well.
LOUISE FAUTEUX AND GUY GEOFFRION: A year of change. We left Montreal (good riddance!). And we received a beautiful gift from life: my son and his wife, who did not want children, surprised us with a beautiful Béatrice, in August!
MARIO ROY: Crying. For what ? I don’t even know why. Who am I talking about? By Karl Tremblay, Cowboys Fringants. I know I wasn’t the only one, but still. It’s not like he’s my father… Strange!
ANNE-MARIE CLUSIAULT: This year was marked by a major fire on October 7 in our family nest, that of my boyfriend, our three daughters aged 3, 6 and 11. In this crazy story, my mental postcard (half of our house is in the trash) represents our family, our friends, colleagues, the girls’ school and daycare, who supported us through this ordeal. So many nice touches that allow us to maintain a healthy environment for our casseroles… And a Christmas worthy of the name.
MARIE KAVANAGH: In 2023, I organized the funeral of my daughter’s father, who died at age 50. We had been separated for years. I had heteroconformed in order to have a child. I obviously realized that you cannot “choose” to spend your life with a man. In the car, towards the funeral complex, the radio offered me merchant navy, Cowboys Fringants. It was so fitting, because of the last verse…
Oh, you can come back, but don’t hurry, big guy
There’s no fire on the ship and then, while waiting for you
I’m in good company with the neighbor upstairs
Who every evening, in our bed, keeps your place warm (no)
Her name is Annie xxx
ANDRÉ BORDELEAU: I officially retired on July 26, 2022. I was a scientific facilitator at the Planetarium. In mid-June of 2023, I found myself a job as a messenger. For what ? My pension was not enough to maintain my modest lifestyle. Add to that a 20-year-old autistic son and I’m not rolling in gold. Taxes, fees, inflation and too small a portion of medications covered by RAMQ impoverish me daily.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
(Translation of the columnist, with a pass on the Google palette: Thus passes the glory of the world.)
DANIELLE DUCHESNE: My favorite, which makes me emotional, is the written correspondence that I have maintained for over a year with my little nephews and nieces who are between 5 and 11 years old (the little ones send me drawings), as well as three little girls from my neighborhood. Pure happiness.
KIM ASHCROFT: Who made me laugh, cry and smile, in 2023? Singer Patrick Watson.
MARJORY VAILLANT-GAMELIN: The first “Je teme Maman” written by my 6-year-old son, while I was ruminating on dark thoughts. And everything lit up!
CÉCILE ROQUET: My brothers and I finally got the rillettes recipe from our dad. The one we’ve wanted to have for 25 years, which tastes like heaven and whose taste you look for in vain in every pot of rillettes at the grocery store. It took unclear text messages, the creation of a Messenger group “Rillettes Family” and a FaceTime in France (because we know that a cook doesn’t give out his recipe easily) to finally manage to make an indecent quantity, but absolutely delicious rillettes. We keep this recipe carefully to give to our children: the purpose of a recipe is to pass it on to future generations.
ALEXIS B.-A. : What works in life is when you look at a photo of an office party and everyone sincerely wants to be there. This is a photo of the Christmas party for employees of Les Orchidées Intermediate Residence, in Saint-Lambert. Still, if you only knew how difficult the year has been for many of them. When there is respect, there is hope.
ÉRIC D.: My work colleague recently committed suicide. He was 41 years old.
COLETTE RIOUX: This is the great joy of my life. My grandson in his twenties changed his name, he abandoned that of his father who had abandoned him. He chose his mother’s name, obviously, but he also took mine, his grandmother. I’m still very moved by it.
PAUL B.: This year, I separated after 17 years of living together. I still cry about it, especially for our 8 year old child. I am now part of the statistics.
MARIE-JOSÉE LAVIGUEUR: The balcony of a happy senior in RPA, at the Oasis of Laval.
KARINE PÉPIN: I turned 40 in 2023. My friends are getting divorced, my friends are talking about menopause and sometimes I have to move objects away to see them better. In short, I’m getting older, there’s no doubt! The “40” made me a little depressed. Then, a friend who has cancer told me that reaching 40 was on her way. bucket list. There, I felt really cheap and decided that my forties would be fabulous. I am lucky to see my older daughter who is starting kindergarten and her little brother tell me, Mom, I love you forever… And I am not divorced!
SIMON CÔTÉ: The dignity and strength of Marie-Annick Lépine in the heart of the storm, while Quebec mourned its man.
ANONYMOUS: What makes me cry is seeing that an aunt like you writes Lagacé in the newspaper.
Response from the columnist: 20 more years until I retire. Thank you for reading me.
ISABELLE BEAUDOIN: My postcard, to cry: a child with deafness in one ear had a speech therapy service at the hospital. But as he enters 4-year-old kindergarten, this service stops: it is up to the school to follow up.
There will therefore be no speech therapy service this year.
Sorry for this slice of life, but tears flow down my cheeks as I try to smile.
MAXIME A.: My flash of the year: having to commit our 13-year-old daughter to a child psychiatry. Bravo to the child psychiatry unit at Fleurimont hospital, which saved my daughter. She started going to school again.
GISÈLE PINEL: On September 5, 2023, I was fooling around in my bed. In my bedroom door, I see blue pants: two police officers! What is this? They are in my house! One of them points to his ear, asking me if I’m deaf. I’m deaf. He hands me a paper: “Do you need help?” » I shake my head no… He replies: “You called 911…”
I ask them to hang up my dressing gown which was hanging behind my bedroom door. I ask to put on my dentures, removed for the night, they are in my bathroom…
The imbroglio: an hour before, I had pressed the wrong button on my phone, 911 was notified…
Cursed old age, high demolition and the beginning of decay.
I bought myself pajamas, I now keep my teeth and my hearing aid on my bedside table.
GENEVIÈVE DUPRAS: Crying? The death of Karl Tremblay. Mentally cry? Ukraine, Israel-Gaza, forest fires, climate change. Laugh ? What’s funny in 2023… Not always easy. But I had the privilege of going to see Fred Pellerin with the OSM with a friend and her funny sons. Long live culture!
PASCALE BROCHU: We resigned and decided to take a sabbatical year with the family. Cycling around the world with three teenagers! I hadn’t managed to exchange a complete sentence with my second since the pandemic… It’s getting better!
MARIE-EVE ST-ONGE: This year, I became a mother of… twins. They make me laugh, cry, smile. They help me stay in the here and now. Their smiles (and the lack of sleep, perhaps) will have helped me forget at times how bad everything is.
ÉRIC MERCIER, TEACHER, wrote me a poem:
It’s the year I turn 56
Where I notice that time passes quickly
This is the year to take stock
Where I put aside my futile torments
This is the year of my first tattoo
Crazy dream since a very young age
This is the year of my longest trip
Crazy dreams on another shore
It is above all the year of a people who rise up
A fight through a long strike
It is above all the year of a time which ends
A fight to win for the next generation
SYLVIE LALONDE: Two flashes. The super stupid police officer who gave me a ticket for crossing rue Marie-Anne on foot, which was deserted because the light was red. A $50 ticket given without even a glance. I was heading to the pool, which brings me to my second flash: my aquafitness class for 50 and over. All of us, in the water, three quarters of us, mostly white heads. Arms raising, left, right, in unison. Bodies that are aging but want to stay in shape. How touching. To the rhythm of Mambo Number 5 ! A little ridiculous, but moving…
JEAN-MARC GUILLEMETTE: I want to talk to you about my girlfriend, the mother of my two daughters. A brilliant woman, one of the few veterinary microbiologists in Canada. Long passionate about yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, Buddhist philosophy. She sometimes has a little difficulty adapting to the tumults of modern life, which the writer Sylvain Tesson compares to a sort of collective epilepsy…
My flash for 2023 is the quote that my girlfriend gave me this evening, the words of Jiddu Krishnamurti: “It is not a sign of mental health to be well adapted to a sick society. »
MARTINE LANCTÔT: The year 2022 was to be my year, I was born on October 22: I even decided to retire that day. On August 9, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 4, incurable. I fell out of my chair. My numerology stories have taken a turn for the worse…
Recently, I had an appointment with my oncologist. He tells me that I am in remission, that the crab has left me.
My brain, which was in death acceptance mode, dead like my plans, must also recalibrate. I just got rid of a ton of bricks. Best Christmas gift ever!
I have edited some comments for clarity and brevity. Thanks to everyone who sent me postcards. Be warned: we’ll do the same exercise again in a year. For 2024, I wish you, as Lennon sang, a year free of fear.