Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Un jour printanier dans le pays

Or for the English among us, "A Spring day in the country". And it was a beautiful day. Isn't it supposed to rain at funerals? Or snow? (Heaven forbid!)
In this beautiful church we said goodbye to Yvon's godfather. He had been very sick for a while, so it was considered a blessing to many. But try to tell that to the great-grandchildren who were probably attending their first funeral of a loved one. Many were decked out in inappropriate party dresses because this was not something a small girl is prepared for. But it was sad to see them cry as they placed white roses on the grave.

Or tell that to the older ones, who unfortunately do have proper funeral attire because many of their generation are quickly aging, leaving them to say goodbye on beautiful spring days. It must be a hard thing to watch your siblings pass away. Yvon comes from a very large family and they all live very close to each other in two small French communities. They have a lot of history together.
I've been to some very dreary services in this church. This was one of the nicest I've been to, including what should have been joyful Christmas and Easter services. This time the music was nice (and I could even sing along to some of it), and the priest was sweet. His English was terrible, and his French was apparently even worse, but the sentiments were heartfelt and sincere. I think God planned the actual priest's vacation very well, allowing this priest from the past to reunite with the grieving family to whom he was quite close 15 years ago when he was the resident priest here.

After the short walk to the cemetery there was a traditional lunch in the community hall. There was talk about why so much of the service was in French when so many of the family members present only speak English now. I personally loved this link to the past. It seemed appropriate to me that this man, who did speak French and was part of one of the town's founding families, should be conducted in his two languages.
After concentrating hard on the Vietnamese-tainted French and hearing "blah blah blah audjourd'hui... blah blah... notre Dieu ...blah blah blah..." I decided just to sit back and let the lovely language wash over me. I didn't care that his accent was terrible. I could tell that this priest loved Yvon's uncle and was saying nice things, things that would maybe comfort his aunt. And when he switched to English I heard a few amusing stories and enjoyed learning more about this man whom I would now never get to know very well.

Incidentally, this is my dream house. And it will never go up for sale as long as there is a priest in the area. Too bad. But the priest in this area works hard and deserves a nice house. He has three congregations in three small towns and it probably isn't any priest's dream location. I want his house but not his job.


Yvon said...

What beautiful words.

I love you.

Bonita said...

Ev, what a wonderful, sweet tribute to an obviously much-loved man. The priest lives in that gorgeous house?? Wow, I can see why that's your dream home!