Life Lessons – Contrasts

Today is a day of extremes and within it I have found much to think about. First, we learned that Laurent’s mother, Nicole, died suddenly yesterday of a stroke. This is a blow on many levels, from sadness and concern for our dear friends, the Boudeaus, to our own sadness for Nicole’s death, to contemplating the mortality of our parents, to contemplating our own mortality. Melinda and I had just been talking with Laurent and Frédérique this week about our parents, and we were looking forward to seeing Laurent’s later this month.

To express this further, I could easily be convinced that Nicole is related to my family. Chloe commented today how similar Nicole and my mother are, and I mentioned in a blog post 14 months ago how much Nicole reminded me of my mother’s mother, one of my life’s most important influences. Like I said, much to think about.

I also said this is a day of extremes, as it is my father’s 78th birthday, a happy occasion. Last August he gave us all a bit of scare, eased by pacemaker surgery. Two years ago today, just into our second week in Nantes, we went searching for a representation for his 76th birthday. This is what we found.

So in honor of this day of extremes I am breaking one of my blog “rules” and including two photos. The first is one of Nicole of me, taken at her home in Bressuire when we visited in May last year. And the second is for my father and in honor of the idea we had two years ago.

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