Profiter de la vie
Escapade en Lozère + A hike and a surprise encounter in Cevennes National Park

C'est La Fête des Meres quelque part. Somewhere, it's Mothers Day (Just not in France)

My dear Mom
My precious Mom usually puts on her makeup lying down. In a pinch, she'll do things the conventional way. What I love about this picture are all the familiar items: her fish purse, her Panama hat, her compact mirror....

Something you don't know about me: I am (superstitious is not the word) very disciplined about not working or writing on Sunday. For me, it is a day to honor God (or Mom. And by that I mean "God or Mom" and not "God, or Mom"-- an absence of a comma in the first instance is used to distinguish the difference between the two (for some people there is no difference between the two). To me, most definitely there is!  Read on, in today's letter to Mom.

Dearest Mom,
It's a rainy Sunday here in La Ciotat and I'm feeling a pang of the blues. I wish we could be together--along with Heidi, Reagan, Payne, Max, and Jackie--for one big Mothers Day bonanza with you as the guest of honor!
Please forgive me for not sending a card or a gift. The Servicio Postal Mexicano ran off with such parcels 26 years ago, when you moved to Yelapa and I, to Marseilles! And no matter what we could send you it would not express our love and gratitude for you as our Mother anymore than these words which come from my heart, and Heidi's too...seulement, like a clumsy soeurette, I've hurried ahead (time zone in France vs Denver!) to deliver the message to you first :-P

Your feet resting on the open door of the oven (turned down low, warmth in an Arizona winter) you'd put down your racy book or The Bible and pause to tell us the story about Heidi and me looking down from the clouds and choosing our parents (we even chose different Dads!). This has always been a favorite story of mine, one I tell your grandchildren. But I know, deep down, it was God who chose YOU for us, and for good reason: you have shared your faith with us, and this faith is our anchor, our sustenance--our very espoir!

This is the biggest gift of all and you are the conduit. That makes you a direct pipeline to Heaven! But there must be a more poetic image for such a loving connection: It is your Motherly arms holding us whilst God is holding you. 

No matter how far away you are you are still protecting us. Though you had a broken tin roof over your own head for the past two years, you managed to keep a solid roof over our heads. One day we will write that story together, you, me, and Heidi, and share it with the world. Ceci c'est un début.
We love you, Mom! Aside from la foi, thank you for the stories, the solid rooftops, and so much more. It would take a pipeline to the beginning of time (where those letters and packages to Mexico ended up?) to measure a Mother's generosity, most especially la tienne.


P.S. After posting yesterday's essay, several people said, including my Dad, that the woman in the story, the person I most longed to be, is you.

*    *    *
Happy Mothers Day to all who celebrate, including my dear Belle-Mère Marsha, in Seattle today--and Lynn-Lynn too (I've a few Belle-Mères up my sleeve!). We are especially thinking Michéle-France, my belle-mère extraordinaire.

seuleument = only
la soeurette = little sister, kid sister, little sis
l'espoir (m) = hope
ceci est un début = this is a beginning
la foi = faith
la tienne = yours
la belle-mère = mother-in-law, also means stepmother

Mom on wheels
A favorite picture of my fearless Mom (I know, I know, you don't capitalize "mom" in that last sentence. Here's a bumper sticker for those grammar sticklers--tack it on the back of your car (my own rides a motorcycle or a horse): "M" for Mom, period! 

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. PayPal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, ZELLE is a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens