Music: Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want - by The Dream Academy followed by Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (with lyrics) - by She & Him
THANK YOU - For every single note that was written, prayer that was told, presence that was felt, flower that was sent, hug that was given, tear that was shed, card that was handed in the name of Lucie Mathieu. The outpour of friends and family that came rushing in when the news of Lucie's passing was announced was quite overwhelming and comforting. Again, thank you on behalf of Phil, Mat, Marie-Christine (Patrick) and myself, Ivana.
Dear readers, it is with great sadness that I must share bad news. On March second around 6:30AM, Lucie Mathieu passed away after almost three years of bravely fighting cancer. Let us remind us what the word brave here means: being scared and still going after what scares you, full force. It is hard to believe and accept something that does not seem to fit the original story we all had started to write together. How does one write the ending of a chapter when it had just begun? Why take away such a beautiful and generous soul? What positive sides are there to this situation? Is this question even allowed? Once again, life throws us challenges without our request and constantly puts who we are at test. Lucie being such an important individual in my life, could not go overlooked on my blog, so if you'll all indulge me as I tell you, in one hell of a nutshell, a little of the story of Lucie and me.
It all started in our neighborhoor block. We were a tightly knit community: our parents were all neighbours and had known each other since they had moved in the neighbourhood in the seventies. All of us, the kids from the block, had grown up together and had become good friends. It was easy and simple; we either lived next door, a few doors down or around the corner from each other and had known one another since we were born. Summers were ours, playing hide and seek, running bases and begging any neighbour with a pool for a swim during scorchers. As we grew a little older, new friends entered our circle: Mat and Phil, also very well known as "The Twins", as they are indeed identical twins, that lived just up the street. In no time, worlds collided and all of us together, the boys especially, became the "cool kids". But we were good cool kids; looking out for one another and spending all free time together. I was only eleven years old when I met Lucie Mathieu, the person who would become my mother in law. I was swimming in their backyard pool with Mat and Phil's little sister Marie-Christine, my sister had invited me over that time.
Car rides in the red Volvo
At 15 years old, I had been hanging around with the twins for a little while. They would often ring our door to hang out and eventually I saw them more and more. It was tough to know if it was Mat or Phil standing at the door in those days ;) After the ninth grade, I changed schools for the last two years to go to Charlemagne in the West Island and, apart from the school's great academic reputation and the fact that it was closer to home, the twins attended that school, so in essence, case closed: I was going there as it was now a cool school by association. My mother worked out an arrangement for me to get rides to school and back home with Mat and Phil and guess who drove me for two years? It was Lucie. Throughout our rides, Lucie asked me about my classes and I would tell her all about my daily hustles, my geography projects and eventually, my application to Marianopolis. She was always supportive and had a great ear. By that time, the crew of friends from around the block had grown and blossomed into quite the family of friends from different high schools and neighbourhoods.
The muffins and the sanctuary basement
Meanwhile, as we grew up past high school, Lucie's house was always full of us youngsters hanging out in the basement, watching movies and eating her freshly baked chocolate chip muffins. She baked them at all hours of the day because we ate them at all hours of the day too. I remember my sister coming back home raving about her osso buco recipe or anything else she had cooked for that matter. Even during week nights, we could show up unannounced, at midnight, open the front door, sneak pass the living room and creep down the stairs to reunite with the west island crew that were already chilling in the basement. This blue carpeted and big screen TV equipped basement had become our sanctuary. The place we sought refuge in after a hard day. An inviting and homy environment where we were always welcomed, it was home to us all. Never were we told to keep it down, we shushed each other out whenever we got too loud. It was also a great place to study since in winter, the big glass dining table was stored there and some of us took it over to pull late-night study sessions.
The Magic hands
Not only did Lucie bake us amazing treats, she also graduated in Dentistry at a very young age and ran her very own family dentist clinic later on. I eventually gave up my dentist and became one of Lucie's patients. A passionate doctor, she happily took good care of my teeth and that of every single patient she saw, her hands doing all the delicate and needed work. She also made sure to praise both her sons and her daughter to everyone.
A second talent that sprung from her hands was knitting. Whatever it is that you would like to have knitted, Lucie was able to do it for you. You pick the wool and colour and she took care of the intricate work. She knitted countless blankets, mittens, thick sweaters and her most popular item: colourful wool socks. I wear them as slippers until they are completely worn and torn out. I would usually send them back to Lucie so she could fix them and they would be like new again. I am wearing the last comfy pair she knitted just weeks ago now actually…amazing how precious a pair of socks can become with such a turn of events. Until the end, Lucie was knitting, even in her hospital bed. She was furiously trying to finish a pair the last time I saw her. I hope to be as tenacious as she. She had begun to knit a blue pair for her future grandson as well. Alas, it was left unfinished, like many other projects she was part of unfortunately. It is now up to us, the kids she touched with her generosity and her kindness, to tie up the loose ends as best as we can, finish the work and make her proud.
A mother's touch
Not everyone meets his or her mother in law at the age of eleven. It was and still is a privilege to have known such a caring and devoted person. Her traditional Christmas brunch every 25th of December, her classic red lipstick that she alone could pull off, her contagious laughter, the shepherd's pie she cooked and that I devoured; she spoiled me in ways only she knew how. She put up with my hyperactive manners and extraverted ways and sometimes, with my crazy Italian family. She let me into her home and into her heart.
About nine years ago, Lucie had given me a necklace with a little pendent. In that pendent is the picture of the last quarter of the moon, which is the quarter I was born under. Funnily enough, my nonna used to called me "little moon" in Italian as well, and I had never made the connection with this gift until now. Apparently, those born under the last quarter follow hunches and their instinct a lot more than logic and are gifted with clairvoyant insight (sorry if you're not into that stuff, I'm not into mathematics, but then, math won't help me on my death bed either). Needless to say, I will now have much spiritual support to help my hunches. I am still and will always be trying to figure out and understand life's underlying purpose as I go. One thing is for sure, this will further reinforce my "life is now" motto and that we must give those compliments, say what we want to say there and then, hug our parents and all our friends each time we see them and do what makes us happy. Everyone we meet along the way is a potential teacher. The lessons we will learn will depend on who we are and our perception of things.
Lucie's life is an ever lasting inspiration. For that…and everything else in between, I thank you and continue to love you Lucie. C'est une grande page qui tourne, et tu nous manques déjà un peu trop!
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make" -The Beatles
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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