To Madame, With Love

We’ve all seen the movie & heard the Lulu song. But how do you thank someone who teaches you so much about life?

I wasn’t blessed with a close mother/daughter relationship. It’s very surface level and that works for Statler & I. For some reason, God always provided a strong mother figure for various stages of my life. I had one in my teens who got me through the stupid teen aged choices I made. I had one in my early twenties who supported me and my crazy ideals of life and gave me wild adventures (who’s feeling like a road trip?).

And, I had Madame.

I met her when I was in my early twenties and she was so inspiring. In the dictionary of life, her picture was beside “has shit together”. Always professional and composed. She taught me about how to be a professional grown up, how image was actually important because you can only make that first impression once. Not that I was a hillbilly or anything, just clueless.

We’ve become really close over the last 7 or 8 years. Mentor? That’s not a loving enough word. She listens to all my crazy, wingnut ideas and always gives me the greatest advice. She adopted us. She loves us. She loves our kids. We always joke about our kids having too many grandparents. We always laugh when we go out because inevitably someone will think she’s my mom. She loves art and we took oil classes together until I was very pregnant with Emmy. Her paintings are are fantastic and I love that we have some of them in our home. She laughs a lot. She loves fiercely.

Madame is proper. She taught us great lessons in finance and budgeting when we really needed it. Even when faced with the hardest of life’s challenges, she still looks awesome. Seriously. Poster child for always having lipstick handy. She is honest. She tells me if my makeup is sucky or if I made a good decision in what I told my boss. She always laughs at my French – non par d’argent.

What I love the most is her encouragement. Always in my corner. Always telling me that my baking is awesome (it so is), or that we chose great colours for our house. But most importantly, she always told me I was a good mom. That my kids are going to grow up to be strong and loving people because Alec & I are doing a good job. Who says that these days? If your parents do, go give them a hug. Right now – go do it, because not all of us are blessed with people like that in our immediate family.

And now Madame is gone.

We lost her the night before last. I thought death might bring some sense of relief after such physical suffering – that she never once complained about. It doesn’t. I can only think about the stupid shit that I bothered her with. I can’t remember what we spoke about last, but I can assure you, it was of no importance. I refused to believe that it was possibly the last time we’d speak. I was in denial of so many things & now it’s too late. Too late.

She was my dear hearted friend, I love her. Alec and I have both lost our mentors this year and I am ready wrap up 2010 now. I don’t want to go to a mall because I’m afraid someone will walk by with her perfume and yet I want to lose myself in her comforter. I cannot believe she won’t be coming over for chinese food again. I can’t believe we won’t take the kids to the farmer’s market again. I can’t believe she won’t be with me at the next theatre show I see. I can’t believe she will never paint again.

I just can’t.

We all love you, forever.


3 thoughts on “To Madame, With Love

  1. ((hugs)) honey. I’m so sorry for your loss but I’m so glad you had her in your life, if even for a too-short time. This was beautifully written.

  2. I am so sorry – I know how hard it is to bear such a loss. I’m sure you were a huge comfort and a joy to her as well. I hope that soon you will be able to smell her perfume and be enveloped in the memory of her love, and not just the hurt. Big hugs going your way.

  3. Anna, that was so beautiful. She was so wonderful and you paid her such a beautiful tribute here and continue to pay tribute by living a long and healthy life and loving your family with the same fierceness.

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