A French Family Story about an Honorary Grandmother

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A French Family Story about an Honorary Grandmother

Villa Ernest, circa 1968. Here I am with the lady from upstairs, Mamie, who introduced me to football, ancient French Francs, grand maternal love and a sense of generations and responsibilities in life.
Mamie was born at the end of the XIXth century, had lost her beloved brother during WWI, her beloved husband and first son in the early fifties. But she still had a daughter and her hero son. And they had us, 6 girls (“Mes petites-filles” she called us), who were living in the big house, a floor down from chez Mamie, but close enough to easily visit and chat.

She could feel the good energy and the ruckus of a family of 8 downstairs. I knew her routine, her lunch at noon sharp with the radio on and her glass of cheap red wine. After lunch she would play cards on the kitchen table while drinking her coffee. She stocked tons of sugar in her cupboard and never owned a fridge. She washed her long hair with dry shampoo. She surprised me several times with her view on love stories.

She always wanted to keep in touch with the modern world and would ask me questions about how these new machines actually work. She passed away when she was 94.

As a last gift, she explained to me she had had a great life with us but it was time for her to go.
Her only regret? Not ever getting to meet our own kids. Sometimes my dreams bring me back to her upstairs, to the living room shown in this photo and we chat or watch TV as we did, Mamie and I in the XXth century. ~shared by @marionmertens

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