6 years ago today, we lost my stepmom Claudette to pancreatic cancer. She valiantly fought it for 22 months but in the end, the cancer (one of the deadliest forms) won. A lot has happened in those 6 years that Claudette would be happy to know about.
First and foremost, after a few years of steep uphill struggling, my sister Melissa (Claudette’s daughter) went back to school and just recently finished her undergraduate degree and is being bridged into the public service. She’s also now engaged to a great guy named Tom and they both live in a house in Low, Quebec.
My sister Steph also finished her degree and now works full time at the same office as me in the government. She has a beautiful son named Logan and another little boy (Nikko) on the way.
My dad, who didn’t think he’d ever be with anyone again, met a great woman named Zoe who shares many common interests with him and they both had beagles! They’ve been married for 3 years now. I know Claudette would have wanted him to find someone.
As for me, well Chris and I got married, bought a house and now have baby Henry.
Here are a few things about Claudette that you may not have known:
1- She was an OR nurse for a very long time until the long hours of standing got the best of her back. She then went on to be a nurse in the infection disease ward of the General Hospital and befriended and treated many AIDS patients. She always spoke very fondly of her patients and worried about their wellbeing.
2- She was, much to the chagrin of the 3 girls stuck in the car on long rides to Montreal, a HUGE BeeGees fan. She liked their old classic stuff but the tape we were forced to listen to over and over again was something they recorded in the late 80s and boy was it lame… Occasionally she’d give us a break and put in the Fine Young Cannibals tape where we’d play “She drives me crazy” over and over again.
3- She drove me to and from work pretty much an entire summer for my first “real” job as an artistic restorator/painter in a chapel. After long days of sweating in a dusty chapel, I didn’t smell like roses and was often covered in paint but she picked me up anyways 🙂
4- Probably the only woman I know who thought potty humor was hilarious.
5- Often convinced my dad to let me stay out later when I was a teenager.
6- Looooved to watch sports on tv. Like any sport. Thank god we had two tvs in the house since there isn’t really a time a year when there are absolutely no sports on tv.
Anyways, today we went to Claudette’s grave to bring a geranium since she loved when stores started selling spring plants again. We had Ginger in the car and let the windows down so that she could have so air while we went to pay our respects. Well Ginger was not happy and did this high pitched whiny bark the entire time we were there, meaning we kind of had to rush since you don’t want a dog barking like an idiot at the cemetery, although I think Claudette would have found that hilarious.