Another loss - another funeral - this time a former neighbour. This is our old house. We lived across the street from her for nine years. After the funeral my adult children and I went back to her house and back in time to our old neighbourhood. My children spoke of things seeming smaller seen from the perspective of their current height. For me, it was going back to memories of their early childhood, of the people who lived on the street and, of course of the wonderful woman whose laugh and smile lit up the neighbourhood. She faced a number of hardships, not the least of which was caring for a husband who became chronically ill shortly after their daughter was born. Yet she bustled through life, filling it with books, films, bridge games, travel and most of all friendships. Her enthusiasm for learning, for exploring, for wondering was infectious.
We house memories, closed up in our minds. Some of them transform into changes in ourselves, as we learn and try to live up to the people we wish to emulate. Clairette was one such positive example and one I followed as I learned to journey through life with my children after my husband's untimely death at age 36. She helped me laugh and she made me see that a full life was still possible.