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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Georges Loriol

Some of you may remember one of my Twelve Days of Christmas posts about the Loriol family (here). About a month ago I received a card from Mme Suzanne Loriol that Georges had died on 26 February. About six weeks earlier I had received a long newsy letter from Georges in response to my Christmas message, as well as a photograph of him and Suzanne taken in November. The letter was still in my 'in' box awaiting a few moments of my time to write back to him. I can see it now peeping out from underneath some photographs. I so intended to write back and to send photos and to make plans to see them both in September on our return to the UK from France.

Georges was a school headmaster, but he started his career in education teaching English. When I last saw him and his wife and son, Etienne, it was his 80th birthday which was on the 23rd of April. He was extremely proud of sharing his birthday with Shakespeare! The Man and I and our two sons were feasted on Lamb and we were regaled with stories of our past history together many years before. Etienne was seated next to me and it was astonishing to see him as a grown man with a wife and children of his own -- and a very out-going and gregarious personality, much like his father. This year he would have been 92.

A day or so after receiving the news about Georges' death I decided to see if Etienne was on the Internet. I Googled his name and discovered that he was on Facebook. I sent a 'Friend' request and he responded almost immediately! So after all these years of wondering whatever happened to them I am back in touch again and have even 'seen' him and talked to him on Skype. He no longer lives in Niort, but in Agde with his youngest son. Sadly his wife died of cancer a few years ago and he has been through a great period of grief and sadness. He has been going through the many thousands of photographs his father had taken over the years, including many from the year 1955 in the United States. Here is a very special one...
Etienne on the sled, Left to Right Little Broad (9 years), Annie, Yvette, my sister Mary

19 comments:

  1. It's hard to lose family and friends, but it sounds like he had a long and productive life.

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    1. He did indeed have a long and productive life and was dearly loved by his family and friends.

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  2. I remember your post, Broad, and have just reread it. It's hard to lose someone you've known for most of your life, but as Stephen says, he's had a long and good life and leaves you with many happy memories. But I bet, just as I would, you're reproaching yourself for not having answered his letter in time.

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    1. The old adage of 'never putting of until tomorrow what you can do today' is the one which keeps coming to mind...

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  3. I can understand you wishing you had replied to the letter but he's had a great innings and you've been able to re connect with his son. You have good memories [and pics] which you'll never lose.

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    1. Indeed, he had a very happy life and I am very happy to have reconnected with Etienne.

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  4. Yes, indeed. When I think about the times we spent with the family in my youth, there is a very special 'glow' about them. I am sure that is when my special feelings about France began.

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  5. The photo from 1955 is lovely. This is a sad tale in that this lovely man is not here anymore, but clearly, the memories will mean smiles rather than tears in the not too distant future. Thoughts are with you. J.

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    1. Yes, nany wonderful memories and many smiles...

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  6. Dear Broad, . . . I followed your link back to the December 27 posting about the Loriol family and the Christmas gift your mom and dad gave the two young daughters. That was a touching story because it showed that despite your wanting another gift, you saw the joy on those two children's faces and rejoiced.

    Now in this posting we see again your tenderness of heart and your graciousness. It's unfortunate that you didn't have time to respond to the letter from Georges, but you know, I'm sure, that he held you dear all those many years.

    I loved the photograph!

    Peace.

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    1. And I understand there are many photos taken while they were in Vermont. They are wonderful especially because at that time, my father took very few family pictures. It will be interesting to see if there are any taken on the Christmas Day...

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  7. I'm so sorry for the loss of this very special friend, but so glad that you're in touch once again with his son. Relationships that go back so many years are real treasures in all our lives.

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    1. 'Treasures' is the perfect word, Kathy.

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  8. How sad to lose a dear friend, especially before you did what you wanted. I hope you won't be too hard on yourself, and I'm sure Etienne very much appreciates your rekindled friendship.

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    1. It's so important to remember to celebrate the memory of that person as well as the sadness...

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  9. Sad to lose a friend, always....but it gave you the impulse to contact his son.

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    1. And I am so glad that I have been able to find him.

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  10. Oh, my. I'm sorry to hear of your friend's passing. God bless you, and his family.

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!