“I grew up in Trélex. We had a big and wonderful family. You know, life is rich in the countryside : we lived with nature, we had air to breathe, everything. We had a lot of vines, and we took care of the cows. When we brought the milk to the dairy, we’d get the month’s salary. And when we killed a pig, we had our meat for the whole winter. And every Sunday, my mum would open a plate of chocolate. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her kids!
My father didn’t show his feelings. We had servants who used to say “your father is harsh”. I would say “you know, my dad yells, but he’s not mean.” It’s part of the countryside life. You have to yell for the cows to listen. And back in the day, people didn’t show their feelings. He couldn’t show affection like he would’ve wanted, because he didn’t receive much himself. But he had a lot of heart, he was the first one to help out.
And our parents never gave up, considering the fact that my mother was seriously ill. She had tuberculosis. I was about 14-15 years old when we were placed with uncles and aunts. I find it beautiful how they took us in like their own children. That’s something precious, sir.
When I was 22, I loved a man, and I had child with him. In those days, it was shameful to have a child out of wedlock. People would point fingers at me, they hurt me a lot. We always say that men are cleared and women are sullied. But I showed that I was able to endure this pain. And I was lucky that my dad accepted her. She meant so much to him! No one could’ve taken her away from him!
Now, I’m turning 83, I’m a great-grandmother, and I’m enjoying it all. I accept my age, and I’m at peace with myself. When I was young I used to wonder “but why do we die?” I didn’t accept death. It took me time to understand. It’s part of life. We’re not landlords, we’re just tenants. We’re all part of this big bedroom [laughs]! I made arrangements to be burried in Trélex. I want to be with the team [laughs] !” (translated from French)
(Parc Geisendorf | translated from French)