Dynastie des grand-mères (haibun) (Carpe Diem /534 Ancestors)

The prompt today is Ancestors at Carpe Diem and again Chèvrefeuille quotes a passage from Sand and Fom by Khalil Gibran.

{…} “Remembrance is a form of meeting”. {…}

Chèvrefeuille goes on to say that ancestors are a part of us. They are in our genes and will always be with us. They are in our mind and heart. They are part of us.

at the jumble sale
the photo of someone's grandma,
she smiles at me
© Chèvrefeuille
Dynastie des grand-mères
Ten years ago between Christmas and New Year’s my dad was rushed to the hospital for the last time. He had been sick for over two years. Having him phone me multiple times past midnight with belaboured breath was a common occurrence but as soon as I would drive up to his apartment forty minutes later, he would be sitting at his desk, heaving, yet, pleading that I not call 911. I had called once and they came for several minutes, saw my father’s pleading face with tears, so scared they would take him away . then they explained to me he was lucid and they had to respect his wishes.
That night Christmas week, he fell on the floor, unconscious and a neighbour called 911. It was only a few days before he was in a coma and my daughter announced she was expecting a baby. I knew…felt in my heart, she was carrying a boy. My father did January 3rd, 2004.

My daughter was living with me at the time in Toronto and she invited me to her monthly appointment to see her gynecologist. I was so excited, walking in with her to Women’s College Hospital, a ten minute walk to our respective jobs. {yes, I was lucky that she even worked downtown next to my work!}

The doctor put the monitor on her belly and we could hear a loud quick heartbeat. My whole being tingled and I wept with joy, at my grandchild’s heart beating. Later she gave me a snapshot of the ultrasound and it is the first photo in the baby album…well, after I had kept it on my fridge door for months, that is! Nanas have more brag rights than mothers and fathers.
His Tiny-Ness swimming,
in my daughter’s womb/
felt Dad beam
© Tournesol `14
For those who have read previous stories of my grandmother, know that she was a midwife and I was born in her house/bed. Lucky me! She was the same age I was when my daughter gave birth to my grandson. I was her labour coach…I felt GrandMaman’s presence so much with me during her long hours of labour.

Being with my daughter, I was filled with so many images, memories and visions of the past. It was like a book where one chapter is the present, the next chapter rewinds back to the past and the next chapter resumes to the present. It was such a powerful experience so difficult to express. For years when describing the birth of my grandson, I never had a chance to describe much before I would break down crying. It has been a few years now that I can manage to hold my own… well better.
If I were an artist I would have painted a portrait of a woman giving birth with shadows forward of another mother giving birth…I sketched it once but I am SO not an artist.

I kept shifting in time, from the birth of my daughter and son…the newness of giving birth to my son, the fear and worry; the anticipation of being induced with my daughter and wondering if I was having another son or a daughter . {No, I never wanted to know…I felt the curiosity may give me more incentive to push with more drive. The first thing I noticed alone with my baby girl, stripping off her nightie, diapers and tiny socks…examining every centimetre and thinking, “She will go through this same labour mixed with joy someday too.”

My grandmother was the same age I was when I became a grandmother; after her long illness of dementia and her death, I had not felt close to her; I missed her  and somehow, I felt much closer to her since my grandson`s birth…closer than I had ever felt since her death

presence felt
she gave me a grandson/
© Tournesol `14


  1. ?His Tiny-ness...."...........gotta love it........opie

    1. Well, he is pretty much your French we have expression, Enfant Roi and that he is to his grandparents anyway.

  2. What a powerful image of those chains that keep us together over generation... The closeness and how you see your father in your grand-son - very moving.

  3. Thank you, Björn. Actually I knew she was carrying a boy and felt my father was with him when he crossed over here.Almost like he was on the other side coaxing him to enter this world. Perhaps my dad is his guardian, like I always felt my grandfather with me.


Your visits and comments soothe the soul and my eyes smile, thank you!
Vos visites et commentaires apaise l'âme et mes yeux rigolent, merci!