Adèle, 83 yrs

Feb 19th 2023

“I am Adèle Fontaine, a girl who loved acting, who loved telling stories, and if there’s any woman in the world who would become an expert in anything, I would try to be just like them. I wanted to be the best skater, the best golfer, the best swimmer. I don’t do any of that very well, but I do it. I think just doing it is okay. That’s what it’s like when you get older, you don’t have to be perfect, just do it. Do old as well as you can.

I wrote my first book, ‘My Sundays with Normand’, after my husband Normand died. I didn’t know how to live without him, too much was changing here. I read everything I could about women who lost their husbands and felt their grief. I thought, if that’s how they survived that one, maybe I got to write a book. So, I sat down at the computer one Sunday and I started writing a poem. I sent it to my kids and they said, ‘Mom, that’s good’. The first poem that’s in my book is the very first poem that I ever wrote. My dear friend told me that not only did I give my children very solid things of who their father was, but it was also for all the following generations in my family. Normand died in 2014 and I’ve written every single Sunday since his death.

Poetry was thinking for my own self. How did I feel about Normand’s death? I found a way to express that in poetry. I do a lot of writing workshops with people of different ages, and I like to say that it’s in writing that we really find out what we know. In writing, I could bring my whole family alive. As I write, I am keeping Normand alive, keeping that spark within me.

I can talk about Normand, but even after eight years, I would still like to be walking with him. There’s still a hurt in me, and I love that. I’m happy it is still there because if it wasn’t, I would lose that part of me recognizing how much I miss him. That sense of loss is pretty powerful, like a big, big flower.

What will I do with the rest of my life? I’m going to keep on writing and teaching as long as I can. I’m going to keep on breathing and being full of gratitude, and just keep on enjoying. And maybe get a couple more books out.”

Find ‘My Sundays with Normand’ by Adèle Fontaine at a bookstore near you or on Amazon.

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