Saying Goodbye & A Minute of Silence
My grandfather was larger than life. At least within our family. His voice, his demeanor, his character commended respect but also love and trust.
He lived 101 years. He was married to my grandmother for 71 years. When she passed away six years ago, his heart shattered in a million pieces.
During WWII, he was taken prisoner by the Germans and put on a train heading to a POW camp. As an officer among other brave officers, he was part of a group who decided to undo the bolt and lock on their wagon and jump. In enemy territory. During 12 days, they walked and crawled back to France. All the while my grandmother was raising the children they would create every time he was on leave…
His sense of duty and dedication are some of the traits he passed on to his children, grandchildren and great great children. He had a way to make sure of it.
Every year, he would fill photo albums with all the events he’d captured through the lens. He would include a five to ten page account of everything that happened to anyone in the family. If we ever had a dispute as to whom attended what, we’d call him or go get that album.
My grandfather had a really round belly. Like Santa. Except he had very skinny legs. I always thought he would make a really good Santa, at least from the belly.
I loved the way he laughed.
I loved the way I trusted him. I loved how safe he made me feel.
I loved the way he loved my husband "L’americain" and tried to scramble the three words of English he had learned during the war.
I also loved the way he would stop, frustrated by their lack of ability to communicate and he would exclaim "J’suis trop vieux moi maintenant! C’est a Bill d’apprendre le francais" (I’m too old now! Bill should learn French!)
He loved good food, good wine and good conversations.
I will always remember the way he had to answer the phone "Oui, j’ecoute!" (yes, I’m listening!) … no matter who was on the other end.
He had a knack for telling stories. He loved hearing a good one too.
He was generous in all aspects possible.
He was always reading up something in his encyclopedias.
I always had the feeling he knew how we, grandkids, broke and glued back together a couple of lamps playing hide and seek at Christmas.
He was one of a kind.
Thank you for allowing me this one minute of silence. Forgive me for the lack of posts this week.
B December 20, 2011 um 8:02 am
What an amazing life your Grandfather lead and how lucky you were to have been a part of it. May he rest in peace. B x
Karen Baking Soda December 20, 2011 um 8:05 am
My sincere condolences Helene, you've written a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. Take care.
ChichaJo December 20, 2011 um 8:38 am
My deepest condolences Helene. What a wonderful man he was and this is a wonderful tribute. You are lucky to have had each other in your lives…
Kavey December 20, 2011 um 8:40 am
I'm so sorry for your loss. That's a very moving eulogy for a man that I can see will be missed by many.
Content Director – Strong Female Leaders December 20, 2011 um 8:57 am
What an endearing story. Brought tears to my eyes. Your Grandfather was quite a man.
london bakes December 20, 2011 um 9:17 am
He sounds like an amazing man, I am so sorry for your loss.
Three-Cookies December 20, 2011 um 9:44 am
Condolences to you and your family. Very impressive, he lived a long happy life going past 100 years. And that train story is amazing
sprite December 20, 2011 um 9:49 am
I'm sorry for your loss. Grandparents are so important; the hole he leaves must seem immense right now. Sending hugs…
[email protected] Translating Nutrition December 20, 2011 um 9:57 am
I am sorry for your loss. He sounds like an incredible person, and this was a wonderful post to read. Take care.
Li Ying December 20, 2011 um 10:09 am
He had an amazing life!
Reminds me of my grandpa too!
Thanks for sharing.
Magda December 20, 2011 um 10:11 am
I'm so sorry for your loss Helene. You grandfather reminds me so much of mine.
May you always have warm memories of him in your heart.
Take all the time you need. We'll be here..
martina December 20, 2011 um 10:14 am
Thinking of you (and your family) in this heart breaking moment this Christmas. Take care
Sugar Daze December 20, 2011 um 10:20 am
Very sorry for your loss.
Annika December 20, 2011 um 11:23 am
My condolences. How much love is in this post!
Vera December 20, 2011 um 11:31 am
My heart goes to you and your family Helene. Your grandpa lived a full life. Mine still lives, but he's been talking about leaving these past few months. Maybe he's lonely (grandma passed on 7 years ago), maybe he's just feeling really old now. But we always pray that he reaches his 100th year too, or that he'll at least still be around to see me get married. The important thing is, we spend as much time with them as we can, and do what we can to brighten up their days.
Sorry for the long post. My sincerest condolences.
KJ December 20, 2011 um 11:43 am
It is obvious he was well loved. There is nothing more you can ask for in life.
Marie (Mrs. Dalrymple) December 20, 2011 um 11:55 am
What a beautiful and moving tribute. Mes plus sincères condoléances.
Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy December 20, 2011 um 12:08 pm
A wonderful tribute to him! I'm sure he would be pleased to know how much he affected your life.
Kelly-Jane December 20, 2011 um 12:13 pm
I'm sorry to hear of your loss too. xx
Gabi Butcher December 20, 2011 um 12:22 pm
I'm sorry. I'm sure she would love this tribute.
Ilke December 20, 2011 um 12:23 pm
Grandfathers are special. I lost mine several years back and it seems like someone carved a big chunk out of my life. The place is never filled with something else.
Wish you strength and comfort that come through the memories you two shared.
JulieD December 20, 2011 um 12:24 pm
Thank you for sharing this. Thinking of you at this difficult time. What wonderful pictures!
PCovi December 20, 2011 um 12:29 pm
I savored that read! 🙂 I'm so glad you had such a grandfather. I had an uncle who was larger than life …not everyone gets a love like that!
Anonymous December 20, 2011 um 12:29 pm
My sincere condolences, Helene…
decocinasytacones December 20, 2011 um 12:35 pm
I´m terribly sorry for the loss!.
All my love from Spain!.
Vicki Bensinger December 20, 2011 um 12:39 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss. Your grandpa sounded like a very special person. He lived a long full life and fortunately you have wonderful memories that you'll never forget.
Anonymous December 20, 2011 um 12:39 pm
Beautifully written about a beautiful person. He seems to have touched your life in such a special way. My thoughts are with you and your family.
sami December 20, 2011 um 12:40 pm
Sorry for your loss. I lost my Dad 16 years ago today,
Anonymous December 20, 2011 um 12:40 pm
I am sorry for your loss… what a wonderful man he was… thanks a lot for sharing this..
Rachael December 20, 2011 um 12:53 pm
I've always wondered what it was like to know someone who was simply incredible.
After reading about your grandfather, I feel like I have a little more of an idea.
Pardon my poorly remebered French, but "Je suis desolé."
FunkySteph December 20, 2011 um 12:56 pm
Quels beaux mots… Mes condoléances…
rahel December 20, 2011 um 12:59 pm
A wonderful post! Very touching and left me wanting to cry and laugh at the same time- my thoughts are with you!
leah goetzel December 20, 2011 um 1:04 pm
I am so very sorry to hear about your Grandfather, he seems like he was a wonderful and loved by so many. My thoughts are with your family.
Unknown December 20, 2011 um 1:12 pm
What a beautiful remembrance. I am deeply sorry for your loss.
Frenchcook December 20, 2011 um 1:14 pm
I don't know you personally but am sending you my sincere sympathy. Your grandfather sounds like a real mensch who made the life of people he touched more beautiful. I am sorry for your and your family's loss and hope the coming weeks are the opportunity to recall all the happy memories you have of him. Thanks for sharing amazing images and recipes with your readers. You're also bringing beauty in everyday's life, the way your dear grandfather did. All the best, Sonia
Dana December 20, 2011 um 1:15 pm
G-d bless. I'm very happy to hear your grandfathers story and I'm sorry you lost him. He lives on in you. Thanks so much for sharing.
Mellissa @ IbreatheI'mhungry December 20, 2011 um 1:17 pm
What a rich life he led and he was loved until the end of it which is all any of us can ask for. Our condolences, may your memories of him continue to bring you joy and peace.
Barb Bamber December 20, 2011 um 1:17 pm
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. What a tender and gentle man he was… you were so blessed to have him in your life.
Margaret December 20, 2011 um 1:18 pm
Thank you for sharing the wonderful story of your grandfather.
Anonymous December 20, 2011 um 1:26 pm
So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to a man who truly lived a full life – thank you for sharing!
Lizzie Gee December 20, 2011 um 1:32 pm
A beautiful eulogy – thank you for sharing.
a bit of space December 20, 2011 um 1:34 pm
Your Grandfather sounds like a truly wonderful person to have known. May he rest in peace, and may you take comfort in being able to re-tell his great stories. Best Wishes x
Smith Bites December 20, 2011 um 1:37 pm
An extraordinary man, an extraordinary granddaughter . . . My deepest condolences to you my sweet friend (((hugs)))
LisaB December 20, 2011 um 1:40 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss. Your grandfather was an amazing man!
Tracy Grant December 20, 2011 um 1:43 pm
Love to you.
Tamara December 20, 2011 um 1:45 pm
Beautiful tribute; it brought me to tears. What a blessing your grandfather was. Sorry for your loss.
Susan Lindquist December 20, 2011 um 1:45 pm
What a wonderful tribute … from this 'moment', I know you and your family will have a million other stories and memories of your grandfather – enough to last a lifetime … and more!
My sympathy to you and your family.
adriprints December 20, 2011 um 2:06 pm
I am sorry for your loss. My grandmother passed away in October of last year, and she too would answer the phone "I'm listening", but in Spanish "Oigo?". That brought back memories of her. My condolences and much peace to you and your family.
George Crudo December 20, 2011 um 2:09 pm
What a beautiful tribute to your beloved grandfather!
However we can all feel comfort in the thought that our grief for lost loved ones is only for a brief time; for we will all be reunited again one day in the presence of Our Lord
Megan December 20, 2011 um 2:11 pm
What a gift you were given to experience the lovely charm and support this man offered you. I can only imagine the pride and love he carried in his heart for you – his lovely and talented granddaughter.
You will be with one another always.
Delphyne December 20, 2011 um 2:11 pm
What a wonderful man and a wonderful life he lived! Thank you for sharing him with us.
Delphyne December 20, 2011 um 2:12 pm
What a wonderful man and what a wonderful and full life he lived! Thank you for sharing him with us.
Stelios Mamatis December 20, 2011 um 2:14 pm
Helene, please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of your grandfather who has obviously lived a very full life and spread a lot of knowledge and wisdom to his family. May you always remember him with tenderness and admiration. From a fellow blogger
Bevy December 20, 2011 um 2:17 pm
What a lovely story of your grandfather…how lucky you were to have him in your life so long. I hope someone in your family captured all those stories. I am sorry for your loss.
Bevy December 20, 2011 um 2:18 pm
What a lovely story about your grandfather. He sounds like a delightful man….I hope someone captured some of his stories. I am sorry for your loss.
Michelle December 20, 2011 um 2:19 pm
Quelle vie merveilleuse! Mes condoleances.
Jaime December 20, 2011 um 2:26 pm
My deepest condolences Helene, may your grandpa rest in peace.
aol December 20, 2011 um 2:32 pm
What a beautiful tribute to your Grandfather, you lifted my spirits today. I have the same birthday as he. May he rest in peace and my sincere condolences to you and your family. Remember all of the good times that you shared with him, especially since it is the holiday season. God Bless you and your family during this difficult time.
onesilentwinter December 20, 2011 um 2:34 pm
what a beautiful tribitute to your grandfather. what an amazing life he has had. really beautiful helen.
Laura December 20, 2011 um 2:36 pm
He was a lucky man to live so long and so healthy, and with his wife for so long too.
Thanks for sharing a little bit of his life with us, my grandparents are long gone, born at the same time as yours but not so long lived. I miss them.
Rachel Willen December 20, 2011 um 2:36 pm
Je suis de tout cœur avec vous. Mes sincères condoléances…
Angela December 20, 2011 um 2:50 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss, Helene. What a wonderful tribute to your grandfather. He sounds like a wonderful, amazing man who loved greatly. Praying that God would comfort your heart at this time.
notyet100 December 20, 2011 um 2:54 pm
Take care dear,..can understand your pain,l
Eileen Beran December 20, 2011 um 3:02 pm
What a wonderful life he lived. Thanks for sharing, and may you find comfort during this time.
Juli December 20, 2011 um 3:05 pm
May your many lovely memories of your grandpa lift you up in the days to come.
Laura December 20, 2011 um 3:06 pm
Wish I could have met him! Your stories about him are just wonderful. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time.
teresacooks December 20, 2011 um 3:06 pm
I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. Mine died 2 weeks ago. . . also a world war 2 vet, a hero in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. Also a dedicated family man. I think maybe there was something about surviving that war that made them realize that nothing would ever be more important to them than their family. It hurts to lose them.
Sarah December 20, 2011 um 3:06 pm
It sounds like he lived his 101 years to the fullest; thank you for sharing a selection of your memories of him. I'm sorry for your loss and hope you find great comfort in your memories and family.
Hinna December 20, 2011 um 3:08 pm
My condolences to you and your family.
bernardina December 20, 2011 um 3:13 pm
O my God, the World is so small when it comes to joy and sorrow…
I read your wonderful blog for sometime now and I love it. I, too, lost my beloved grandmother at the age of 101 in April, and she was like a second mother to me as she practically raised me because my parents were away for five years. I understand your sadness and the void his deadh left inside you. May you have his blessings. My deepest sympathies.
Bernardina from Greece.
Unknown December 20, 2011 um 3:14 pm
a wonderful man, a beautiful life … my deepest sympathies, Helene
Skinny Jeans Food December 20, 2011 um 3:29 pm
Your grandpa is a bijou! I am sure you will miss him very much.
Anonymous December 20, 2011 um 3:39 pm
What a wonderful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss. It seems like your grandfather was a wonderful man who lived a great life and had a great impact on the those who knew him. My condolences to your family during this difficult time.
cindy December 20, 2011 um 3:55 pm
What a lovely tribute and beautiful photos. Wishing your family love and healing as you remember your precious grandparents.
Anonymous December 20, 2011 um 4:00 pm
What a lovely tribute to a man with a remarkable story. May your heart be light through this difficult time.
erica December 20, 2011 um 4:03 pm
Helene, what a lovely man he was, and I am sorry for your loss. How beautiful that he lived a long life, together with your grandmother, and how wonderful an influence he must have had on your family. What happy memories! Blessings on you and your loved ones in this time.
steve December 20, 2011 um 4:06 pm
Toutes mes condoléances, Hélène.
Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe December 20, 2011 um 4:28 pm
What a lovely tribute to your grandfather Helene. Thinking of you…
Violets and Cardamom December 20, 2011 um 4:30 pm
Sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute to him.
Roving Lemon December 20, 2011 um 4:49 pm
Condolences to you and your family on your loss. How fortunate you are to have had such a vibrant person in your life who remained engaged to the end.
[email protected] December 20, 2011 um 4:52 pm
I've always thought the relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter was a particularly special one.
I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was an incredible man who lived an incredible life.
Glory December 20, 2011 um 4:54 pm
So beautiful, thank you for sharing the special moments of his life. Sorry for your loss.
Sarah December 20, 2011 um 4:59 pm
I am sorry for your loss, what an amazing man your grandfather was and how lucky you were to have him in your life.
Shaindel December 20, 2011 um 5:09 pm
So sorry to hear he's gone..! I'm sure he's absolutely loving your tribute from up there, since it's also a beautiful story..
Warm hugs from Venezuela
Heidi @ Food Doodles December 20, 2011 um 5:18 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss. What an amazing life he led, and it's wonderful that you got to spend so much of your life enjoying such a beautiful person 🙂 Thank you for sharing so many touching stories with us!
Stephane December 20, 2011 um 5:59 pm
Oh, it hurts so much to lose someone you love so much. I hope he has found your grandmother and healed his shattered heart.
Anonymous December 20, 2011 um 6:39 pm
I deeply feel your loss. I love my Grandpa with all my heart. Can't imagine a life without him.
Julie December 20, 2011 um 6:54 pm
Thank you for telling us about him–he sounds wonderful! Healing thoughts to you and your family as you cope with your loss.
Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 20, 2011 um 6:59 pm
I am so sorry for your loss and my deepest warm wishes of peace and some calm and strength are with you during this very hard time.
I am so sorry.
Teresa December 20, 2011 um 7:22 pm
A lovely tribute to an obviously special Grandpa. He is with his beloved now. You are fortunate to have had him in your life for so long.
Unknown December 20, 2011 um 7:33 pm
Shhhhhh…just breathe gently, cry alot, laugh a little, hug those around you and continue to cherish the memories that he created for you.
Sofie Dittmann/The German Foodie December 20, 2011 um 7:37 pm
my deepest sympathies. i lost my father 11 days ago at age 85. no matter how old they are, it is always a tear in your heart.
Karine December 20, 2011 um 7:43 pm
Très bel hommage… Sincères condoléances.
Julie Le Clerc December 20, 2011 um 7:48 pm
Sincere condolences for your loss Helene. What a blessing to have such a very special man as your Grandfather. Your tribute to him is deeply touching. May he rest in peace. Sending you heartfelt sympathy from New Zealand.
Beatrice94 December 20, 2011 um 7:49 pm
I've never written on this blog before, but it's been a year it's in my starter page when I open Mozilla, and every time I wish there's something new. You can really see how the specialty of your grandfather passed through generations. Last year I lost my beloved grandfather as well, after 4 years of agony due to Alzheimer disease, and I was not even there to grieve with my family when it happened, because I was on a studying holiday with school in England. Still, this sometimes makes me cry alone, because I feel so guilty I was not there to console my father, who also had lost his brother 9 years ago, when I was 9, due to a totally unexpected heart attack. Many families can have neverending differences, including the way we grieve for our beloved, but the only thing that does not change is that we DO GRIEVE for our dear ones, no matter how, and that is a link that connects any person in the world. Condolences to you and your family, may you have a merry Christmas.
Miwi December 20, 2011 um 8:04 pm
I send you a big hug.
elizabeyta December 20, 2011 um 8:33 pm
No forgiveness needed. What a lovely post and tribute! You brought tears to my eyes.
Hugs sent (((hug)))
blessings and peace,
Tanja Leković December 20, 2011 um 8:46 pm
So sorry for your loss – you made me sad with your nice words for your grandfather. May he rest in peace. Sending you all my condolences from Serbia.
Raül December 20, 2011 um 9:29 pm
From Barcelona, Spain my sincere condolences
Wendy December 20, 2011 um 9:32 pm
My sincerest condolences to you and your family , your post bought tears to my eyes , what a wonderful man you grandfather was, you were very lucky to have him in your life. Warm wishes from a Belgian living in Australia.
Liz December 20, 2011 um 9:41 pm
My heartfelt condolences Helene. What a eulogy you've left in such simple, tender words. As others have said, your grandfather seemed such a warm, open, yet still private and dignified man. I wonder what more of his wartime self he left untold; my grandfather was a WW1 veteran and spoke only occasionally of the 'trenches at Ypres'. He returned home at war's end to find his wife had left him so he started another family – otherwise I wouldn't be here! So much sorrow left unsaid though from wartime, that I think our grandfathers just wanted to spare their future generations of family. On a different note, I am curious as to your grandfather's favourite foods? Would you share a recipe he was fond of as a tribute on Tartelette?
Helene December 20, 2011 um 9:49 pm
Liz: actually, my grandfather was really vocal about his time in the war. He had to in a way since none of his 6 children was born in France as a result of his campaigning so there was always a story around it.
He wanted to be accountable for all the decisions made and taught us as much. Individual responsibility.
About 10 years ago, he sat down and wrote it all down in 5 incredible volumes. I am incredible grateful that he opened up raw in these.
It's hard and magical at the same time.
terri December 20, 2011 um 10:25 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss. This was a wonderful tribute to an amazing man. You have a special family–no wonder you are such an incredible person yourself.
The Suzzzz December 20, 2011 um 10:26 pm
Beautiful photos and memories to celebrate a full and wonderful life. He was loved and you let him know it, there is no better gift than that. I am sorry for your loss. When you lose someone it makes this time of year especially hard. Peace be with you.
phoenix December 20, 2011 um 10:34 pm
So sorry to hear about your grandfather. My deepest condolences. He sounds like a wonderful character.
Celeste December 20, 2011 um 10:48 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss. Your grandfather was an extraordinary man, you were lucky to have him.
Lara Ferroni December 20, 2011 um 11:05 pm
Helene – what a lovely post. Thank you for sharing. Peace & hugs to you and your family.
Michelle December 21, 2011 um 12:16 am
Thank you so much for sharing your grandfather with all of us. What a remarkable man. And, thank you for reminding me to think of my grandfather. Yves-Marie Adolf Lagae
Megan December 21, 2011 um 12:45 am
Wow. What a heartfelt tribute. He truly was a brave man and a hero. And a grandpa to you. My prayers are with you, I am especially missing my grandpa this year. Thank you for sharing with us.
Unknown December 21, 2011 um 2:21 am
This is a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing this amazing story.
Nisa-mom December 21, 2011 um 2:37 am
My deepest condolences; He is trully a wonderful man he was and , you are the lucky one having him and let him giving a good influence in your lives…
Return to Sunday Supper℠ December 21, 2011 um 3:54 am
So much love in your words and in your pictures of your grandfather. You can feel and see what a great man he was and what wonderful memories you have of him. I know that you will treasure those memories forever. My sincere sympathy for you and your family.
Gale Reeves December 21, 2011 um 4:08 am
Beautiful story and such wonderful memories.
Catherine December 21, 2011 um 5:01 am
What a beautiful tribute! You have made me wish I had met him now.
Pétra December 21, 2011 um 6:24 am
What a wonderful tribute thank you for sharing. I hope you are all well through this time.
Gourmet forever December 21, 2011 um 6:32 am
It's very nice the way you have written this. Reading it I felt if I were almost you. Grandfathers are great!
caja de sabores December 21, 2011 um 7:21 am
Cuanto cariño hay en el recuerdo de tu abuelo, que conservarás siempre.
Shelby December 21, 2011 um 7:46 am
My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family…thank you for sharing the story of a man and presence who so clearly made the world a better place.
[email protected] December 21, 2011 um 9:20 am
Condolences Helene for your loss.
May your Grandfather rest in peace after such a wonderful life.
Nadia December 21, 2011 um 9:28 am
My grandfather died this saturday too at the age of 90.
I'm really sorry for your loss!
heks December 21, 2011 um 9:43 am
I´m sorry for your loss. He must have been brilliant person.
Neethu December 21, 2011 um 10:41 am
Sorry to hear about your loss… I pray that the peace of GOD will guard your heart and mind during this time.
Especially wanted to thank you for sharing about your grandfather despite your grief, you see I never saw mine.. and I just had a glimpse how it would be if I had one…
shaz December 21, 2011 um 10:57 am
Condolences to you and your family. What a wonderful tribute to your grandfather, his joyous nature shines through these photos.
Nancy December 21, 2011 um 1:38 pm
Such a beautiful tribute. You can feel the love. I am so sorry for your loss, may your heart remember forever.
Lori @ Laurel of Leaves December 21, 2011 um 3:00 pm
I'll add my voice to the many here – that was truly a beautiful tribute to a beautiful life.
Tesei December 21, 2011 um 3:21 pm
I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. Mourning our loved ones is always hard, thank you for sharing this with us. I've always believed that when some one goes, he/she makes room for someone new to come in. My husband was born on the 18th december, so I'm grateful to those strangers who made room for him in this world. And what are the chances?, on the same 18th December that you lost your grandfather, our dear friend Saray gave birth to her baby Gil. So I trully share your loss with you and feel that your grandfather was a great person in life and when he left, he made room for a new little person in our lives. Our most sincere condolences to you and all of your family.
Lora December 21, 2011 um 3:27 pm
That last picture is absolutely stunning. What amazing expression. You are so lucky to have him as long as you did.
Sylvia December 21, 2011 um 4:00 pm
My heart goes out to you and your family for your loss.
My mother was involved with the French Resistance during WWII in Paris,Verdun and the Ardennes Offensive. She was with the only WAC unit behind the front lines with Bradley. They are the Greatest Generation.
Lauren December 21, 2011 um 4:14 pm
My most sincere sympathy on the loss of your beloved grandfather. Your loving tribute was shared with us like one of your delicious recipes, to be read over and savored. I will hold you and your family in the light and hope that you find much comfort in your many, many joyful memories of this wonderful man.
Make Do and Mend December 21, 2011 um 6:15 pm
Oh Helene, I haven't commented before, but I feel compelled to now. I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. I lost my grandfather last year on the 18th. It is devastating. It sounds like your grandfather was larger than life. How lucky to have him in your life. It doesn't matter how old a person is, you still want more time. Blessings for your heart to feel comfort during this time.
La Tartine Gourmande December 21, 2011 um 7:35 pm
Bien désolée d'apprendre cette bien triste nouvelle. Tu garderas de lui tant de précieux souvenirs plein d'émotions. 101…c'est grand, c'est beau.
BC December 21, 2011 um 7:48 pm
Dear Helene, your beautiful tribute to your grandfather speaks volumes about what a loving, gentleman he was.
Heartbreaking to have lost him, especially at Christmastime, but oh what a life he lived and shared with you.
Thank you for sharing him with us through this lovely tribute to his life lived well.
Unknown December 21, 2011 um 8:17 pm
Im so sorry Helene for your lost. Your Grandad looks amazing on photos, I can see sparkles in his eyes. From Your description he was a great, brave and full of joy man. The most important he is with his wife now.
[*] – this a candle, in Poland we always light a candle for love ones who are not with us anymore.
Laura December 21, 2011 um 8:42 pm
What an amazing life your grandfather had, he must have been such an inspiration to you. So sorry for your loss.
Unknown December 21, 2011 um 8:42 pm
oh sweetie, I cried when reading this.So sorry for your loss, what a lovely tribute. xoxox
kia December 21, 2011 um 8:48 pm
Please accept my condolences Helene. He seemed like a very lucky man whose family knew how wonderful we was. Thank you for sharing these words about him.
FOODalogue December 21, 2011 um 9:17 pm
So that's where you got your talent for photography! Such a lovely and touching tribute. He sounds like a special man and you were lucky to have him for 101 years!
[email protected] December 21, 2011 um 9:52 pm
I'm very sorry for your loss.
Your grandfather was an amazing man.
May your grandfather rest in peace and I send you and your family my best regards.
Please take care of yourself!
Livia December 21, 2011 um 11:30 pm
What a full life and rich history. The generousity of spirit you describe in him shines through in your writing as well.
His death is a great loss.
Lynn December 22, 2011 um 3:38 am
I`m so sorry for your loss. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man who lived an amazing life.
Val December 22, 2011 um 4:22 am
Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man. How lucky you are to have had him in your life for so long.
Dr Martin Luther King said "The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important." It appears your grandfather accomplished both. I'll be keeping you and your family in my prayers.
Anele @ Success Along the Weigh December 22, 2011 um 5:00 am
I'm so sorry for your loss. May the wonderful memories of him comfort you at this difficult time.
Tricia December 22, 2011 um 6:36 am
Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss, Helene. Grandparents fill such a special place in our hearts. Your grandpa sounds like an amazing man who gave you and your family lots of wonderful memories. This is a beautiful tribute to his spirit. Best wishes to you ♥
Akika (Ichigo Shortcake) December 22, 2011 um 9:09 am
Reading this post brought me to tears. I'm very sorry for your loss. My great aunt actually passed away 2 days ago too and her funeral was today. The older generation always have such fascinating lives, your grandfather's especially.
My sincerest condolescences to you and your family.
Geisslein December 22, 2011 um 1:02 pm
What a wonderful and heart-touching post you´ve shared with us! You´ve made me tears in my eyes now with your lovely words! I wish I would have known him.
Sending you a hug from rainy germany, geisslein
Seanna Lea December 22, 2011 um 3:24 pm
Your grandfather sounds like an amazing person. I'm sorry for your loss and hope you will have time with your family to remember him.
sweet paris December 22, 2011 um 4:03 pm
Je ne connaissais pas ton blog que je decouvre avec ce très emouvant article.. C'est incroyable comme parfois avec internet on peut se sentir proche de quelqu'un sans rie connaitre de cette personne… Ton grand père ne faisait pas 100ans à son 100ème anniversaire…
carol December 22, 2011 um 7:16 pm
bless you for sharing such an intimate & beautiful tribute to your grandfather…my sympathies to you & your family with his passing…may all these memories & more, continue to warm your heart forevermore…
rose December 22, 2011 um 9:09 pm
My sincere condolences to you and your family. May peace and grace touch you through the tears. All the best, Rose
alim December 22, 2011 um 10:01 pm
Wow. What a beautiful tribute to him and the life he led. Just as you were lucky to have him as a mentor and hero, he was very lucky to have someone as talented and gracious as you. All the best to you and your family .
Mary December 23, 2011 um 12:51 am
You wrote an amazing piece that I feel honored to have read, Helene.
How brave he was to risk so much but succeed after jumping off that train.
All of us readers have had Grandfathers and Fathers that perhaps have passed away, and all of mine have now left me, so many of us can relate to some of the feelings that you are now having. My birthday was on the 18th so he and I are forever linked. My family on my father's side was french, too. Love to you.
Mary in Oregon
Maryanne December 23, 2011 um 2:37 am
I'm so sorry.. I feel like I know him just from reading this, what a wonderful man..
Faith December 23, 2011 um 2:43 am
I'm so sorry for your loss, Helene. He was an amazing man and will be remembered. My thoughts and prayers are with you. XO
MikeVFMK December 23, 2011 um 2:48 am
Helene, what an amazing man he was! Really inspirational and a great man. So terribly sorry for your loss. By the sounds of it, he left quite the footprint and many memories behind. And he started a wonderful family.
BurntApple December 23, 2011 um 3:07 am
Amazing man. What a wonderful tribute to him.
Bailey Ana December 23, 2011 um 4:17 am
Thank you for such a beautiful post. What a beautiful & full life he led & what an honour for you to have such an amazing man in your life!
Love to you & your family at this difficult time.
Renée B December 23, 2011 um 1:12 pm
Thank you for sharing this beautiful and loving tribute. Your grandfather looks as dear and special as you describe him. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope that you can take some comfort in the fact that he will live forever in your rich and beautiful memories.
Unknown December 23, 2011 um 3:30 pm
complimenti per il tuo bellissimo blog! lo aggiungo nella lista visibile del mio! un bacio 🙂
weaser December 23, 2011 um 4:35 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful, wonderful grandpa and man.
Freja December 23, 2011 um 6:51 pm
Don't cry dear…look at us…we
all you fans know it is hard time and we truly support you..hug
BriBriMX December 23, 2011 um 7:44 pm
Douces pensées, je sais que ce n'est pas facile de voir partir nos anciens, loin de ma famille au mexique, chaque fois, je me dis que c'est peut-être la dernière fois que je vois ma gd-mère….
que son départ n'entache pas les fêtes de noel, je suis sûre qu'il n'aimerai pas savoir sa famille triste, au contraire, lui rendre hommage avec le sourire
Maryanne December 24, 2011 um 2:57 am
I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. But, what a tender and fitting tribute you wrote for him. I hope you find some peace this holiday season.
elizabeth December 24, 2011 um 7:01 am
what a beautiful tribute…
wishing you sweet peace.
Schnuppschnuess December 25, 2011 um 8:34 pm
What a man, what a life, what a loss!
My condolences to you and a warm embrace, Helene.
Bridget December 26, 2011 um 12:11 am
I'm so sorry for you loss…he sounds like a man who lived a full life.
Ciao Chow Linda December 26, 2011 um 2:20 pm
I am just catching up on posts, so I found this only a few minutes ago and wanted to express my heartfelt sorrow at the passing of your grandfather. What a fellow he was! You were so lucky to have him in your life for so long. You can tell her was very loved. He sounded like someone we all would want for a grandfather, a father, a brother, a husband.
kim December 26, 2011 um 3:21 pm
He sounds like a wonderful man. I'm sorry for your loss, I'm glad you were able to share time with such a great person!
Crispy December 27, 2011 um 2:09 am
You are blessed to have had such a grandfather, and I'm sure he felt equally blessed to have such a wonderful granddaughter. That was a beautiful tribute! My prayers go out to you and your family.
A December 27, 2011 um 5:32 am
My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Thank you for sharing the beautiful words and memories of your grandfather.
Jen Laceda | Milk Guides December 27, 2011 um 3:04 pm
He looked good for a 100-year old guy!!! What a life he had!
ivete berges December 27, 2011 um 4:53 pm
My condolences God console the hearts of his family
Aizi December 29, 2011 um 11:50 am
My sincerest condolences to you and your family Helene.
and thank you so much for sharing this.
Dmarie December 29, 2011 um 1:39 pm
such a beautiful tribute to a life well lived. so sorry to learn of your loss. thank you for taking the time to share this touching story.
Easy kitchen January 1, 2012 um 10:46 am
ce sont de tels personnages qui permettent de se construire et qui donnent des repères. Il t'a beaucoup apporter et il ne mourra jamais car il fait partie de toi. je te souhaite une bonne année 2012, le temps effacera ta peine et ne resteront que de merveilleux souvenirs.
red | hongyi January 2, 2012 um 9:28 am
i am tearing now as i type this. your grandfather sounds like an amazing man. i'm so sorry for your loss.
Life Images by Jill January 2, 2012 um 2:18 pm
I send you my sincere condolences. It seems your grand-father had a full life – and your post is a wonderful tribute to him.
Anonymous January 18, 2012 um 6:16 pm
Quelle belle, riche et longue vie…et quelle douloureuse perte aussi.
Je découvre avec stupeur que vous êtes française, j'étais persuadée que vous étiez américaine. Je suis votre blog depuis quelques temps, il est de grande qualité, je raffole de vos photos et recettes.
Unknown June 19, 2012 um 3:00 pm
Helene, I was now scrolling down through your blog for the first time, I know I don't know you at all, but the beautiful tribute you wrote to your grandfather touched me so much because it made me remind my own.
I'm sure you will follow the example of his life throughout yours.
Thank you for your beautiful posts.
Valerie October 23, 2013 um 9:44 pm
Helene! I'm brand new to your blog and have been reading my way backwards from the beginning. I just read this post and cried. How touching, true and heartbreaking all at once. Thank you for sharing it, though. The world needs more people who are unafraid to let their heart shine. Your grandfather must have been extraordinary.