I need to relax today. Yesterday, for the second time in four days we made a three-hour trip to Montreal -- that's 12 hours of recent driving, too much of it in difficult surroundings for me. After dropping Butterfly off to be with her husband and MIL on Wednesday, we returned yesterday for the memorial service.
The drive to Montreal between Ottawa and there was beautiful on both days. The leaves are turning gloriously, and the countryside is rather pleasant. I'm not sure which day was nicer. On Wednesday, it was quite sunny, but yesterday there was sun mixed with mist, which was very picturesque.
That's between the cities. However, once you near Montreal, the drive isn't so very stirring. The traffic gets heavy, and the view becomes more urban. In Montreal itself, we drive on an elevated highway that goes through the middle of the city. There are no shoulders, the lanes are narrow, and the amount of traffic is befuddling for a guy who lives in a little town. The traffic signs are all in French, which isn't that hard because est is east, and highway numbers are the same in both languages, but it still seems to take me an extra second to process, which is why veered left instead of right at an interchange yesterday and got myself on the wrong highway. At that point I began to speak in something other than the Queen's perfect English. No, you would not have been proud of my vocabulary for a few moments. But, we were able to turn around and find our way back — thank goodness because we were under a bit of a time crunch.
When all is said and done, we got to the funeral home, which I believe they call a funéraire in French, and we observed the ceremony. I can understand some words in French, and if I read slowly enough may even be able follow the main idea of an article — on a good day. But following spoken conversation or a delivered speech is totally beyond me. However, I didn't go for me, and what I understood or didn't understand was of scant importance. We went to support the kids: Butterfly because she is lost in French and sometimes feels awkward; and The Boy because he is a great kid who has lost his father. That's what family does: pulls together and supports each other.
Cuppa, who is very thoughtful, asked if I might compose a little eulogy to Gilles. If I did, maybe someone could translate it into French and read it at the ceremony, for there would be little point in presenting my English version. Why would Cuppa not write it herself? Well, although she doesn't think so, Cuppa is a fine writer, but it comes more slowly to her. She dithers a lot over how to say things and tends to ramble a bit. I can seem to rattle off something much more quickly. So, she asked me to do it, and I'm glad that I acceded, for it seemed to be appreciated.
I plan to relax and recuperate today.