I have known Albert and Nicole since 1991. Sadly, we lost Nicole far too soon, in 2008.
I still remember the phone conversation when Albert called about this. It was early in the morning our time and I answered the phone. He always spoke gently to me, but that morning, his gentle voice broke with emotion as he told me that Nicole “a decede.” (She had died.) I still remember his voice and I felt his deep sorrow at this unexpected passing as the same arose inside of me.
Now, we feel that same emotion about his departure. For me, as his daughter-in-law - and after even when that particular nomenclature changed - our connection and affection for each other remained unchanged. It remained untouched and unaffected.
I have such fond memories of Nicole and Albert’s visit to the U.S. in 1991. We tooled up and down parts of the east coast enjoying the scenery, meals together and-most importantly-each other’s company. It was always sweet, easy and filled with a lovely affection. They marveled at the new sights. It was just so much fun.
We had the opportunity to visit Nicole and Albert in Morocco, before his retirement and their move to the South of France. That was in 1993, before the children were born. I had no expectation regarding that country, and all the better; for it was truly surprising in it’s variegated and gorgeous attributes. But, more importantly - as we tooled around that country from the Souk and Medina to lush landscapes to the edge of the Sahara, the welcome, warmth and generosity extended by Nicole and Albert was delightful and heart-warming. Again, we had so much fun!
Amongst many memories, I have one specific one of Albert during that Morocco visit that stands out. Albert was an optician and had his shop in downtown Casablanca where he served the people of that locale well and with diligence. As a wearer of glasses myself, he took the opportunity on that visit to offer me a new pair. I was delighted and chose a fashionable frame. He then proceeded to make them for me.
I remember the evening at the shop when he had me try them on. He took such care with making sure they served their purpose well. And, I remember sitting there as he did this and feeling warmed by this care. Yes, I remember this feeling these many years later.
Down the years, we would take the children to France every few years to see their grandparents and extended French family. Each visit was special as we made our way from Provence to Paris, to some of the Spanish countryside; as well as points of interest in between. But, again, it was spending time with Albert and Nicole, and then Albert that made it so special.
We will miss you, Albert. You leave behind your sons, your grandchildren and many others who came to love and appreciate you. It has been a life well-lived for you.
May your passage from this world have been abundant with peace and light, may this new chapter surprise you with its joy and magnificence, and may you know that you were loved and appreciated in this life.
I will miss you. And, I love you.
August 23, 2019