Sunday, June 02, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Aunt Simone

Two deaths in less than one month.

On May 5th, my mother’s younger sister Normande passed away.

This past week, on May 29th, Mom’s elder sister Simone passed away in Sarnia, Ontario, after battling emphysema and cancer for a number of years.

Mom spoke with Simone about two weeks ago. She could tell how ill Simone was, so didn’t keep her long on the telephone. It was the last time the two sisters spoke.

Simone was born in 1930 in Hearst, a small northern Ontario town. She was the fourth child and third daughter of Eugène and Juliette (Beauvais) Desgroseilliers. She, my Mom and their father shared the same birthdate: 30 August.

Simone Desgroseilliers on the right with her sister Mariette
Simone (right) with her eldest sister Mariette, about 1936

In the spring of 1949, Simone married Bob Burdan. They were the parents of five children: Chuck, Janet, David, Nancy and Bobby. My cousin Bobby died in an accident in 1982 and Uncle Bob passed away in 1998.

In the mid-1980s, Aunt Simone visited my family not long after we moved to British Columbia from our home province of Ontario. Mom and Simone were getting ready to go out one afternoon. Aunt Simone was just about finished when she suddenly asked if I would like any of her jewellery. She told me to take whatever I liked – earrings, necklaces or rings. I chose a pair of blue drop earrings. I was deeply touched by her generosity and have never forgotten that moment.

Rest in peace, Aunt Simone.

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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