C'est avec une grande fiereté que je mets cette image en ligne. C'est l'extrait du journal "L'Alsace" du 24 janvier 2012 dans lequel ma grand-mère est à l'honneur (et moi aussi mais plus humblement).
J'en profite pour souhaiter à ma grand-mère un joyeux anniversaire, 90 ans, et de passer un super moment dimanche prochain avec toute la famille. Je serai le seul de ses enfants/petits-enfants/arrières-petits-enfants à ne pas être là et ça me brise le coeur.
Je vous invite à lire l'article pour comprendre ce qu'a été sa vie jusqu'à maintenant, on se sent beaucoup moins entrain aux jérémiades lorsqu'on comprend ce qu'elle a vécu. Je ne crois pas l'avoir entendu se plaindre de son destin. Que cela inspire ceux qui se plaignent tout le temps.
Par ce message, j'ajoute aussi une pensée pour son mari, Paul, mon grand-père que je n'ai malheureusement pas connu... mais aussi à mes autres grands-parents Maria et Michel Gérard qui ne sont plus de ce monde mais qui doivent me regarder depuis là-haut avec, je l'espère, beaucoup de satisfaction.
Je continue mon voyage et je suis fier de ma famille qui me manque beaucoup. Mes aïeuls ont beaucoup souffert par le passé et je suis heureux de connaître mon passé. Pour savoir où l'on va, il faut savoir d'où l'on vient...
It is with a great pride that I put this picture online. This is an extract from my home's newspaper "L'Alsace" dated of 24th January 2012, in which my grand-nother is honnored (and me too, but in a more humble way).
Here is the translation of the article (Labaroche is my home town) :
MARIA KLINKLIN CELEBRATED HER 90th BIRTHDAY
Maria Klinklin has happily celebrated her 90th birthday last Monday. First child of 6, Maria was born in Labaroche, in the district called "Le Gazon" on the 23rd of January 1922, in the family of Maria Déchristé and Charles Demangeat also known as "Chachaille" (nickname). After school, she worked at the familial farm. In 1945, she married Paul Klinklin, builder from the town of Wihr-au-Val. The couple settled in "Le Gazon" in 1947 and got eight children, four girls and four boys. Maria is 22 times grand-mother and 17 times great-mother. All live not very far from her, only Thierry is on the other side of the planet but this did not stop him to call her from Guatemala for her birthday. Maria is pretty healthy and live with her daughter Cécile and the son-in-law Michel Finance.
She can't believe she's been living so long "When I was born, I weighted only 750g and my parents would put me in a shoes box in front of the kitchen door to keep my body warm". She also remember all the kilometers she walked "We used to go to the dentist in Saint-Dié, in les Vosges (Saint-Dié is approximately 30km away from Labaroche by trails !), because it was less expensive than in Colmar (the nearest city in Alsace)! We used to leave at 2:00am and would arrive back 24 hours later, all straight up! I also used to walk to Wihr-au-Val (around 20km away from her house) to see my fiancée! As much as I could walk when I was young, right now I cannot walk much".
Her life has been engraved with several tough ordeals : at the age of 8, she lost her mother and the pain is still alive in her nowadays, then in 1941, she lost her only sister. During the war (World War 2), her father, chased by the Gestapo, had to live hidden during 2 years; she handled the farm and family during this time (she was aged of 17). The family had to leave the house on the 3rd of January 1945, leaving all the animals of the farm alone. Upon return, they only could find the rests of the farm that had been burnt. "We recontructed the farm all together, brothers, uncles, cousins.". In 1976, she sadely lost her husband and in 2003 her first son Jean-Pierre.
"On the 20th of August 1983, our house burnt a second time due to a thunderlight. And we all-together re-built the house in which I live now with my daughter and her husband.. On Sunday, a great party is organised in her honnor by her family."We will be 110 !!!" she says proudly.
I take this opportunity to wish again to my grand-mother a happy birthday, 90 years old, and to have a great time on Sunday with all the family. I will be the only one of her children/grand-children/great-children not to be there and it breaks my heart.
Reading the article above, I hope that you have a little clue of what has been her life so far. I think we get less fussy when we understand what she's been through. And I don't recall her complaining once about her destiny. Hope this is a good lesson for those who complain all the time.
With this message, I add a thought to her husband, Paul, my grand-father that I sadely never known... but also my other grand-parents Maria and Michel who are not amongst us anymore but who might be watching me from up there, with some satisfaction, I hope.à
I continue my trip and I am proud of my family, which I miss a lot. My ancesters suffered a lot in the past and I am happy to be aware of my past. To know where you're going, you need to know where you come from...