No dolls tonight.
No news about my work.
I ask for the first time a delay to reply your emails I had about my dolls. Please allow me a couple of days and I will answer everyone of you.
Tonight I am here to make a tribute to someone.
I want first of all, to thank warmly everyone of you for your prayers, thoughts, kind words and wishes for my Grand Father. But his time was come, therefore he passed away August the 3rd around 10pm.
some would say it’s the law of Nature, that it depends upon a certain kind of Logic. Mhhh… I would answer it depends upon the Nature of the person for this law to become easily absurd. His departure is ABSURD and I fell into pieces on the floor. I am still trying to gather the pieces of myself to see if I still can be me without him.
My Grand Father was a Hero. He was a Man of Exception, a Living phenomenon, an unbelievable strength, and the only person I have ever been impressed by.
Architect, Mayor of his town since 1995, administrator of the Mercantour National Park ( where is the “Valley of Marvels with prehistoric caves with paintings), he was the elected representative for all the mayors for our state. He is the very only person I have ever met of this kind.
At 79 years old, he TAUGHT me how to use an Ipad, he was writing emails faster than I, capable to use three computers at the same time to handle his business appointments whilst he was talking to someone on his Iphone.
A few years ago, he had a heart attack in the middle of the night right after a knee surgery. He called no one. He got up, went to his car, drove about 30 miles till the hospital, parked the car in the emergency’s area and went in simply saying ” I am Mister Margaritora, I think I am having a heart attack, please call the cardiology’s professor in charge of my health.”
Then he only warned us in the morning to let us sleep quietly. This is how he was.
He was the most reliable person I ever saw. He was carrying on his shoulders all the weight of the world, because let’s face it : we were all counting on him for we knew he was the only capable to do it.
I owe him my own life and my younger son’s birth because we both wouldn’t have survived the birth without him stepping in and handling things.
I remember my childhood on his lap, for we were seeing him and Michelle my grand mother every single day. Sometimes he was taking my brother and I with him on his big armchair to make us watch something my mother and grand mother were yelling about… Like Terminator and that still makes me smile.
He has been the very first person I missed. I was about 2 and a half, and I asked for him all day. When the evening came, we met in front of my uncle’s building next to the port, it was a warm summer evening and I remember I ran towards him, he caught me in his arms and asked my mom ” What’s going on?” My mother said ” I don’t know! she wanted to see you now!” and I remember he smiled.
He taught me how to fish trouts, with my brother, in the rivers. He carried me so many times in his arms when I was crushed by fever to the doctor. He and my grand mother bought me so many gifts when I was sick, and some others if I was getting better. He taught me how to find the good mushrooms in the hoods. How to find those wild tiny strawberries in the bushes. But also, he taught me dignity. And intolerance as well as having a bad temper : some rude and unfair things cannot be tolerated and that I mustn’t keep quiet when it happens. He and my grand mother Michelle taught me to fight back. To be above for this is the way to win and succeed.
After my grand mother passed away, 20 years ago; he lived alone, in his hometown and became the mayor almost right away for he retired from architecture. I think he never had a day in his life without at least 7 business appointments. Even when he was ill, tired, having terrible cardiac operations; people were having appointments with him in his hospital room and he was handling his town through his cellphone.
He was a peculiar man. When I was a teenager, when I visited him at his place, he used to ask ” You’re hungry darling? Do you want a snack?” and if I ever answered yes, he grabbed a caviar can…
I had with him some of the greatest laughters of my entire life.
He was so out of the box. Walking thank to the help of a golf club for it was way more classy and practical than a cane. He had an immense class, always dressed like a lord with the most delicate taste. He was feared by many because of his bad and short temper. For being a living Force, he terrified whole crowds when he started to yell. Though… I have never been afraid of him. I was IMPRESSED. I always wished I could one day be the tenth of what and who he was. A few years ago, he sometimes asked to me ” Do you want a job darling? If so, just tell me!” I always answered ” I’ll find something good to do.”
Which I did. Then he made me the greatest gift when I became a sculptor : he has been PROUD of me. From the very first day. This is something I would never have even dared to dream about. Such man proud of me. When success knocked at my door; I can say that he talked about me and my work to absolutely everyone he knew; therefore THOUSANDS of people!
When something was going wrong, we all, in the family, called him right away. He was the most securing, efficient, helpful and reliable again, man in this world. He also was the Hero of my elder son Louis who is today devastated as we all are.
In 2009, he became Knight of Medal of Merit for the accomplishment of a life. I think that no one ever deserved it as much as him.
We cannot believe he is gone. My mother, My Uncle, My children, My cousins and I are all today waifed children lost in the dark. It is absurd to think he can be dead. The concept of his death has no sense. What an abyss…. What an emptiness where was still standing a giant three days ago… But what a presence. We all will always expect to see him in the streets of his little town. We will always look twice when we will see a tall man dressed like a lord in town to make sure it’s not him. We will all expect his voice in the house or the Town Hall. None of us will ever open his email box again without expecting seeing his name in the new messages. When our cellphones will ring, for a second we will all wonder if it’s him. How many time will we grab our own phones to call him? When we will be all together, how many times will we turn our heads towards his seat expecting him to laugh with us? And when Christmas will come, we will put his plate among ours and will not dare to take it off once we’ll realize he will not come; because we will anyway hope to suddenly hear the sound of his paces and his voice saying he’s late cause ” a moron didn’t get a thing to do so he had to do it himself!”
And how many times looking at the road, and seeing a fast big black car will we shout ” OH COMMANDATORE!!!!!!!!!!” before realizing it’s not our beloved Commandatore?
This never ending expectation to see them coming back is the gift left to us by the very rare Irreplaceable Persons of this world, and for sure, Grandpa is absolutely irreplaceable.
He was not talking sweetly and fondly. But he was saying important things using important words. Once, we were both alone in his hospital room, after the heart attack he had that I cited above; he knew I was devastated to know that my younger son was Autistic. He didn’t comfort me. He hasn’t been sorry nor sad. He took my arm firmly and said ” Arnaud is a good one. Look at me and listen to what I say : he is a good one. He will go far. Farer than you would ever believe. I am always right and you’ll see it later. But for now never forget what I say.”
Such words from him made me feel strangely secure and GOOD.
He also, did for me something very special. We never talk about my brother in the family. Everyone suffers too much of his loss to mention him and honestly no one dares to even say his name in front of my mother which is totally understandable. He was the only one having the guts to talk of US and to remind our childhood with me. Now he is gone too, I feel like I am the only one to remember who we were, what we used to be.
But I know what he would say now, I hear his voice like if he was sitting next to me right now; he would tell us : ” Give me a kiss on the cheek children! I gotta go. Michelle is waiting for me.”
SO LONG COMMANDATORE….