Monday, November 14

gentils coquelicots, mes dames

Light. Joy. Fun. Play. Love.

Everything you need to know about my dad, you can see in the photograph above where he is dancing with me. He loved to dance. He loved fun, music, Monty Python, Asterix + Obelix, silly jokes, dogs and family. He was also quite brilliant with a doctorate from MIT in aeronautical engineering, but anyone who knew him was dazzled most by his extraordinary, uncannily detailed knowledge of history.

When I was a teenager, no matter what time I rolled in, he would be sitting in the living room with a light on, reading. I would walk in the door (sometimes trying not to stumble, ahem), he would look up and say, "you're home." Then he'd turn off the light, lock the front door and head to bed. He didn't grill me about where I'd been or what I'd been doing -- either he respected me too much or was wise enough to know what he didn't want to know--- he just wasn't going to sleep until he knew I was home safe.

All of his passwords were variations on the names of dogs he had loved and lost. 

He adored his children and grandchildren. 

Below is a photograph of my dad with Kate, his first grandchild.

He was a world traveler. Born in Rio de Janerio, he did not come to this country until he was 22. His first languages were Portuguese and French, but he was also fluent in English and Spanish.

Better than 95% of all the family photographs were taken by him; if his camera wasn't around his neck, you can be sure it was always within reach.

He taught me how to make a perfect vinaigrette, how to plant tulips, how to drive stick shift. He introduced me to the Bayeux tapestries, gaufres a la chantilly, Mille Bornes. He cultivated and celebrated simple pleasures: gardening, family dinner, camping and music.

He showed me by example what a forgiving heart looks like.
He had the most forgiving heart of anyone I have ever known in my entire life. 

On Thursday night, November 10, 2016 -- surrounded by his wife of 60 years, his children and grandchildren -- my dad left this world wrapped in love, tears and prayers for safe travel.

I like to believe that wherever he is, there is light, laughter and dancing.

bisous, Beth

p.s. I am offline as much as possible right now.


  1. My deepest condolences to you, sweet Elizabeth. May you find moments of peace and ease within the rocky waters of grief you are no doubt navigating right now. I will be in touch with you very soon. Big love.

  2. Oh my dear, I am so sorry to hear this, and so sorry for your loss. What an awful week. I'm sending you love and huge huge condolences on the loss of your father. XOXO

  3. remarkable. may all of these memories hold you. i love you. i love you. i love you.

  4. I am so very sorry for your loss. May your heart be buoyed by your wonderful memories of him. Sending love to you and your family.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing. He sounds like a truly wonderful man—your tribute to him, and the life you lead, speaks volumes to that. Sending love your way. Xx Jillian

  6. Sending so much love, my darling friend. I have an uncle I adored on the other side -- I think they'll get on famously. I love you so much. I'm here. I know xx

  7. Elizabeth, may sweet grace and the blessing of love accompany you in your grief. This is a poem I wrote while attending my father as he died - I offer it as a prayer to you, sister daughter friend:

    I have been trying to feed you for days
    but you won't have it
    I think I have discovered your secret
    At night, when I collapse in the chair
    by your bed
    drifting in and out of dreams
    You have been eating the moon
    Each day, glowing more intensely
    lit from within
    Full at last of what you always
    longed for
    You smile at me as if to say
    "I have grown too light for this world"
    And you float away
    You were my love letter
    from the moon
    I kiss your luminous cheek one last time
    And get drunk on moonshine.

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss, Elizabeth. Sending you hugs and comfort.

  9. This is beautiful. Your eyes look just the same when you two smile. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending you so much love...... xo

  10. So sorry to hear of your father's passing. Sending you and your family much love.

  11. Elizabeth,
    What an absolutely beautiful tribute to your papa! He was so handsome and as I read all about him I know he gave you so much of who he was. And because of that, he'll never be gone. Your dad will never leave you, how could he when he's in every cell in you.
    I am thinking of you dearly and sending you a peaceful heart and mind, and a million good memories flooding back.
    I love you. I'm thinking of you.

  12. My dearest Elizabeth, I am holding you in my heart. My dad passed away a little over a year ago, and so I am shedding tears for you and your dad along with my own dear father. I am so happy to hear that you were with him and with the rest of your family. Please know that you are not alone on this new terrain. I will be walking with you. Sending you SO MUCH LOVE as well as peace...xoxoxo

  13. I now know where your stardust comes from.

  14. So sorry for your loss. Sending healing vibes your way.

  15. Elizabeth I am so very sorry for your loss. May his spirit and his memory guide you always. xoxo

  16. Much love to you and your family Beth, you've got the strength and A warm heart from him. Sending you hugs and kisses.

  17. My dearest Elizabeth. I am so very sorry, my friend. How rich was his life, what gifts he gave you and all he loved!! I will be thinking of you often and sending love your way.

  18. I am so sorry, E. Your tribute to your dad is beautiful. He sounds like a wonderful person whose absence is going to be felt so hard. xo

  19. Sending love your way, Elizabeth - I'm so sorry for your loss. ❤️

  20. Dearest e.....a life lived beautifully when these are the words that a child writes about you.
    I love you e. I am with you. ❤️.....colleen

  21. You made me cry. What a beautiful man. It explains how you are who you are. Some of it ... for sure. Strength for the days and months and years ahead. xx

  22. Elizabeth, this was such a heartwarming tribute and your words were so moving. Many blessings. Your dad, I'm sure, will continue to be a light, guiding the way. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  23. Elizabeth, I am so sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like a wonderful man.....he would have had to be to have raised such a wonderful daughter. Peace and blessings to you.

  24. Sending you big hugs, love, and comfort. Reading how your dad shaped you into the strong woman you are today is testament to a super hero dad. What a joy to have experienced, and now to hold dear forever more. I hope joy is what comes to the surface for you at times of reflection.

  25. Dear Elizabeth, I'm sorry for your loss. J'ai été très émue d'apprendre la disparition de ton papa... Years ago, I fell in love with your writing when I happened one day upon Blue Poppy (Puppy), and read straight through the archives. I'm American, and I've lived in France for almost a decade now. I've thought of you many times over the years (and nearly always of the sweet story of your papa, and his pronunciation à la française), and the other day your writing was on my mind all morning, so I googled you... and came across this new(er) blog and this post. I came back again today to extend my condolences. You've been on my mind and heart since I read this post last week. Thank you for all you've shared. I hope you are being loved-up by your nearest and dearest. On pense à vous ...

    1. Dear Joy, this is amazing-- and wonderful and I am so delighted you would take the time to share all of this with me. And, one of the funniest things you couldn't possibly know? My word for 2017: JOY. Hand to God-- ask Susannah Conway-- I told her last week . . . JOY -- and, here YOU are! Thank you--- gros bisous a toi xo

  26. Elizabeth, I know it's pass a long time, but even so, I'm sorry for your loss. I really admire you in squam and I love the way you write here, on your blog. Today I came to check and I find this beautiful and lovely post, and I am surprised even more about your father. Brazilian? From Rio? Just Like me!? :) Now I know where your sweet and loving way comes from, Brazilian DNA! Certainly! Joking aside, I want you to know that I send you lots of light and thoughts of love. Fique com Deus! Muito amor do Brasil para você! Um abraço, Aline Sena

    1. oh Aline-- THANK you! you are so kind UM ABRACO !!!! xo


thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e