Monique Beaulieu d. Mar.1987 42 yrs.
Monique, a tragedy (due to health reasons) She died too young.
A Requiem by: family friend, Roger Callow October 9-2020
An anonymous card came into my possession today dating back to 1987which I had not seen before as I am now estranged from family at my choice.
Is it too late to write a requiem after 30 years? I don't believe so. Here are some of my memories of this valued family member who was an honorary 'tante' to our two young sons in the 1970's and 80's.
First of all, a word on her health problems dating from the time that she underwent an operation for cancer at age 15 which cost her a leg right up into the hip bone hence she had a prosthesis. For a 15 year old girl of striking features born in St. Honoré just south of my estranged wife's birth place of Riviere du Loup (although they did not realize that until they met in Vancouver), must have been devastating in a farm community where good health was essential. Her father was instrumental in getting her through this very difficult time.
When I left in 1986 after seeing how the courts were screwing me around from my 1985 illicit teacher lay-off, she pitched in to help sell our goods in a flea sale along with another family contemporary, Murielle Dumais from NB. I also remember how she gave a sympathetic ear to my plight regarding my illicit lay-off in 1985 from West Vancouver in an unresolved legal case which still goes on today. At that time I did not realize the venality of Canada's judges added to which recently in Ontario, the cowardice of the medical profession, but I digress. The point is, she listened as opposed to many others who just wanted the '25 word or less version' if anything at all. I counted her an empathetic person.
At that time in 1986 she wrote the letter which I now quote from: Roger, You left so quickly that I have realized that you were gone after you left. Does that make sense?...Please don't forget that you have a friend here ME. I missed you. Good Bye. She read the thoughts included in the card as evidenced by her annotations which I have underlined:
May all the talents you possess/bring joy and true success/in each and every goal/you strive to meet - and may you find that life will bring/every bright and special thing/to make your days, weeks, years/fulfilling and complete. Good luck my friend, Monique.
She never married but doted on our two sons. When younger son, Gregory, was given a 'time out' for, I believe, throwing dirt at a passing car, she refused to believe it -no, no, not my Greggy!
On one occasion she visited our Vancouver home with a boy friend who told me that he had been in Victoria the previous weekend. I looked at Monique and asked her, 'Did you know that considering that you were in Victoria, too?' A wry grin began to make it to the face of the two as I continued to her boy friend; 'Which hotel did you stay in?' He told me. Then, in all innocence, I turned to Monique for the name of her hotel - the same one! Augh!!! I groaned after looking them each in the eye. We all laughed.
Shortly after Xmas, 1987, Monique visited her doctor where he took a blood test coming back in the room telling her that she should not drive home. Her cancer was back. How much time do I have? Just enough time to sort out your affairs. I believe it was her brother who came out to Vancouver to fly with her back to Montreal where she expired in his house. She did not wish people to contact her (I can see her point as the last thing she would want would be to reminisce about dying so my wife and I honoured her wishes). However, her close friend, Murielle was passing through Ottawa and was in telephone contact with Monique which, wonder of all wonders, gave an opportunity to give Monique the one thing she needed most...to talk to Chris (#5) and Greg (#3). I am sure she took that conversation to her grave. RIP, Monique. Your friend in life as in death. Roger