A Heavenly Birthday

I have been using some "down time" lately, and working on, updating, and filling in some of the blanks and gaps I have in my ancestry research. It was while working on some research last night, I was reminded that today would have been my Pépère's 112th birthday.

For those who have not been lingering on The Life of a Father of Five very long, you may not know the story of the nick-names we used for our grandparents.

 We called our maternal grandparents Mémère and Pépère.

These are French / French-Canadian affectionate names for Grandmother and Grandfather. Their first grandchildren were my cousins Janice and Cindy. They live in northern Maine right on the Canadian Border where many people (including my Uncle's wife, and their mother) spoke a version of French Canadian as well as English.  Their children (my cousins) "J" and "C" started calling our grandparents Mémère and Pépère before I was born, and (at least for my sister and I) those affectionate terms seem to have stuck.  We used them throughout my grandparents lives.  I still refer to them by these terms more than 37 years after their passing.

Having lost my paternal grandfather at the age of five, my "Pep" (a shortened version of  Pépère) and I became very close.

In the photo to the right, is my Uncle "G" in the Navy Uniform, Pep in his University of Minnesota Police Officer's Class A Uniform, and my Uncle "D" in the Air Force uniform.

It was Uncle D who eventually moved to Maine, and who's kids started the somewhat unique nick-naming of my grandparents. (Well, unique to the Midwest were we don't see a lot of French Canadian culture.)

Now that I am thinking about Pep, and seeing as it is his birthday - I want to give you a shout-out!  HAPPY 112th BIRTHDAY PEP!!  Thank you for all the years we had together here, and thank you for all the years you have looked out for me since.  I have never gone more than a few days without feeling your presence one way or another.

You have been, and will forever remain in my heart!!

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