I wish to give birthday greetings to two important women in my life, both of whom are celebrating important milestones over the next few days. My mom is turning 90 on Sunday and Ms. Charlotte L'Heureux, 70 on Monday.
Charlotte is well known for her active, and often vocal, presence at our events, particularly the 40 Days for Life vigils. She is among a handful who has participated in all six Montreal vigils. God willing, she will be equally active this coming spring 2012 for the seventh.
It seems appropriate to share an amusing incident involving her who few, if any, are aware of and is indicative of her feisty and prayerful character on behalf on the unborn.
Near the end of this past vigil, she and I were praying at the site during the early morning hours. (Typically, we two frequently did the weekday 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. shift.) At about 8:30 a.m., a pro-abortion supporter familiar to us appeared with her home-made sign. This in itself was unusual because of the early hour; though dedicated to their cause, inclimate weather, cold temps, and early hours are usually deterents for them making an appearance at the vigil location. So we were both surprised.
Could this be a change in their approach to our presence, we wondered. We thought so, until a reporter showed up. What followed in the next fifteen or so minutes what a staged interview and photo op. I say "staged" for reasons soon to be understood.
As the two were preparing to leave and the reporter had not shown any sign of speaking with us, Charlotte sought her out. Until then she and I had kept a discrete distance from the other two. I presumed Charlotte wanted to express her two cents on the issue.
From afar I could tell things were not going the way she had hoped. Charlottle appeared flummoxed. She came back pretty miffed, uttering "biaisée" - i.e. biased. She huffed how the reporter did not want to interview her and told her that she did not believe in the viability of the unborn, referring to the fetus in derisive manner.
As a woman whose faith many can attest to, she looked squarely at me and urged me to prayer before she became any more angry.
May God bless you, Charlotte. Friend and foe, love you.
The other birthday celebrant is my dear mother. As already noted, she will celebrate the big 9-0 on Sunday.
How can I render justice to this woman, to you, my reader? Impossible. Mother, grand-mother, and great-grandmother, she is. Woman-of-faith, housewife, financially savy, the list can go on.
I owe my scholarly bent to her and to my dad my contemplative side, yet she is quite prayerful, though more cartesian than John of the Cross.
Her keen mind and physical health is something for all of us to hope for at her age. Thank you, God, for such a fine and dedicated mother.
Bonne fête, maman.