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Friday, 26 October 2012

Loving Molly Anne...

I want to pay a little tribute to a wonderful lady that I never ever had the pleasure of meeting, but I know her darling daughter well, for which fact and whose friendship I am humongously grateful...

Molly Anne Fabre, late of The View from this End was a writer and an artist, a lover of dogs, her French husband, JP, her family, her home and her history.   She told stories about her early childhood that made me cry.   She and her siblings were serially abandoned by her mother into the non-care of horrific nuns, and yet (in spite of her name, which I understood as Moany, rather than Mo-Annie(!), until corrected by her loving and dutiful daughter, Sara,), Moannie never seemed to actually moan about her lot in life.   She spoke about things factually, but from the heart, and with real emotion.   And my heart, my rescuer's heart, bled for her.

Moannie wrote in a way that seemed as if it flowed from her like a running river;   It was as if it were vital for her to get everything, every fact of her existence, out there into the world - To be counted, to count as a woman.   ...She adored comments on her stories, often replying to every one, and she was a faithful and loyal supporter of other bloggers.   

Sometimes when I would write about how I missed my own mother, who passed on a week later than Moannie did this year in October of 1996, in fact, Moannie would appear in my comments box with soothing, caring words, making me feel warm, held, appreciated and supported.

I don't think she ever knew what exactly she meant to me in those many moments...   

Sara took this photo of her Mum in the summer.   It became her favourite.  

Moannie had an indomitable spirit, or so it seemed to us in Blogland.   She oozed vitality, fun, feisty wit, and a maybe not so quiet strength.

Hers had been a life of journeys, onwards and upwards.  Of adventure.   Of reaching out to people.   And being reached.   And met.

Finally, the view from this end stories moved indelibly into the present, with Moannie telling us about her battle with cancer (which she called the Fecker).   She dictated her words bravely from her hospice bed when she could no longer use Paco her pc and, when she was too unwell, Sara took up her 'pen' to tell us all how Moannie was faring.   

This was dignified and touchingly beautiful.   And bloody hard.   And fucking brave.   I never find endings easy.   We talk about having a 'good death'.   What can that mean?   Is it even possible?

I have ferreted back in time, and found these words to me from Moannie, which seem to sum up the very essence of how she was to us here in Blogland, those of us fortunate enough to have known her:  

The context here is that I was whingeing and worrying about a forthcoming operation,

"Dear Fhina, you know the fact that you have made me cry shows how much this Blogging phenomena magically bonds us all together; how we all rush to hug away hurt, and strive to find the right words to soothe aching hearts. 

And the truth is that it is not psuedo, pretend, fake caring -  Why would we spend time in false words?  The pain we feel for you is as real as the sun, moon and stars.  We are real friends even though we shall never meet". 

What more can be said?

Well, if we can see ourselves reflected back in the words and eyes and souls of others; when we know we have made an impact, then we can know we have lived life to the full.   Molly Anne will be terribly missed.

I know she was very partial to a handsome Frenchman!

...And, I like these words from the subject, Marcel Proust.   I once spent a week in a big house right on the golden beach-front in Trouville, Normandy, that had been turned into flats.   In the nineteenth century it had been a hotel that Proust himself stayed in and was also painted by Monet.

These words are principally for Sara, and at the same time, I hope they may stand for all of us who continue to miss the faces we loved:

“Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. 

When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. 

At the present time, this is not yet possible. 

Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power ... that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.” 

― Marcel Proust


Expat mum said...

Ah - great post and a lovely tribute. She will be missed. My condolences to Saz and family too. x

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

What a loving tribute to a kind, brave lady.

Anonymous said...

Very sad news.

Mac n' Janet said...

I miss her too, her blog was always a favorite stopping place for me, I know she touched many people and will live on in our thoughts and memory.

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

I have shed many tears in the past weeks for Moannie and JP and Saz - you have captured this about her perfectly.
Thank you

Clippy Mat said...

Beautiful post Fhina and a lovely tribute to a lovely lady.

Saz said...

I cannot sleep (this is the norm in the last 32 months) and I take to roaming blogland, which I haven't done in many a month..
and l find this touching tribute from Fhina...i wipe a tear and am full in my chest as again realise how life and death touches us...

thank you Fhina for this and the proust...uncannily it feeds me this night when l have an extra hour to pass...

l love you sister...
we mUST meet soon.
Sara xxxx

libby said...

This post is beautiful.
I met Moannie twice......and on first meeting it seemed so very natural to hug her.....her words had always indicated that she was approachable and full of warmth and love and care and interest and fun and wisdom.
She and her words are all over the world. Gone but still here because of that.

Suldog said...

Lovely piece! She will definitely be greatly missed by many of us.

devlin cooper said...

This is just wonderful. A very sincere and great tribute. A lady to be respected and will be missed.
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Leave It To Davis said...

I just put you back on my reading list....I had missed this one while depressed....and this made me cry. I have tears streaming down my cheeks as I write this comment. I adored Moannie. She was the first blogger I became attached to. I emailed her and she emailed me. She was the most kind, articulate, exciting woman I have ever had the extreme blessing to know....even if it was just through words. I am so glad that Blogger made her blog the blog of the month almost 2 years ago so that I clicked on her blog and found her. There will never be another Moannie, and the world is a less perfect place without her here. Your words here on this post were absolutely perfect!

Terra said...

Powerful post about your friend loved and gone, and great quote from Proust. I read the first book in his Remembrance of Times Past and wrote down SO many quotes by him, his book reads like poetry.

Something I wrote earlier...

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