Cimetière de Caucade

There is an enormous cemetery in Nice that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. My wife Laura’s grandfather Jean-Luc rests there at the Cimetière de Caucade where he was buried not long after his 95th birthday. We went to visit “Pepe” yesterday on Touissant, the French word for All-Saints Day, which is celebrated on November 1st.

Whether it is called, All-Saints Day, Touissant, Dia de los Muertos, Pão-por-Deus or Áraw ng mga Patáy, billions of people around the world remember their departed loved-ones on November 1st each year. I think it is a lovely tradition which exemplifies the very best of humanity.

When you think of departed loved-ones, do you tend to remember the good times, the bad times, the beautiful times or the ugly times? Perhaps you recall a bit of them all. I tend to recall the moments that were the most vivid, both positive and negative. While I am ashamed that I occasionally hold grudges in life, I never do with the departed as they are somehow immune to earthly standards.

My memories of my grandfather-in-law Pepe were of his little apartment on the sixth floor of a narrow street in the heart of Nice. Pepe always served us cookies and coca-cola when we visited and I recall being impressed that in his nineties, he still climbed up to the sixth floor; there was no elevator and he wouldn’t have used one if there had been. He passed away many years before we moved to France. I suspect that my memories of him are particularly rich because we were always on vacation when we saw him.

We enjoy working with our guests on Assisted Vacation because there are many opportunities for their families to make strong new memories. And my hope is that when loved-ones are gone, those memories from vacation will be revisited, perhaps each year on Touissant.

My best,

Thomas


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