A month ago, I shared a few meals with him and his wife over a good Burgundy wine, and today he looks at me from above, above the clouds.
It was a Thursday. Within 15 minutes, I heard the terrible news of his death, and I obtained confirmation that I had gotten the job that I wanted so badly.
A strange and overwhelming mixture of emotions that left me speechless.
A few days later I crossed France to pay him a last tribute. He, this friend of the family who have passed through the ages with strength and passion and lived several lives in one.
I drove with my mother sitting in the passenger seat. At sunset, we had just left the highway of the sun, as it is called here in France, and headed for the country roads.
The sky was beautiful, as it often is on summer evenings. Around us, the vines of the Périgord region. The forests, the hills, and the lush nature that I love so much and that makes our country beautiful.
As we reached the top of a hill, the full moon was on our left, orange and all round, immense in the sky above the trees. A magical moment at nightfall.
It was confusing. All the beauty of the world was bursting in our faces, and a few hours later, we would be dressed in black to say the last goodbye to the one who has meant so much to us.
Twenty years ago, he gave me a racing bike that his eldest son no longer used. Red in color, he had caught my eye and it was with great kindness that he gave it to me so that I too could swallow the kilometers, as he and my father did in the summer on the roads of Lot et Garonne.
I remember their big house in which I played so much as a child. The huge garden at the bottom of which his boat rested when he didn’t put it in the water to take us sailing on the river.
I remember Evenings spent watching films by Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy in the large living room.
I remember one of their parakeets that came to rest on my shoulder when I was having breakfast in the kitchen.
I remember when he told his travels and all kinds of stories that he had really lived throughout his long life.
So many memories, so many moments to laugh together with him, his wife and his two children. Strong and lasting friendly relationships.
It was a very beautiful tribute, to the height of the man he was. A decent man, in love with life and curious about everything.
My throat was tied and I had tears in my eyes. My voice was shaking, and my legs weren’t really supporting me anymore.
Some goodbyes are much more difficult than others. But that’s how life is made. I will miss him.
Goodbye, my friend.