Morning Reports

DAY 26

Jan 26: Approx

7:32 this morning. I heard my partner’s alarm from Noah’s bed.

Early asthma again. I went to give him his med and ended up falling asleep next to him.

This report will be less spontaneous, as I reserved a subject for today.

I’ve been obsessing with Nina’s version of Mr Bojangles and couldn’t stop randomly breaking into song yesterday. I’ve always loved the figure of the old man, which isn’t very original for a writer wannabe.

The song gave me a non-stop heart squeeze as it reminded me of my grandpa. Every once in a while, I’ll remember my grandparents, and tear up my gallons of bottled affection.

I didn’t cry when they passed away. Charly had a wonderful death and I’ve always felt sort of proud for him going away like he did. It mirrored who he was.

Marcelle died a few years later, desperate to hopefully meet him again, and escaped the inhuman prognosis of Alzheimer’s death.

I was relieved for her.

So I couldn’t be sad for them. I felt like they just changed shapes and moved on to the mysterious next stage, after a life filled with worldly adventures.

We had quite an unconventional funeral. We all met somewhere in the Alps, in the spot that made my grandpa decide to live in the mountains. And in a little circle between the tall trees, overseeing the breathtaking valley, we scattered their ashes in the plants.

My father’s side of the family is not very adept to drama, and the occasion felt more like a soothing family rite. We all shared thoughts and stories about being their kids and grandkids through time and distance, and collectively realised how incredible their tandem was.

I used to love sitting down in their kitchen, and listen to their stories about war and love. They always apologized for rambling, thinking I would be bored senseless. But I cherished these moments. That and the woods under the house, my grandma’s jams and honeys, and the smell in the garage.

They fell in love at 14, through a fence separating the girls’ from the boys’ schools. It took years for them to marry, they had to break the old convention that prevented protestants from marrying catholics.

Marcelle was an accountant and Charly a telecommunications engineer.

The son of a car designer, he was obsessed with mechanics and technology. He had an insatiably curious mind that never stopped wondering, and a meticulous and perfectionist approach to everything that interested him.

When as a kid, I started dismantling objects and salvaging parts of mechanisms in little boxes, that was him.

When I unwaveringly choose calm and kindness as life’s principles, that’s him.

When I get frustrated because I haven’t done something perfectly, that’s also him.

The only time I ever saw him abandon his deeply gentle disposition was when I didn’t conscientiously do my math homework. He was furious and kept repeating “you have botched your work!”, profoundly shocked that I would display such an unacceptable work ethic. I never did it again… at least not in his presence.

He wasn’t heroic or feisty, and disliked all forms of conflict. He would always assume that people were well-intentioned, that humanity was on a growing path, that everyone deserved respect. He never once said anything judgemental… unless you were negligent or tried to pick a fight.

To this day, my grandfather is the kindest, most honourable person I have met. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that he was the first to teach me how to drive, my cars and myself.

So when Mr Bojangles sounded in the background, even though nothing in the lyrics seems to match who Charly was, I hear about kindness and my memories wake up.

And I feel blessed for this wonderful collection of humans that I carry with me and that push me forward from inside.




Time was starting to get out of hand. So I entered an easy challenge with my brother: getting our lazy bones out of bed by 7am for 30 days, to reclaim mornings and rein in our unproductive minds. These are my daily raw reports. No edits, no directions, 100% free-range ramblings.

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Writing as a reality test to check if I’m still alive. It usually works. I thought I’d share the experience :)

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