Saturday, December 19, 2009

a very kind letter

What follows is my English translation of a very kind letter I received from my French Papa, whom I first met in 1986 during the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. His family and ours have been close friends ever since. It's a shame I don't have the chance to travel to Europe as often as I'd like.

Papa writes:

Here we are on the eve of Christmas and the New Year; we hope that peace and Yuletide joy will be with you, as well as with your whole family, all year long, and that your dear mom quickly regains all her health. We also offer your dad and your brothers our best wishes. It is in regularly following your blog that we experience, along with with you, all your worries and disappointments, as well as moments filled with hope and sharing.

We hope the bump that appeared yesterday on your mom's skull bodes no ill. (We also hope you've found your wallet again!)

On Christmas, we'll be at Dominique's, weather permitting. There's a lot of snow at the moment. We'll leave next Tuesday and will stay until the beginning of January, enjoying the little ones [grandkids], who don't know us very well. As for the other boys [NB: Papa has four sons], Damien is taking his family to Thailand to celebrate 25 years of marriage. Xavier is back today from China, and is leaving again to go to Thailand for several days with his family. As for Fran├žois, he'll be with his beautiful family, which leaves us only Dominique with whom to celebrate Christmas. That's how life goes.

We express again all our love and affection, to you as well as to your parents.

Papa and Maman from France (kisses)

My French parents (they were the parents of my host family in 1986) live near Nantes, on the west side of France. They have four sons. From eldest to youngest: Fran├žois, Damien, Xavier, and Dominique. Dominique is about a year younger than I am. All four sons are married and have kids; I can hardly keep track of the sheer size of the family. Reunion pictures are mind-boggling; it's amazing that a single photo can capture so many people from so many different generations.

Dominique currently lives in the Alsatian region, near the city of Colmar, not far from both the German and Swiss borders. This puts him on the other side of France from his parents, which I suppose explains the lack of face time between my French "parents" and their grandchildren.

I'm happy and proud to know people like the Ducoulombiers. I regret not being able to see them more often, especially these days. Luckily, we all correspond with some regularity, which is a good thing.



melancholy donut said...

ive read about them intermittently through your blogs. the ducoulombiers sound like some awful fine, loving folk.

Kevin Kim said...

They're magical people, and it's mainly thanks to them that I love Europe as much as I do.