Whence, do I come?
Phew! I was very lucky
From where did I come?
I am the small youngest of a family of three children, and I was born on the 13th of September 1946, in a small town in the County of the Dunois called Châteaudun. My father, eldest of a family of four children, a gardener's son, was of fragile health. Former deported from work in Germany; and then refractory, he was then 26 years old. My mother 24 years old, was the only daughter of a couple of small Percheron farmers.
His mother, therefore, my maternal grandmother, was what it is commonly called a forceful woman. After the death of her eldest son at the age of five years, it seems to me, she had fallen into protectionism and an exacerbated possessiveness toward her daughter, who had so become only child, because of this great misfortune. She had so much suffered from the loss of this little beloved one, that she could not conceive the possibility of reliving one day an identical despair with her daughter. The anguish, sometimes even unconscious that she was experiencing from a hypothetical disaster, was going then lead this unfortunate woman to protect this child according to the knowledge and teaching she had received. She was a mother and was well aware the protectionist feelings experienced by the majority of mothers. She therefore prayed a mother, the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary. From a mother, she passed quickly to another woman, and then a third, and then...
She prayed besides so ardently for the protection of her daughter, that she very quickly discovered herself some “gifts”; and what gifts! She “touched” a burn and the pain disappeared, a sprain and the articulation seemed more supple… I pass the phenomena for which she believed herself invested with "powers", only to find that when evil was too strong for "her", she should go see someone stronger. To possess this superior power, he had to be for example the eldest of a family of seven or nine children. The fact that he was from a mixed family, boys and girls, or just boys, or just girls, had an importance...
I ask you to excuse my lack of precision in this kind of details, but my desire is not to transmit you knowledge to occult nature. So, I report to you only the words that I remember having heard from her while we were at her home, isolated from our parents. She loved these moments when we shared her knowledge which left both of us perplexed.
So mom had grown up in Catholic education on the one hand, and increasing deviations of her parents toward the occultism on the other hand. We could almost say by chance, she had very early rejected any spiritual field, because of a childhood injury that had then seemed minimal to the eyes of men. Perhaps some will think: a rebel, a spoiled child? Perhaps ... Perhaps also a sincere child, that the man was injured in her communion with God? From this day, she was going indeed to become rebellious against any form of religion, but was going to keep in her heart the hope of a true God of Love.
In her childhood she dreamed to become teacher, but as to better prepare her to become the model wife of a rich farmer, from the age of fourteen, her parents placed her on farms. Revolt of the adolescence helping, she therefore changed farm, crops, cows; she went some time on Paris and ends up landing in a factory of optical glass in Chateaudun. She was then only seventeen years old, so the whole family migrated temporarily to the city. It was in 1939.
With all the beauty of her seventeen years, she was going quickly attract the gaze of a young man, two years older than her. His name was Raymond Meslage, he was going to become my father. Everything did not happen so quickly, because if 1939 speaks for itself, then there was 1940, the exodus. My grandparents, like so many others, were undecided to leave with their daughter on the roads, especially as the one who would become my mom found this absurd and fiercely opposed. Of course, there came a time when they insisted, and where she finally bowed.
Meanwhile, he who was going to become my daddy was waiting his incorporation which never came, following the rapid rout of French Army in front of the German army.
He was almost the opposite of Mom on the health level. Raised at the farm, Mom had a strong constitution despite her frail appearances, while raised in the city, and his strong appearance in adulthood, he was as for him much more fragile. This had also thwarted his good intellectual abilities, and had brought him to live a somewhat sad childhood.
He had however always been nice and obedient child; he had even been an altar boy. The bourgeois family, who employed his parents at that time, could not indeed conceive, that the eldest son of their gardener had not been an altar boy, as propriety would have it. This is how my future dad, like so many others, was a little boy who struggled and who was going to struggle throughout his life, between his faith and the spiritual teaching that he had received. I say this because it is the image that I still have of him.
GENESIS 1 -
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
And the earth was waste and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
He was possibly seeking God through the works of Jesus Christ, but he was very attached to the Virgin Mary. She represented perhaps to him, gentleness and kindness of my paternal grandmother, who called herself Mary, and who had knew how to understand and love him. I know that if he prayed, just as his parents did themselves, he prayed to the Virgin Marie. 1
1 (the texts written in blue are passages of which we will speak again in the second part.)
At the age of fourteen, he had entered into apprenticeship of locksmith. At that time it was not a gentle task. The anvil passes yet, but the hammer meanwhile, was more than very heavy for the featherweight he was then. Shortly after his vocational training certificate, sweaty because of this hard work, he had gone on an errand with a motorcycle and was returned suffering from pleurisy. He was then only seventeen years old.
People, who were suffering from lungs, were at that time, called "consumptive". It wasn't a glorious title that the one of consumptive, because tuberculosis was a scourge of mass, worse than AIDS nowadays, because of a spread contagion much more diverse than simple sexual intercourse. I believe he has suffered all the more from all these small frustrations that my grandfather was not always very tender with him, according to my memories of certain conversations. His health not allowing him to continue this difficult profession of locksmith, he retrained into electricity and finally found himself to the maintenance service of the company where my mother worked and where they were going to meet.
In May 1941, the very next day of the majority of my future dad, in front of the Mayor and the parish priest, they promised engagement one to another for the best and the worst.
They had already lived the best but were going soon to meet the worst. It was already the war and difficulties for them were only beginning. Just their accomplished marriage, dad was commandeered as deported from work in a Bavarian powder keg. It was certainly not a situation identical to that of prisoners of war, let alone that these unfortunate Jews or Gypsies exterminated by the thousands in these horrible death camps, but it was going to be "captivity" very difficult to live for newly-
At this time he was going indeed benefit from a relaxing permission that was going be a turning point for them in their lives. This one was subjected to many precautions on behalf of the Germans, but a comrade Breton whose desire was “TO REMAIN” in Germany, offered him to vouch for his return, knowing that it was useless to him to come back. What were the motives of this man? Do you believe that it was to live in the country of his dreams that was Nazi Germany for him?
I do not believe it, because he made on the contrary a part of these unknown resistances whose name and bravery do not appear anywhere and that only God knows. Many of them, by acts of sabotage, have often paid with their lives, to hinder as much as they could the advance of the Wehrmacht. It is probably thanks to many of these unknown that I am now writing these few lines that you are reading.
As agreed, dad did not returned to Bavaria at the end of his permission, and provided with false identity papers, he began to live hidden in the Parisian suburbs. The difficulties and dangers that remained at the slightest displacement did not prevent mom often going to join him. Sometimes taken in bombings, she frequently risked her life for a few hours of happiness, through which was going to be born my brother Jean-
The harsh reality of war was there, and before even the birth of their second child, dad was going to have to leave his hiding place to avoid the Gestapo. Both found themselves then hounded, living in permanent anxiety noises of boots on the staircase, the anguish of bombing, the anguish of the night food refueling prohibited after the curfew. So they went by the unsure roads, without light to their bikes, to avoid at best the German patrols. The creaking of the bicycle worn chains that were jumping at the slightest bump of the full of potholes pavement, and the friction of full tires, which came off the rim whenever a trap of moonless nights had blocked their way, were alone to break the eerie silence from which could leave the death at every moment. Whether it's for food supplies or for the visit to the parents, they were thus doing 45 to 50 kilometers, the empty belly because of the rationing, loaded like the mules, with the uncertainty and the haunting of the patrol at each turn of the wheel.
On that subject, a little anecdote, of which I sometimes heard the story during my younger years, comes back to my memory. While they had just left the grandparents farm and they were reaching the small village in which I was going later to spend the most part of my childhood, a violent light hit them in the face, while one scathing German voice, which appeared to them of infinite depth, transpierced them right through. What to do? The space of a second, they had remained transfixed by the proximity of the danger. They were too close to flee, but to present the false papers, was it not also dangerous? The second of reflection had probably somewhat dragged on, when a big throaty laugh came increase their fright. A hand moved forward in the light beam of the lamp which dazzled them and grabbed some rhubarb branches that mom was carrying on her luggage rack. The crunchy of the rhubarb under the teeth of this "bon vivant", had just preceded the "Schnell Schnell" of his sidekick, who had been afraid of the disobedience of the first.
One and the other of my future parents apparently did not waited that the others repeat a second time and the heavy pedals of their very heavy bikes never had seemed so light to them, despite the coast which slowed their race. Well, I'm willing to believe that.
The Allied troops had already landed in Normandy, when, almost like in the movies, at the last hour of the war, dad was recognized by a quisling who denounced him to the Gestapo. At the last minute, he was almost got caught, but the Americans were already only to a few miles, they really arrived just right. Phew! I was hot. Before to be conceived I was just about to no longer have Daddy.
The time however was in the festivities, finished the deprivations! In a few moments the hope, freedom, Joy came back in the heart of everyone. They began to live their first months of happiness after so many hardship, when at the beginning of 1946, mom realized that she was pregnant for the third time! How not to understand that I was not really desired in this context? Fortunately for me, the pill did not exist and abortion was not yet legalized. I am thus a survivor before the hour of the volontary termination of pregnancy or other very exceptionally conceivable acts of our too often irresponsible civilization.
We are not there to militate against, because no generalization can be perfect, each case being individual. We can see, however, that we now give death more easily than we give life, even on behalf of the love that we claim to have the right "to do".
For the second time in a few months, it had been close for me of never having life, but I was however going to arrive alive. Neither one nor the other of my parents would had then thought of blaming me for it. They had been so close to worst towards me, than they even overprotected me a little too much? Let's exceed this subject, because the job of parents is so difficult that only the school of life makes it possible. My parents, as for them had taken back their respective activities within the company in which they had encountered themselves. All five, we spend here some happy years, between the angling or the merry-
Another thing then got very enthusiastic me to the point that I often did the comedy to get away from it; it was admire the small bike in the bicycle dealer showcase, at the corner of our street. Mom still remembers my screams evry time we passed before, but we'll talk about it again.
Perhaps more or less tired of factory life, but perhaps also motivated by the self-
Dad was far from representing the ideal son-
This context of dependency, deeply challenged my parents who always fiercely fought to keep a minimum of freedom, but they never really understood against whom they were fighting. I myself measure all the scope only today, now that I can do the spiritual relationship of cause and effect. We will don't however discuss on this topic in this first part, but keep it warm for the second part.
The challenge therefore weighed heavily on the shoulders of my dear parents, but all hope was however allowed. This after war was going to see indeed a great transformation of the society and that was already perceived very well. He who would make a place for himself in the sun, would live happily, one was thought then. He even could be buying a car, like the people in in high places. There was so much to rebuild, “when the building goes, all goes”, one was said then!
And it was going well this building, there was so much to remake and in some campaigns “to make” quite simply, that all hope was allowed.
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