WTF Wednesday 21: Andree O’Donnell
 Celebrates Christiane Maheral

This week we are treated to a WTFW guest post by my good friend Andrée O’Donnell. My sincere thanks to you, Andrée, for sharing this beautiful, heartfelt post. I am humbled and honoured…

Christiane was my mother and still is in my heart and mind.

She was born on Valentine’s Day in 1946 and died at the age of 60 from breast cancer.

She was a French Canadian Catholic who was a great mother, teacher, wife, secretary, bank teller, business owner, seamstress, artist, gardener, quilter, home designer and dreamer.


In The Beginning

My mom grew up in a small house in Hudson, Quebec with her parents and three siblings.

Her mother died of breast cancer when she was 14 years old. It was a difficult time but she managed to take care of the household.

She grew up and became a french teacher and met my father. They married a year later. Since they were crazy about each other, it did not take long before she gave birth to my brother and less than a year later to me.



Epic Then

My mom was the disciplinarian and stay at home mom who raced around after her two toddlers. She made our home warm, fun and full of love.

As I grew up she listened to me and made me feel like what I had to say mattered. I could ask any question — no matter what subject — and she would answer me clearly and without judgment in those early embarrassing prepubescent years.

I would overhear her brag to people when I was in earshot that she enjoyed her “teenagers”. I really believed she meant it and it made me want to be a better teenager and live up to what she told others.

She always encouraged me to try new adventures and to dream big. She told me repeatedly that anything I set my mind to I would accomplish because I was very determined. I believed her.

She gave me the desire to want to be independent as I became a young adult. She pushed me out of the nest and I didn’t even realize it because I was so excited.

She was my sounding board and my spiritual adviser as I became an adult. Her advice was always right on — but only given when asked for.

My mom never intruded in my life because she had one of her own.

Epic Now

Now, I am a mother myself with a teenage daughter and I use her example as my role model for mothering.

I have wonderful memories that continue to inspire me in my daily role of being a mother and wife.






University of My Mom

My mom taught me to love life and live it to its fullest. Her steadfast faith in God has given me proof to the love that is available for me as I continue to move forward in my faith journey.

My mom remains one the strongest women I know. In life, and in dying, my mother has shown me what real women can be made of.

She set the bar high and I am glad cause I will continue to reach for it.

I have tremendous shoes to fill.


Fantasy Fabulosity

If I could go back eight years and picture an adventure with my mom it would be spending a whole weekend at the cottage, just the two of us.

We would spend the day on her pontoon boat and chug around the lake until we found a great place to anchor and jump in for a swim. When the sun finally started to disappear we would head in and I would make her favourite meal: spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce.

After supper, she would surprise me with a delicious pan of date squares (that only she could make). Then we would set out the scrabble board and competitively play late into the evening.

Eventually we would get tired and she would wrap her arms around me and hug me and I would not rush off but instead hold on for a long, long time.

Related Links:



WhatI’m Thankful For.
Why They’re Fab.
What Terrific Folk.
Why The Face?
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