It’s been 13 years…

Mom, me, and my boys

Madeleine Hogue (née Vaillancourt)

June 6, 1916 – October 21, 2006

Oops…July 18th

I should never prepare a post first thing in the morning and post it right away.  Sigh.

Last Sunday, July 16th, I posted about how it was my brother’s birthday AND the anniversary of my Dad’s death.

I was wrong.  I realized it mere minutes after I clicked on Publish.  However, email followers received the message right away, before I recognized the error and deleted the post.

Mea culpa.  Here’s the correct post.

If my brother Don was still alive, he would be celebrating his 80th birthday today, July 18th.  Sadly he died in January.

Last Sunday, July 16th,  marked the 45th anniversary of my father’s death.

Here’s a picture of Don, Mom, and Dad at Niagara Falls.  I’m pretty sure this was the summer of 1970.

Niagara Falls

Don, Madeleine, Tom

Happy times.  Miss you all.

For all the Mothers and Grandmothers

It’s Mother’s Day.  Time to honour all the Mothers and Grandmothers who came before me. How I wish I had pictures of ALL my female ancestors! Here are the ones I do have. Strong women, every one!

Louise Girardin nee Bernardin 1824-1912

Louise Bernardin Girardin 1824-1912

Louise, my great-great grandmother, died at the age of 87, having outlived two husbands, born 10 children, and emigrated four times, from Quebec to Massachusetts to Manitoba, back to Massachusetts, then finally back to Manitoba.

Onesime Girardin nee Allard 1852-1896

Onesime Allard Girardin 1852-1896

Louise’s daughter-in-law, my great grandmother Onesime, emigrated twice, first from Quebec to Massachusetts,  where she married (and buried her first three daughters), and then  to Manitoba. She died at the age of 44, pregnant with her 14th child.

Girardin Emma b1878

Emma Girardin Hogue 1878-1979

Onesime’s daughter Emma, my grandmother (Mémère) died at the age of 101, having raised her siblings after her Mother’s early death, born 8 children, and outlived her husband and all her siblings.  She had emigrated from Massachusetts to Manitoba as a child.

Margaret McMillan nee Dease 1818-1905

Margaret Dease McMillan 1818-1905

Margaret, my great-great grandmother, one of my Metis ancestors, died at age 87 having born 9 children and outlived her husband. She lived most of her life in the Red River Settlement.

Philomene Hogue nee McMillan 1848-1923

Philomene McMillan Hogue 1848-1923

Margaret’s daughter Philomene, my great grandmother, died at 75, just months before her husband.  She had 9 children.

Marie Anne Vaillancourt nee Girard 1881-1975

Marie Anne Girard Vaillancourt 1881-1975

Marie Anne is my maternal grandmother who died at the age of 94, having born 9 children and outlived her husband by 40 years.  She moved from Quebec to Alberta, back to Quebec, then back to Saskatchewan, and eventually Manitoba. (As an aside, this is the ONLY picture I have in which she’s smiling!)

Madeleine Hogue nee Vaillancourt 1916-2006

Madeleine Vaillancourt Hogue 1916-2006

And here’s my Mother, Madeleine, who died at the age of 90, having outlived Dad by 24 years, and born 5 children.  She was born in Quebec and moved to Saskatchewan as a child, and then to Manitoba. Still “talk” to her everyday.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Happy 100th birthday Mom

If my Mother, Madeleine Hogue, nee Vaillancourt, was still alive, June 6th would be her 100th birthday.  We would be having a big celebration.  Mom would, as usual, have had her hair done, and we would have shopped for a new dress. Children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren would have gathered together. There would have been flowers, food, wine, cake, and much merriment.

Sadly she only saw her 90th.  Unfortunately by that point her health was failing, she was in a nursing home, and though family gathered, it was not quite the party we would have wished. Mom’s mind stayed sharp to the very end, but her body let her down.

Madeleine was born in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, the youngest of nine children to Georges Vaillancourt and Marie Anne Girard. When she was about two years old the family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan.  Here’s a picture of Mom at a very young age.

young Madeleine

Madeleine teenager


And one as a teenager.




mom in La Salle



Here’s the photo of Mom that Dad carried in his wallet when  he was courting her in La Salle, Manitoba.








Here she is as a young woman.





And here is a picture of Mom and Dad on their 35th wedding anniversary. Mom and Dad had eloped in 1933, so this celebration was especially meaningful to Mom.


For Mom’s 85th birthday we did have a big family party. There was food and wine and hugs and laughter.  Many loving stories were told about Mom.

Mom's 85th

I never stop missing her, but in some ways she is always with me.