With Rod’s and his son’s blessing, here is her euolgy. Brought a tear to my eye :’(
"Bonjour, I’m Damien and I want to thank all of you for being here today to celebrate the amazing life of my mom, Rachel Chartrand. We have people from everywhere from Montreal all the way to Low that are all from different periods of her life and even some that weren’t fortunate enough to get to meet her during her short lifetime. On the behalf of my Father and brothers, Thank You all for your love and support.
Before I go on to celebrate my mother and what she stood for, I must share with you the reality of what life was like for my mother and the family since she was first diagnosed with cancer in September. Of course, nobody suffered more than my mother, but dad you’re definitely second. We all shared my mother’s pain. It’s almost like we were all on trial. – At one point, as a family, we were in denial, we were angry and we were depressed. We didn’t always feel comfortable with doctors’ opinions and we didn’t always agree with each other on a course of action. It was a confusing time.
In the end, I felt we all put up a good fight. We did what we could do. We have to ask ourselves what my mother would want for us right now… I think she’d want us to heal ourselves and move on with our lifes. She would want us to deal with her death in our own way but also to put her death behind us and live a life that she would be proud of.
Mom was only 56 when she passed away on, February 14th…valentine’s day. We all wish that we had more time with her, whether it be to see us get married and have children or just to call her up and ask her for her bean recipe for the 200th time. But even though she is gone, she has left the legacy of her love and perseverance. The way she has touched everyone in her life may vary from person to person but I ask that you keep those memories alive by your day to day actions.
Mom always put us before her. She stopped working to raise us until we were ready to attend kindergarten, she spent her days and afternoon’s doing arts and crafts and putting up with kid’s TV shows and she was also known to join in on a Nintendo game or two. After a few years of us being in elementary school, around came a thing called the “Internet”. She understood that IT and computers were going to be a big thing – and possibly a new way to play cards – and decided to leave her job and go back to school so that she could learn about all these new exciting technologies. With a significant cut in pay, she still managed to feed a family of five with plenty of food and still managed to make sure that he boys had the latest toys and clothes.
If there are two things that our mom has influenced in our daily habits, it would definitely be our low tolerance for crappy food and our love for the Dominican Republic. Everything we ate was made by her; the chances of us having something ready-made in our lunches or dinners were slim to none. If my mom ate something in a restaurant that she just loved; she made sure to be able to make it herself so that we could enjoy it at home. Our mom shared her love for the Dominican Republic with us when she and our dad surprised us on Christmas morning in 1999. Under the tree, there were only three big gifts that were wrapped under the tree. After getting over the fact of seeing “only” 3 gifts, we opened them up to find we each had a suit case….a packed suitcase! With a plane ticket….leaving in only a few hours! We spent two wonderful weeks with our parents and were even given permission to have a few drinks with them on New Years Eve. Ever since, we’ve all been hooked. Mom however, was more than hooked….she fell in love with the place and with the people. She later started actively participating in the Beyond the Beach foundation which raises money and donates goods to young Dominican children at an orphanage in Punta Cana. All the calm and relaxation that that country brought to her, she decided to give back to it, the best way she knew how.
In 1978, my parent`s paths crossed while working together at Canada Post and ended up getting married in June of 1981 in this very church. During many years, she regularly brought us here for mass and it is here where my brothers and I all had our first communion. I think that having this ceremony here would have been important to her and helps show how all things come full-circle.
Finaly, I know that mom would like me to say a few words about dad – who has been a great father for us, a loving husband to her and an amazing caregiver and support to my mom through this entire time. You have truly been an inspiration to all of us and mom thought so too. You showed us what true love is and we can only hope to be as lucky as you.
I`d like to end my tribute with an Irish proverb I always liked:
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.
Mom, on t’aime tellement et on est tellement reconnaissant pour tout ce que tu as fait pour nous. On te promet que tu peux être en paix en sachant que tes trois garçons se comporteront d’une façon dont nous savons tu seras fière."
Translation of last paragraph.
“Mom, we love you so much and we are so grateful for everything you have done for us. We promise that you can be at peace knowing that your three boys behave in a way that we know you’re proud.”