19 June 2015


Several weeks ago I wrote on this blog about a relative in North Carolina who had fallen ill. It was my mother's younger sister, an aunt that I grew up with and loved. She was my aunt, but she was more a friend or a big sister to me. She, my mother, and I had traveled together on many trips in North and South Carolina, in California, and in France over the past 25 years. We had great adventures, laughed at each other and ourselves, and just enjoyed our time together.

Well, yesterday afternoon, my aunt Ann passed away at the age of 79. Her illness lasted a month and she was in a coma in the hospital for most of that time. My thoughts are with my aunt's two children — especially with her daughter, who spent nearly 24 hours a day with Ann at the hospital for the past month. Now the mourning can begin. We will all miss Ann for a long time to come, but we will also enjoy some very vivid memories of the good times — and the not so good — that we all had together.

For now, here are a few more photos that I took on June 6 in Lavardin, when CHM and I went up there. Not all of them are technically great, but I want to post them to show you more of Lavardin and to continue my series of posts about what this whole part of France is like. The two photos below are details of the one just above.

Lavardin is also known for the ruins of an imposing château on a hilltop overlooking the village. One day I'd like to go back and go up into the old building to see the view from up there.

Some of the paintings in the Lavardin church are pretty mysterious. Judge for yourself.

The day CHM and I stopped and took photos in Lavardin, we had lunch in neighboring Montoire-sur-le-Loire. More about that tomorrow...


  1. The sixth photo represents the martyr of Saint Agatha of Sicily. She's the patron saint of breast cancer survivors. [Like all saints she was a virgin! What about male saints?]

    Doctus cum libro: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_of_Sicily

    The seventh photo represents Saint Peter's crucifixion.

  2. Our thoughts are with you, Ken...
    think of the good memories.

  3. So sorry to hear about your aunt. Her illness has been an unhappy ending but it sounds like you have so many happy memories of her.

  4. Oh Ken, I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt, and about your mom losing a sister, and your cousins losing their mother. Such a sad, sad thing. I'm so very sorry.

  5. Sorry to hear about your aunt. You've lost someone you love and, what makes it harder, you're far away from your family. Our sympathies to you and your family.

    1. Thanks to all of you for your sympathy. Ann was an important person in my life.

  6. My brother was born in 1935 and Ann was born in 1934, they both lived to be 79. May they rest in peace.
    Seeing all the colors in this church as a person living in the 12th century must be like seeing a color tv for the first time. It would fill their senses.
    That old castle gives the village a sense of history. It's a wonder that it's still standing. Maybe someone still owns it.

  7. My condolences to you and your family. Today is the 3rd anniversary of my mother's death. She died very unexpectedly. We were at the courthouse taking care of some business when she fell ill and collapsed and never regained consciousness. She was a month shy of 78. Memories are good, but they do not fill the empty void. Blessings to you at this sad time. Wanda

  8. Ken, I'm so sad to hear about Ann's passing. I will remember her as a bright, fun woman. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  9. Toutes mes condoléances Ken.
    Hang on to the good memories and the fun time spent with your tante Ann.

  10. Oh Ken, I am so sorry. I am still in mourning for my husband, who died a year ago. Time gets odd when you lose someone, it moves very slowly then very quickly. Keep busy and only remember the good stuff. hugs and kisses to you and your family.

  11. Our thoughts are with you Ken.

  12. @NotesFromAbroad: I've been in your shoes. Tell your friends and family what you need. It will get better.

  13. I am sorry for your loss

  14. Ken

    If you want to go back to Lavardin, this may come in handy:

    About the mysterious paintings: http://www.art-roman.net/lavardin/lavardin2.htm
    and this YT rendering is neat :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD-mrk7xjNE

  15. So sorry for your loss Ken. It's hard to be so far away also. My thoughts are with you and for your family. Sue

  16. So very sorry, Ken. I've enjoyed your various accounts of travels in the US with your aunt and mother. It always sounded as if you were having such good times. My sympathies to you and to your mother.


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