Monday, May 28, 2007

Farewell Aunt Emilie

Emilie Matilda (Boudreau) Gates passed away peacefully May 14, 2007 at the age of 84 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Emilie was a loving and caring wife, mother and grandmother and will be remembered for her homemade bread, rolls and mustard pickles. She and her husband traveled extensively with their camper throughout Canada and the United States.

She is survived by her husband; 2 sons & their wives; 4 grandchildren; a sister & a brother; a brother-in-law & his wife; a sister-in-law (my Mom); and several nieces and nephews. She will be sadly missed and we are praying for God's comfort to our family through this grieving time.

She was my French-Canadian aunt. I loved her thick French accent (which she never lost). She was proud of her French Acadian background and she was able to share her heritage by teaching French in her community’s Elementary School for several years (she was the only French person in that small community). She could trace her family history back to 1605 and she found out that one of her ancestors participated in the famous “Order of Good Cheer” by Samuel Champlain. They were among the very first settlers of New France (Acadia) at the Port Royale Habitation. Her family later settled in northern New Brunswick.

I bought this little angel for Aunt Emilie three years ago during the 400th anniversary of the founding of Acadia. It was very special to her. The angel is holding the Acadian flag. A few years ago, I heard a prophetic word about Canada and how the French are our “elder sister” because they were part of our “Canadian family” before us. This little angel is a reminder to me of the Acadian people and to honor them and their part in developing God’s plan for our country of Canada.

On a personal note, I am originally from Nova Scotia and some of my ancestors were given livestock from the nearby Acadian farms when they were being expelled in 1756. Although we did not have a part in the expulsion, the Acadians had a direct connection to my family’s history (and a part in their survival). Some of my ancestors were French Hugenouts. I often wondered how they felt as the Acadians were sent away. They had escaped religious persecution in France and settled in NS with a commitment to be loyal to the British crown and a promise of freedom to worship God. Just a couple years later, they were witnessing others being sent away simply because of their ethnic origin (the same country of origin as theirs).

God wants us to live together - in harmony. He created each of us uniquely - beautifully. He loves variety (just look at how many different flowers there are!!!) One race/culture is not above another. Jesus died for ALL. History records many things that were done "in the name of God" that were not honorable. Let's not repeat their mistakes. We must honor each other in love. Celebrate God's plan to bring so many people uniquely together. He has a divine plan for Canada which WILL be fulfilled. Let's learn from each other and all do our part in His purpose for bringing us here.

Farewell Aunt Emilie. I will miss you. Y

3 comments:

Jen said...

Cheryl

Bless you, your family and your Heritage.
May God's peace be with all of you and with Wayne and his family's loss as well.

I LOVE how you honor your family by seeking after the knowledge of your heritage.

To think we have the same home province and Acadian heritage...mine is mixed with Irish and Sedish roots though.(that's my mother's side)

Many with my maiden name have tried to research my Father's surname...PATEY, it can only be traced to NFLD, (where they were all born and raised), they think it goes to either England or Scotland...but can't go back farther.
I think it is a blessing that you can trace your roots so far back.

Peace and comfort to all of you...
Jen

Holly said...

Peace and much comfort to you.

Mr Badger said...

Cheryl, what a great way to pay tribute to departed loved ones. We had an angel like the one you got Emilie, but it was broken recently, do you know where I could get a replacement?