By: Maroun Diab
The first time I met Valerie was in Lebanon that summer of 1974. She was 15 years old and was coming together with Claira to see that country their parents never stopped to talk about. They were welcomed in the group and became easily part of it. That was the nicest summer we spent in Lebanon because on the next one the war was already part of our daily life.
Every time I saw her later on in Canada it was for a minute, but I always remembered her lovely smile.
Valerie is leaving us today. She is going to the “pays du grand repot” as says the “old black Joe” in the “cotton field” song that Keyrouz loved to sing during that summer.
I am sure Keyrouz will be waiting to welcome her; he was the first one of that summer group to leave us way back in 1983. Paul also will be there and Wafai too.
Valery who is traveling today from this world of stress and struggle to the “pays du grand repot”, did well in fighting the cancer disease that invaded her body in silence. She did not want to show no weakness. The last time I saw her at the funeral of her father, less than 40 days ago, she kept that same lovely smile, even though she knew that she was dying.
I think Toni, with all the responsibility of a father he had, did not accept to let his beloved daughter travel by her self to this unknown place. When he knew that she was leaving soon he did all the arrangements to go first and prepare a great welcome for her.
As Christians as we are we believe that we are travelers and this world is not more than a station before getting to our destination “the Eternal life”…
Yes Valerie is leaving us, but she is keeping with us a gift of two roses; Samantha and Clayton who will continue spreading her perfume, her smile and her love in the community…
To Elizabeth the mother of Valerie who is loosing part of her dream after the big loss of her long time partner, to Nancy and Patty the real loving sisters who suffered with her quietly but gave her the strength in the last days, to Charlie the brother who didn’t have the chance to share his feelings with the family, to Claira the dear friend, to all the relatives and the Ain-Eblis every where, I present my deep condolences.