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June 16, 2023

Dear André G.

Dear André G., I haven’t forgotten about you. You’re on my mind every morning since I read the heartfelt comment you left in response to my May 21 letter entitled LETTER TO MYSELF.

Please do forgive me. Since I’ve started writing these Sunday letters at the beginning of the pandemic to comfort our dear customers, my fingers have become chatterboxes.

After talking about food, tempting dishes and multiple culinary recipes, I continued writing about the business, our employees and the expansion of the restaurant chain, courage, creativity and the audacity to live. I lunged head-first into a sea of possibilities because I wanted to keep writing. I let my struggles become words and then full sentences to tell my story, talk about my childhood, my parents, the hopes and dreams I had as a young girl and the few disappointments life bestowed upon me.

Thank you, dear André G., for telling me that you enjoy reading me and that my letters are part of your Sunday routine. You add, and I quote (translated from the French): “Although, Madame Cora, did you know that men, including many of your readers, are not all mean? I sometimes get the feeling that you think of them as such. There are good men too; men who are loving and kind. There are good fathers out there, gentle and protective. Don’t forget about us.”

My heart weeps as I read your words. At 19, I married the wrong fellow and he broke my spirit. He destroyed the young, loving woman I was. The matrimonial carnage lasted 13 long years before I could finally escape. Without any help, money and or father, my children and I still managed to survive.

Have you ever found a harmful worm in a cabbage? Its damage appears as soon as the weather warms. At that time, I was a young thinker who was still ignorant of the facts of life. What could I have done? I already had his seed planted in me. He wanted to get rid of the fetus, and I had to cry every last tear I had in order to keep the child.

In all honesty, dear André, I don’t hate men. But when a tsunami crushes a young life, the rebuilding takes a lot longer than the demolition. First, you look for a safe shore, work to feed the kids and later, much later once time has dulled the memories, you dream of finding love again. A love that is mature, peaceful and solid; a love dressed in comfortable, everyday clothes.

I dream of finding such a love, especially now that I have the time. Even my grandchildren tease me about it on occasion; they want me to find a good companion, and I refuse to give up. Really! I’m looking for a kind heart, a flower artiste, a storyteller, an old philosopher capable of coaxing me close, a widower who once loved. Could my heart set out on that road again? I advance, searching the world for men with eligible hearts – kind and loving, gentle and protective.

Prisoner of their respective silence, my parents were never able to be a model of great love. Tell me, dear André, where are these brave men, these good husbands who have lost their lovers? Where are they hiding? Wherever they are, on this happy Sunday, with all my heart, I wish them the most wonderful Father’s Day! I praise their courage and their love of children.

Dearest Dad, for my own sake and for yours up there, I beg the angels for a huge favour: a second chance. A blissful way for both of us to be reincarnated so we might each find a happy marriage.