Jean LeChausseur flips through the book he found at a local garage sale that had belonged to his mother 50-years ago. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Son finds mom’s 50-year-old book at garage sale

Jean LeChausseur said he immediately recognized his mother’s handwriting

A man was reunited with his mother’s book from over 50 years ago after discovering it at a community fundraiser, completely by chance.

Jean LeChausseur was walking around with his wife on April 27 when they decided to peruse a garage sale held for Terrace Relay for Life on Lakelse Avenue.

“We were just looking for a place to eat at the time,” said LeChausseur, who mentioned it was initially his wife’s idea to stop by the fundraiser. “We were having a look and going around the perimeter when we made it to the books, and she just pointed it out.”

The book, titled Le Francais Pratique, meaning Practice French in English, was sitting amid several other French novels. Once LeChausseur opened the green front cover, he saw a map of Quebec and immediately recognized the inscription written inside as his own mother’s handwriting, who had passed away 24 years ago.

“I thought, ‘that is so bizarre’,” he said. “It’s like the Twilight Zone or something.”

As he looked through the pages, he saw little-handwritten notes from his mother in the side margins, who had used the book to help teach herself English after their family moved from Quebec to Terrace in the early 1970s.

He said he recognized his mother’s handwriting from the various scribblings she would leave on recipes and notes kept around the house when he was growing up.

“So I just knew it was her,” he said. “It was really wild to find that, and it just warms the heart because… even if I never read the book another word, to me it’s gold, it’s diamond.”

LeChausseur was 11-years-old, one of 13 children, when his family moved to Terrace in hopes of finding a better life in a healthier economy. His step-father was able to find work as a logger, where he got paid $80-a-day as opposed to $1.35 an hour back in Quebec.

“This was the promised land for them,” he said.

He said he believes the wife of the family who originally donated the items is actually the oldest child in his stepfather’s family after speaking with Denise Coulter, one of the organizer’s of the garage sale.

“Her mom and my mom used to be the ‘bosom friends’,” he said, smiling. “They used to talk on the phone for hours… they were inseparable, ” LeChausseur said. He believes that’s why the book was kept within that family for the past 24 years because it was a reminder of their friendship.

While LeChausseur said he thinks his mother understood English more than she was able to speak it, she used the book frequently because of how often she wrote within its pages.

“You remember these things about your mother then,” he said as he flipped through the book. “Of course, we were mischievous kids and we did all sorts of funny, stupid things, but your mother…that’s a jewel. That’s the jewel of the family.”

LeChausseur said he hopes to have the book rebound, while still keeping its authenticity, to put on display in his library for years to come.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

One of the pages within the book “Le Francais Pratique” that shows a bit of the handwriting LeChausseur recognized as his mother’s, who had passed away 24 years ago. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Just Posted

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure: RCMP

Agencies now assisting family to their Alaska destination

Northwest Regional Airport to have newly paved runway this year

Work at the Terrace-Kitimat airport will take place at night

Second World War prompts airport construction

And now it’s the busiest airport in the region

Let family know where you’re going

Knowing my history of getting lost in even so confined a space… Continue reading

Bear captured after breaking into home

Black bear makes his way into home and conservation officers don’t know why

WATCH: Terrace Fire Dept breaks in new training facility

Moving the facility from the grounds of Coast Mountain College (formerly Northwest… Continue reading

Second Narrows Bridge collapse survivor remembers tragic day

Kelowna’s Norm Atkinson remembers what it was like to survive B.C. ‘s worst industrial accident

Lions need to focus on football after disruptive fan incident: coach

Wally Buono says his players need to focus on football after defensive back Marcell Young hit a fan

Liberals set hiring, procurement rules for federally-funded projects

Indigenous Peoples, recent immigrants, veterans, young people, people with disabilities and women to be hired

Get your hot dog water, only $40 in Vancouver

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

Privacy questions linger two years after Canada-U.S. terror list deal struck

Two years after Canadian and U.S. security agencies signed an updated agreement officials consider privacy risk

Manitoba MP was allegedly abusive at Red Cross shelter

Canadian Red Cross has filed a complaint that Liberal backbencher MaryAnn Mihychuk ignored protocol

Fiery crash closes Highway 5 near Barriere

The stretch of highway won’t be open until at least 10 a.m., DriveBC says

Large B.C. tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and District investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Most Read