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

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

Terrace and Thornhill school board trustee candidates: why they’re running

There are two open positions in Terrace, one in Thornhill

Four marijuana stores looking at Terrace

The potential purveyors working through application process

Letter on FPTP calls for a rebuttal

Dear Editor, Mr. Martin’s letter (Unease over referendum; Oct/11/18) calls for a… Continue reading

Fix the downtown: council candidates hear from voters

Related issues of addictions, housing feature prominently at All Candidates Forum

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

Scope of Hurricane Michael’s fury becomes clearer in Florida Panhandle

Nearly 137,000 Florida customers remain without power from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia border

Streamlined pardon process for pot possession convictions in Canada

Feds say legalization is first step towards objectives of getting pot out of the hands of kids and eliminating black market

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Most Read