Always love to dance



Ode to Colette on her 80th Birthday

(With apologies to Colette, members of the family and to Robert Service for imperfectly stealing his cadence)

Now Colette Tremblay from Matane, QC, was born in a humble home

When it all started, you might ask who could have imagined the woman she would become?

Le Cote Nord was developing in ‘41 and World War 2 was in full bore

Since Colette was so good and sage, Emile and Therese, children wanted more.

Off she went to school by ship and planes at a tender 9 years old

And of course, the nuns, so severe, expected her to fall into the fold.

But what a surprise had they when she confessed on a weekly basis
Of the injustices of the shearing of much-loved and long flowing tresses.

Though Colette was without siblings at school and far from her Matane or her Franklin house
While others might have wailed to the skies, she was quiet as a mouse.

Crying is for babies, complaining is for losers and Drama is only for queens,
Why waste time being sad, she said, as its not worth a hill of beans.

As a young woman she could be seen in her Triumph with wind in her hair
Dancing, laughing, and enjoying life without even a care.

Then off to a far land she went to a god forsaken place they call Bangladesh
Where servants called live chickens “supper mam” and massive snakes caused gooseflesh.

Yet all was not lost as born was golden boy Pierre in this land of misery and rain
Who was a happy young man as long has he was eating rice while naked time and again.

To add to her joy years later came Ariana the prized first-born, what a treasure
Who despite a mind of her own was always loved by grandmaman beyond measure.

Four years later shares were bought in the company called Greyhound
Where awaiting the new baby every weekend, Colette was Montreal bound

Then a new boy came on the scene by the name of Matthew Kelly
All eyelashes, big broad smiles, and ample farts from food in his belly.

Though for the older child it was not all roses and fun, as to her sibling the declaration she made
“She’s Colette to you and grandmaman to me, and not to be disobeyed “

Summer holidays and Christmas and Easter time with the kids was her vocation
With shared food, swimming, museums and painting to stretch their imagination.

Meanwhile toiling in Sept Isle, Montreal and Ottawa for the Department of Communications
She rose up the ranks through hard work and never confrontations.

All was fine with her until she added to her life some terrible complications
Which is what happens in life with no experience of aberrations.

She was a young woman, naïve, unsuspecting and thinking the best of all
Who would have guessed that she was in for a mighty fall.

Up she gave her happy simple life in Ottawa as a carefree mademoiselle
Even though she was told that that guy Jan would lead a life of hell.

Pity no questions of intentions were posed, honourable or otherwise
Though she was told he was a neanderthal in serious need to modernize.

In they moved though she must have wondered at time what the cat dragged in
She, chef master of the kitchen and he clueless of even a mandolin.

Many happy times were had and few tears were ever shed
Though did she say sometimes “Am I in over my head?”

Jan at times felt he was king of the home, given he was the man
But Colette had seen this film before and settled it with the frying pan.

Remember a few years ago Colette was down with problems with her heart
Operations and rehab were done so she wouldn’t upset our apple cart.

Now nearly 20 years have gone by, with Jan growing old and grey

And ask Matthieu and everyone else you know, she’s prettier day by day.

And if you said to her “Sit down Colette to talk about everything new about you”

Would you be surprised to hear that it is YOU about whom she’s making a hullabuloo?

There she is, Colette, sitting quietly, smiling always dressed in perfect style
It’s so hard to compete, don’t you think she should give us break once in a while?!!

So we are gathered here in the land of condos, boutiques and village gay
To celebrate a person so young, with meal and beverages on a tray.

Surrounded by family, full of love to give Colette/mom/grandmaman all our best wishes
And thank God for good fortune we can eat and drink and not have to do dishes.

So happy birthday, bonne fete, bonne anniversaire our special lady
We can go out with you to have fun and no one will ever believe you’re eighty!!