I read the final chapter and Epilogue of Julia Child's My Life in France to Dad as he finished up some work in the garage a couple of days ago, and when I finished, we lapsed into a silence, so full of joy of her final memories, and then heavy grief. Moments later, we were both crying and shuddering and mourning miserably. That was perhaps three days back, and thinking about it now, I feel a heaviness in my chest of missing. Missing Julia. I could cry again.The snippet I am about to share is the last paragraphs of the book. (Epilogue, My Life in France, first published 2006.) It reminds us of the sole meuniere she ate at La Couronne in France, which I shared with you. You might want to re-read the excerpts so as to appreciate the significance of her final words.
1. Fish Taken Seriously 2. A New Kind of Appreciation
Now, are you ready? Don't cry, or you'll set me off again.
Such was the cose with the sole meuniere I ate at La Couronne on my first day in France, in November 1948. It was an epiphany.
"That's all in a book! You don't know her!" people might say, thinking themselves perfectly intelligent and supieror.
To which I can only shake my head and roll my eyes. In my head I'm thinking: "You poopoo-heads. I knew her in the book. That is the life that I spent with her. I know her. I was there."
And so I was. One of the only books in which I feel in love.