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So, Dean has departed for two weeks overseas - which would be one thing, but in three days I depart for eleven weeks overseas, so it will be quite some time until I see her again.|
I am not thinking about it.
Instead, I've been thinking about something else:
Some years ago, my grandmother and her surviving brother and sister made contact with an older French woman from Luneray, in Normandy, who had seen their fighter-pilot brother shot down over Luneray in the Allied raid on Dieppe in 1942.
The French woman, Mme. L., had after the war sought our family in particular because she'd learned, from his tombstone, that the pilot bore the same surname as her own great-grandfather, who had himself been a Scotsman.
Later research reveals a strong probability that the Frenchwoman is in fact a distant cousin of our family - though where the records are sketchy, the fact that her son and my great-uncle bear a strong resemblance to one another is taken as evidence. (What can be shown: A man with the same name as Mme L. had been told her grandfather carried was born in the year she had been told he was born, in Scotland; more than that, that man was of the family line that produced ours.)
I am going to be spending around four days in that part of Normandy, by current plans - which is to say, that is how much of a visit I have already reserved accommodation for. I am in correspondence with a very charming gentleman whose English is only mildly quirky, but at this point we are merely discussing the details.
What I'm wondering is: should I seek out Mme L.'s descendants?
A search of the French phone directory reveals five persons of that name in Luneray. Some or all are likely related to her; she was old enough to be married in World War 2, and her name does not come up, so I suspect she may have passed on.
However, it's an awfully appealing thought to spend an afternoon in a small town in Normandy finding long-lost distant cousins.
Of course, the only listing I can find for a Jacques L., which I know to be the name of her son, is near the Spanish border, and I hadn't actually planned to go that far south - but there are a few with that name in Seine-Maritime, and I can ask my cousin Mary if she knows anything more.
Still. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the vast, meandering blankness of my holiday plans has become crowded with things to do, but there are patches not yet fully occupied - of the four days I currently have planned to spend in Normandy I have plans for only one, so there is time to see what I want to do.
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