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This year I was fortunate to be able to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Paris, France. Each time I visit, I bring treats from Canada that they are missing, this year it was maple popcorn, and in return, they make sure they have my favourite wine, cheese and yogurt.

We love spending time together and exploring new areas. This visit we were able to visit the city and town where both of my maternal grandparents’ ancestors came from. We took a weekend and went to Rouen, where our ancestors left in the early 1600s and Avranches, where our ancestors left mid-1700. Both places were incredibly beautiful and it was wonderful to walk on the streets that perhaps our ancestors walked on so long ago. I had no set agenda, just to absorb the culture of the city and town. My brother had other ideas though; he decided that he would look for people who could possibly be our relatives because they would look like me. We didn’t see anyone that looked like me and only came across one lawyer with one of our family names….which makes me wonder if other members of the families moved away to the new world as well or just other areas of France. The best part of the trip was sharing these memories with my uncle who is the record keeper of our family history and yet has never visited France.

This was a short but important visit to an area none of us had visited before and there are stories that have come out of it that we will share with our family for years to come (some heartwarming and some funny). It was wonderful to tie in where we came from with knowing where we live and cherishing both for the opportunities that we have, especially in Canada.

Tanya GS – Coril Holdings Ltd.

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