Mimi, Ricky and Linda

In May, I couldn’t have imagined that I would write this post… well, certainly not so soon.  Today, I wonder when I crossed the line… the line where you think you are immortal and that your friends are immortal too.  Within less than 4 months, I have lost 3 dear friends whom I truly loved.

Mimi and I met in 1974 when I was at Vanier College as a student and she was the reference librarian.  In 1975, I wrote the following in my personal journal, “She’s a really nice person and I’d like to get to know her better.”  And, did I!  Over the following 45 years we spoke at least once a week and the conversations lasted at least 1 hour!  I could count on Mimi like one would a twin!  When I had a falling out with my father, it was Mimi who found me my first apartment.  Over the many years, we would speak about everything… from relationship troubles to sexual politics to the loss of one’s parents to noisy fridges and noisy neighbours!  And, of course, we talked incessantly about our cats.  I remember all her cats… Chevy, Scoots, Berry and Willow.  I’ll never have another friend like her.  I never said a proper goodbye.  She was admitted into an Ottawa hospital and died the following day.

I received her birthday card a couple of weeks before Mimi passed away on June 7th, 2019.


Ricky and I met in 1979 at McGill University.  And although we lost touch for many years, he reappeared in my life in 2009 when I truly needed a friend.  I was going through rough times and I ran into him at a bookstore.  We agreed to have suppers together on Sunday evenings after church.  Ricky was my go-to friend for symphony concerts.  He had studied music in college, his principal instrument was the French horn.  We had tickets to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s fifth Symphony  by Gustav Mahler but he never made it.  Two days before he died he asked me whether I still had the tickets.  He was looking forward to the concert and asked me to hold on to the tickets in case “a miracle happens”, his words.  It didn’t.

Ricky saw the Pavarotti documentary a couple of months before he died.  Of all the beautiful scenes and arias, it was this exact scene of Pavarotti as Tosca’s Mario looking up at the stars before his imminent death that spoke to Ricky the most.


Linda and I met in 2010.  Actually, Linda was a client but we communicated so easily that I really felt like I was talking to a friend.  No one laughed like Linda.  She had a big, hearty laugh.  If ever I come back to this world, I hope to be able to laugh like her.  After the contract was over and I had career problems and no one would hire me, she always wanted to know how I was doing before asking me about the job hunting.  I could sense right away that she had a kind soul… so rare these days.

Rest in peace, my friends.



Leave a comment


  1. Mario Fournier

     /  September 29, 2019

    Un tres beau billet encore. Merci de t’ouvrir. On se sent privilégié de te lire.

    Prends soin de toi.


    Sent from my iPad

  2. Andrea

     /  September 29, 2019

    Such a painful loss… Even the loss of one dear friend hurts but three in the same time span is horrible. Please be kind and gentle with yourself. I’m sending you good thoughts and prayers.

  3. Johanne Zenga

     /  September 29, 2019

    Mes plus sincères sympathies Normand. Tu écris tellement bien et c’est un privilège que d’être ami avec toi. Je t’embrasse et by the way, j’ai ton cadeau de fête sur ma table de travail, il faudrait se voir bientôt pour que je puisse te le remettre. xx

    • Bonjour Johanne,

      Il y a la fête d’Isabelle en décembre… ça pourrait être une occasion pour nous trois de se revoir, comme chaque année. 😉

      Normand xx

  4. Ocean Dreamer

     /  September 29, 2019

    Thanks for this. It did me good to read all three tributes.


    On Sat, 28 Sep 2019 at 22:36, The Perfume Chronicles wrote:

    > Normand Cardella posted: “In May, I couldn’t have imagined that I would > write this post… well, certainly not so soon. Today, I wonder when I > crossed the line… the line where you think you are immortal and that your > friends are immortal too. Within less than 4 months, I have ” >

  5. Tara C

     /  September 29, 2019

    I am so sorry for your losses. This was a beautiful tribute to your friends and the bonds you shared. Each person that accompanies us on our journey brings their own special touch to the story of our lives. May their memories be a blessing to you and all whose lives they touched.


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