Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hope Never Dies

Most of the eyes perusing this silliness this morning are situated in heads belonging to people, who have heard the harrowing tale of that young couple who scampered up the hill for a seemingly benign purpose - only to fall victim to life's circumstances.  We might have even believed - if only for a moment - that no couple in the history of hill-climbing had ever endured the hardships that they had (what with Jack's broken crown and Jill's tumbling down the hill thereafter). 

That belief, however earnest, cannot in good faith exist any longer.  It simply cannot.  For when the tale of Jack and Jill is compared to that of Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, it does not hold water. Not a pail's worth.  Not a mouthful.  None at all. 

One week ago, on Thursday, July 13, 2017, a maintenance worker at Glacier 3000 ski area at Les Diablerets in Switzerland (on the side of the Tsanfleuron glacier that is located in Valais canton, in case you are keeping score at home), found the mummified remains of two people, a man and a woman. Working theory is that they fell into a crevice and remained frozen there.  Over time, the glacier receded - at least to the point where their remains became visible to persons working at the ski area, including the aforementioned maintenance worker who, irrespective of his/her salary, is not getting paid nearly enough to deal with mummies as part of the day-to-day.  Not getting paid anywhere close to enough.  

It turns out that the forensic testing upon which the Valais cantonal police insisted identified the two corpses as Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin. The couple, who had seven children, apparently left their home on August 15, 1942 in order to milk their cows.  They left together to perform the chore, from which they never returned.  For three-quarters of a century their family knew not what had become of them.  Now they do.  Apparently, Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin died as they had lived - together.  Their remains were found next to one another, well-preserved by the ice in which they had been entombed.  

Their youngest daughter, Marceline, seventy-nine years young, has announced that she shall not wear black to the funeral of her parents.  Instead, she shall wear white.  Her reasoning is, I think, simply beautiful.  White, says Marceline, represents hope, which she never lost.  Not once.  Not in seventy-five years.   

It is, after all, a good thing.  Maybe, in fact, the best of things...

...and no good thing ever dies. 


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