My sweet little angel

Pour la version française, cliquez ici.


Before I begin this week’s post, I would like to reveal the significant changes I made to the blog! Some of you might notice that the website looks different. The main reason is that I added a language switcher, rather than reading a long post with both languages. I had to install a plug-in and rework the website (I also improved the menu structure). So this is now officially a multilingual blog (yay!). Multilingual personal blogs are rare I think, so I’m happy to continue in both languages. After all, it’s good for the brain to practice two languages!

Please note that I write each post in French first, and then translate in English. As my first language is French, if you can read French, I suggest reading the posts in French as they are “better written” in my opinion. 🙂

All that to say, this change will bring a cleaner layout, and you as a reader can easily from English to French, and vice-versa. You will find the language switcher drop-down (EN-FR) at the top-right of the menu in green. In the main menu, you will also notice changes with the groupings of the pages.

Sorry to those of you who were trying to open the last email, it was an error that occurred during my redesign and it was the same post as last week (a duplicate). Thank you still for letting me know!


Another week with the kids at home, time flies! For everyone’s health, I sure hope that classroom-based school will start again soon. Keeping our fingers crossed. Yesterday, we received a message from school: once a week, the afternoon will be asynchronous, and without connectivity. The school says it is to help with the health and well-being of students and staff. It’s a good initiative!

I received some kind messages this week from Isabelle, someone I didn’t know. Isabelle told me that she and her husband Pascal often drive by the accident site on the 323 to get to their cottage. For those who haven’t read the post about the accident site, you can find it here.

Isabelle shared with me that she and her family were deeply moved by our story and they think of us and Zackaël a lot. Receiving this kind of message always touches me; it reminds us that Zackaël is always in our hearts, even for people who did not know him.

What touched me the most was when she told me that she and her husband often stopped to clear snow at the site. What a thoughtful gesture! Remember the definitions of empathy and compassion? Well, this gesture is a great testament to that. They are empathetic people because they are wholeheartedly with us, and saw that it was important for us to keep the monument and photo visible. They are also very compassionate because it is a helping gesture that no one has asked them to do. Isabelle and Pascal, you have a big heart, and I thank you very much for what you do!

Zackaël’s roadside memorial during the Holidays
Before Pascal et Isabelle remove the snow
Pascal removing the show
Almost cleared up – Zackaël’s monument on the 323

Pascal et Isabelle removing the snow
Zackaël’s monument
Many people stopped and added decorations during the Holidays

Zackaël’s roadside memorial at night


I would also like to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop at the monument, some of you even added a little something. Thank you Marielle & Raynald, and Tim & Amélie for the pictures. Since I’m not able to visit the monument because of its location, it means a lot when I receive new pictures. I’m able to see if little items were added, which always warms my heart.

As Zackaël favourite colour was green, don’t hesitate to add a little green something (like a green light or ribbon) if you’re ever on the 323 and decide to stop.

My aunt at Zackaël’s roadside memorial
My aunt and uncle Marielle & Raynald often take the time to stop


I would love to share about Zackaël more often and his photos on this blog, but it’s not easy. As some of you know, I am often caught in a battle of emotions.

For today, I’m going to share a poem I wrote last spring. The original language of the poem is French. I quickly did a translation to English. I have to admit that the English version isn’t very good as the flow and rhymes disappear in the translation. If you know French, please read the French version instead.

Ce n’était pas assez (It was not enough)
Click here for original version

Poem in honor of Zackaël
My lapin d’amour (my honey bunny),
the most beautiful human I have ever known,
in my heart forever

It was not enough
That we did everything to make you happy
They still took you from us
Without telling you goodbye

It was not enough
That you always made us smile
They still took away
The chance to see you grow up

It was not enough
That you were the most patient
They still took from us
All our future moments

It was not enough
That you were good to her
They still took away
Her big brother Zackaël

It was not enough
That you were the best brother
They still took you
From their little world

It was not enough
To be an model student
They still took you
From your little classmates

It was not enough
That you were a best friend
They still took you
From your friend Alexi

It was not enough
That you were the sweetest boy
They still took you
To be with them in heaven

It was not enough
That you were our little sunshine
They took you anyway
The cruelest separation

It was not enough
That you are my beautiful “lapin”
They took you anyway
An endless November day

It was not enough
That everyone loved you
They still took you
We’ll never see you again

It was not enough
To be my beloved son
They still took you
Why did nothing protect you?

It was not enough
That you had a heart bigger than your body
They still took you
I hope there’s life is after death

My beautiful Zackaël
My heavenly angel
My love is unconditional
I send you a sweet kiss
Don’t worry, you will never be forgotten

Maman xox

Zackaël Flintoff, August 2019

Zackaël’s Roadside Memorial on the 323

Pour la version française, cliquez ici.


Zackaël’s Roadside Memorial on the 323

“Memorials tell the story of lives taken too soon. They are personal statements bearing witness to a life lost and they act as a memento to others both to offer a moment of quiet reflection on the significance of the fragility of a person’s life, and as a heeded warning of dangers we have become too complacent in noticing.

Roadside memorials are folk art created out of love and grief. Unfettered by regulations or cost, they are creative acts, restorative acts in the face of destruction. They allow the remembrance to be matched with the death; the death happened in public, the memorial needs to be public, in the very venue that is so intimately connected with the deceased, the place where he died. And since the death was sudden, unexpected, and maybe senseless but not unique, roadside memorials let people know that a particular person, an individual, was alive. They say, we will not let you die unnoticed, you are valuable, you deserve to be remembered. And they invite the world to join in.”

A quote Brigitte found from http://www.debate.org

After looking online for examples of memorials, Brigitte came up with a design to honour Zackaël at the site of the accident. Our good friends Aris and Andrew generously offered to help us with the coordination and installation of the memorial. Brigitte forwarded the design to Aris who took the lead and coordinated with her friend Chris, whose company Ercon Welding was able to create a metal structure that would be solid enough for the side of Highway 323.

On Saturday November 7th, after picking up the structure from Ercon, Andrew and I drove to the site. I had found the accident site on Google maps with information from the accident report. When I got there, the surroundings looked unfortunately familiar. In case there were any doubts that we were indeed at the right spot, in the ditch I found the plastic shell of one of the rear view mirrors and a piece of the roof rack from our van.

Two more friends, Tony and Mike, met us at the site to help with the installation. This was no minor undertaking as the iron monument was very heavy and even had rebar at the bottom of the legs to allow it to be poured into concrete, keeping it stable. Andrew’s engineering skills and general know-how came in very handy. A huge thank you to Aris and Andrew for helping us with the creation of the structure and to our friends for the installation.

This was my first time back at the accident site and it was great to have the support of my friends. We are very happy on how it turned out. Brigitte did an amazing job with the design and planning of everything, including little details like solar lights, lanterns and glow-in-the-dark pebble rocks so the structure will be visible at night. It really all came together very nicely. She also had a large printed photo of Zackaël, with a different photo on each side (see pictures below).

If you ever drive on the 323 and have time to stop and/or take a photo, especially at night, please let us know. We would love to hear your comments. Click on this link for the exact location of the memorial. Please note that it is eastbound, so it will be on your right if you’re going towards Tremblant. (If you stop and see any snow on the solar lights, we would appreciate if it could be removed so the light can absorb the sunlight.)

Green Glow in the Dark Rocks are underneath the years.
This is the view from the back of the structure (westbound).