Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Too Late

Two years ago, I got "La Sabranenque Update #46" simultaneously by snail mail and email.  La Sabranenque is a volunteer restoration project in France that I'd participated in in 2004 and I'd remained on their mailing list.

I emailed back to Marc Simon, the director of volunteers, reminiscing about how great the experience had been, how I wished my creaky back would let me do it again, how I was going to be in Provence, with a tour that summer, breast cancer treatments permitting, and hoped I could wrangle a way to drop by.

He wrote back that any time would be fine, but I couldn't convince Jeanne that a detour to La Sabranenque's site would be quilting-related. ;-)

Volunteer projects at La Sabranenque took 2010 off. I guess I discovered that on its website after recommending the project to a friend looking for volunteer opportunities abroad. This summer I'll be heading to Provence and will actually have some free time, so I have been intending to email Marc again.

Marc Simon greeting a new bunch of volunteers at La Sabranenque, 2004

Today "La Sabranenque Update #47" arrived. Projects are starting soon for 2011. There was a small article and I read this:

For all the former volunteers at La Sabranenque...
Marc Simon
For thirty years Marc Simon dedicated his time and generosity to La Sabranenque. He fell victim to a cancer and passed away in 2010. He is always present in our hearts. We continue his work as homage to Marc. If you would like to help you may apply to join us in the projects, or make a donation to La Sabranenque.

Rue de la Tour de L'Oume, 30290, St Victor La Coste, France

The website went on to say that he'd passed away on April, 16th 2010. He arrived from the United States at 18 as a participant for the La Sabranenque restoration projects. He left to finish his university degree. Once finished he returned to La Sabranenque. For thirty years he was a pillar at La Sabranenque, always available and present on the project's activities.

Marc brought a great sense of responsibility and an open mind to La Sabranenque. He had impeccable integrity and a rigorous work ethic. Marc believed in solidarity and respect in all aspects of his life.
He was a light that shone brightly; his spirit will continue to shine.

This is such sad news to me to hear that cancer took someone much too young. I was much too late in getting back to La Sabranenque. Farewell, Marc.



  1. Beautiful tribute Lee. I am sorry about the loss. He sounds like he lived an honorable life.

  2. Thank you for posting - I went to La Sabranenque in 1994 and had just Googled it to see what the latest was there - so sad to hear about Mark, who I remember as a quiet, calm, friendly and reassuring presence.

  3. I went there in 1994 as well - during the spring. I was so saddened to hear of Marc's passing, but I am glad to see that the program lives on. It is such a wonderful way to learn French, learn about French culture, and give back to the community.