Dear Ginette Reno, I am writing to thank you for existing
Dearest Ginette Reno. Today, you are crossing the milestone of your 77th birthday. I wish you the happiest of holidays, surrounded by all those who love you and whom you love without limit or restraint.
I am writing to thank you. To exist. For your extraordinary talent as a singer, actress, author. However, I also want to tell you all my admiration for you as a woman. As an exceptional human being.
Despite the glory and the limelight, you have always remained upright, true and generous in everything. The abundance of love is you.
With you, artifice is banished. A rarity in our time. As the English say, what you see is what you get. And, quite frankly, what we receive from you is one of great beauty, inner and outer.
In addition to your long and rich career, in each ordeal, personal, professional or health, you knew how to get up, your head still held high. Suddenly, you came back to us more dazzling and alive than ever.
I want to tell you that very young, for two years, my family lived right next to your parents. You didn't live there anymore, but the simple fact of knowing that you could appear on our modest street filled us with pride.
All my youth, thanks to my mother who adored you, I listened and loved each of your “LPs”. Yes yes. At the same time as the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors, Streisand, Aznavour, etc. You were the Queen of all.
Sisters of Heart
Twenty years ago, I was finally able to meet you. It was in the control room of Christiane Charrette's radio show, in which I participated every week as an analyst.
As I knew you would be there, I had brought your CD La music in me. My mission: to have it dedicated to my little sister Manon who, since childhood, has loved you to life and death.
I explained it to you, adding that Manon has an intellectual disability. You smiled and took my hand.
When I saw what you had written – “To my little sister Manon whom I love very much” – I was so nervous that I told you that you must have made a mistake by using the word “my”.
Imagine that! Your reaction was commensurate with the person you are. You answered me “if Manon is your little sister, then she is also my little sister to me”. Dear Madame Reno, you are indeed our sister at heart.
As Manon brought her CD signed by you everywhere, unfortunately, she ended up having it stolen. But she never forgot him. Me neither.
It's all you
A few years later, I invited Manon to the Capitole de Québec for your superb Christmas show. With each song, with each of your monologues, Manon was hypnotized with happiness.
For my part, I thought very strongly of our mother who, deceased, would have liked so much to see you and hear you with us.
Before the show, on the ground floor of the Capitol, Manon had made the rounds of your promotional products. I bought her everything she wanted. The moment was simply magical.
You know what? Of all that she brought home, the most precious to her is a beautiful pink rosary made by your hands.
Rosaries, all sparkling and each unique, you have put together so many. Because you wear your faith like you wear everything else: with passion, kindness and sincerity.
Since then, as soon as Manon sees a tragic event on the news, she takes your rosary out of its case. She installs him in the living room and prays for the people who are suffering. To paraphrase the title of your latest CD, for Manon, this rosary is all about you.
On this very special day, marking your 77 years on this earth, it's a bit of all that I wanted to tell you. Take good care of yourself.