Salut, tout le monde.
My name is Denise, and I live in the United States (California). My father was French, and my mother (born in Germany, raised in Colombia, grad studies and professional life in U.S.) moved to Paris after she retired over 10 years ago. I've had the pleasure of visiting France, especially Paris, many times.
This visit and the last were under different circumstances. On May 9, my sister and I received word that our mother had suffered two ruptured cerebral aneurysms and a heart attack the previous Saturday (May 5) and was in a coma. We flew to Paris the next morning. For three weeks, we visited the hospital every day, trying everything we could to stimulate her to wake up. In the end, the damage was too severe, and she passed on June 1st. Our only consolation is that we were able to spend those last weeks with her, and then, finally, hold her in our arms as she gently passed from this life.
After the cremation, we returned to the U.S. for three weeks to spend time with our families, take care of our affairs, and try to recharge a bit. Now, we've returned to Paris to take care of our mom's affairs. Among other things, we have to empty her apartment (which she rented), and decide what to do with her beloved boutique, a second-hand English bookstore/tea room in Paris that she bought from a fellow expat back in 2001. Our mom invested so much energy and love into her boutique, and we're hoping to find someone who is as passionate about books as she was, and who recognizes, as she did, what a special place the boutique is.
I was actually searching for the original owner of the boutique when I found this great network. I hope that I'll be able to take advantage of all of the members' knowledge and experience to help me and my sister get through this difficult time with as few obstacles as possible. I'll start with a first question: in your opinion, what is the best way to donate items (clothing, furniture, etc.)? Some of our mom's friends have recommended Emmaus, but others have said that they will not always show up when they've set a time to come (we don't have a car, so we need them to pick up). Any suggestions/input?
Thank you in advance for your help with this and future questions! Merci!