100 years have passed and ...
Madame Jodoin does not stop talking ... nor living!
By Henri Prévost
She may celebrate her 101th birthday this month, everyone will tell you that Simonne Jodoin is not "stop" when she begins to tell her long life!
This century of existence did not affect his memory or his joie de vivre. Obviously, she has always had easy happiness. "My doctor told me that this is what helps me to go through the most difficult times," says the friendly Jerome.
Ms. Jodoin is one of three centenarians currently living in the Manoir Saint-Jérôme residence. A less and less exceptional status nowadays - at the 2016 census, there were 8,230 Canadians aged 100 or older, including 1,850 Quebeckers. Not surprisingly, these deans are mostly women, in nearly 85% of cases. In 10 years, their number has almost doubled, and it is expected that it will triple in the next 10 years!
Only survivor of her family
Born in Cartierville, little Simonne is the eldest of five children. She is now the only survivor of the family of Rosa and Joseph Leonard, who had three girls and two boys.
At 19, when her father falls seriously ill, the young woman has to go to work. She joined the RCA Victor company and was first assigned to the manufacture of radio cabinets. Then, with the beginning of the Second World War, the company is involved in the production of military radios and Simonne then works to package this material sent to the troops in Europe.
In 1942, she married Léo Jodoin and the couple moved to Laval-des-Rapides. This is the beginning of a "very happy" marriage that will take place over 50 years, before ending sadly with the death of Mr. Jodoin shortly after the celebrations of their golden wedding.
A remarkable resilience
Seven children will be born from this union, including one daughter. Of course, the longevity of Simonne Jodoin exposed her more than other mothers at the risk of surviving them. Thus, over the years, she saw four of her sons leave, including one at the age of 18. So many challenges that she has overcome with remarkable resilience.
"There are too many who leave! Nevertheless, she admits today, thinking of all those who are disappearing around her. She still counts on 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren to ensure her offspring.
Initially dedicated to raising her family, Simonne Jodoin also provided unwavering support to her husband, who had success in business with a packaging company bearing his name. "We started from scratch and worked hard," she recalls.
After having frequented the region of Mont-Laurier on vacation, Léo Jodoin also found himself an outfitter in Chute-Saint-Philippe in the late 1970s, following the abolition of private hunting clubs and fishing under the government of René Lévesque. The outfitter Jodoin still exists, but under the guidance of a new owner.
"Before, life was calmer"
We can easily imagine how much the world has evolved over the past 100 years. As to whether he has changed for the better, Madame Simonne is obviously not convinced! "Today, everyone runs, people do not have time to talk to each other," she says lucidly. "Before, life was calmer and it was better for the kids. Nowadays, they are too often kings and masters! "
She who "does not like bickering", Simonne Jodoin is concerned about the omnipresence of "violence, aggression and sex" in the world today. "It's reflected in the eyes of children: from the age of two, they have a hard look," says the great-grandmother, for whom the situation would be different "if they showed the beautiful on TV ".
And when asked what advice she would give to young people today, she answers with a wink: "Even if I give them one, they will not take it! "
A faith that "transports the mountains"
Despite everything, Simonne Jodoin remains optimistic. "Two more generations and it will come back as before," she believes. "The children will be tanned to have the key in their necks. "
It must be said that, like many people of her generation, she supports her trust in her faith. A faith that she shared with her husband, also very involved in religious activities such as the Eucharistic movement.
"Faith carries mountains," Madame Simonne likes to repeat. As she approaches her 101st birthday, she draws a parallel with the "101 times the Blessed Virgin appeared"!
To leave before the Third War ...!
Even if, for a few months, she had to leave her comfortable apartment in the Manor for a room that is better suited to her condition, Simonne Jodoin does not complain.
"I am well surrounded," she says, noting that people come spontaneously to her. Because she has jabbery, yes, but also because she strives to always say constructive things. "When one has the soul in peace, it is reflected in our face," sums up the charming centenarian.
This does not prevent him from seeing approach the end of his life, but with a surprising serenity. "I'm finishing. I was born during the First War, I married during the Second and there, with the madman who runs the United States, there will be another soon, but I will not live it! "
As a good believer, Mrs. Simonne wishes that the good God come to seek her one day of May "because there are flowers". But let's bet she'll see some more springtime.
Simonne Jodoin, with her daughter Micheline.
With her husband Léo Jodoin, during the celebrations of the 50 years of their happy marriage.
The newlyweds, Léo and Simonne Jodoin, in Laval-des-Rapides where they lived for a long time.
Simonne Jodoin proudly shows this picture of her with her parents Rosa and Joseph Léonard, shortly after her birth in 1917.