Four-Leaf Clover

Four-Leaf Clover

Sébastien’s grandmother, Mamie, was always hunting for four-leaf clovers.

You would be walking on grass with her and she would suddenly bend down and come up with one in her hand.

They brought bonheur, she believed in that, and she didn’t have much money, so that was one of the things she collected for her family: bonheur.

She gave 18 of them, framed, to one granddaughter on her eighteenth birthday.

When she died on Christmas Eve and we filled her tiny apartment with oysters and buche de Noël and all the other French Christmas Eve delicacies we had been bringing with us in the car over to the hospital, in the hopes of celebrating it with her, this one was sitting on her bathroom sink.

Her daughter, Claudine, gave it to me that same Christmas Eve.

And now it watches over Mia.

  • What a sweet story!
    It’s not easy to find 4-leaf clovers. Sebastien’s Grand-mere must have had magical powers…

    March 18, 2007 at 6:26 am
  • My grandmother did that too. I have many beautiful memories of taking long walks with her in the mornings, and she HAD to stop at every pile of clover to dig through it. She flattened them in books and forgot them in there, so when she died we found them loose all over the house and tucked away in books. It felt wrong to remove them, like they belonged in her books, so we left them where they were.

    That’s a beautiful story, and the framed collection is a wonderful gift. It’s inspired me to dig around for the ones we left and frame them up to give to my daughter. I just hope my mother didn’t get rid of them in a fit of overzealous organization.

    March 18, 2007 at 9:21 am
  • French celebrate the 18th year like Americans celebrate the 21st year.
    I cannot imagine finding even one four leaf clover.
    She had happiness luck didn’t she?!

    March 19, 2007 at 9:53 am
  • I feel as though I knew Mamie. Funny, now that you mention this, there were four-leaf clovers all over my grandmother’s books.

    I agree with Michelle. Leave them where they were placed.

    March 21, 2007 at 8:51 pm
  • Corey, I guess my thinking is that the gesture itself can be the bonheur. After all, if someone loves you enough to do something like that for you–how much more happiness and luck do you need? If you have somebody’s love, well, everything else in the world is just what you make of it and it makes of you, right?

    I love hearing about all these other four-leaf clovers. I can’t ever find even one either; my sister and I used to look and look as children, because the family home had a good half-acre of clover patches covering the little orchard.

    March 22, 2007 at 9:20 am

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