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Gift of a Day Feature Story May 2018
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Parisian Native Transported Back Home.

Close your eyes. Imagine sitting at an outdoor café, sipping champagne on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré as the intoxicating aroma of baking bread wafts around you. Across the street, towers the 12th-Century Notre Dame Cathedral, while boutiques filled with sophisticated fashions and artwork await your treasure-hunt.

This dreamy setting was home to Yvette Di Gangi, Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care patient. Yvette grew up 20 miles south of Paris in a small village called Macherey. She met her husband at a local bakery, courted and moved to America after their first son was born in 1950. And, although she was enamored by the bright lights and excitement of a bustling young nation, Yvette always longed for Paris.

At age 94, she finally made it back.

Crossroads transformed Yvette’s room into an elegant Parisian café. The guest of honor savored creamy brie and flaky croissants, homemade Madeline cookies (Yvette’s favorite!), and rich chocolates in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. Classical French music filled her ears; friends and family – including her beloved daughter, Mary Frances – filled her heart.

Life imitating art, the group colored and painted French scenes as Mary Frances recounted Yvette’s biggest moments – meeting her husband, raising four children, working as a celebrated hair dresser, writing poetry, marrying her second husband and perfecting French cooking on American soil.

“Everything is so beautiful,” Yvette repeated in her thick, elegant accent, “Mérci!”

Thanks to a caring Crossroads team, Yvette was transported back to that magical place along the River Seine, where croissants and chocolates heal aches and pains, and memories satisfy the yearn for home.

“De Rien,” Yvette. You’re welcome.