AND THEN PARIS

I wasn’t planning on coming back quite so soon, and who knows, I may not truly be back. Because I am, in fact, still pursuing other avenues of my life. Avenues that take up a considerable amount of my time. Especially during the holiday season, and then Paris…

I was behind schedule. Stressed and feeling as though I were coming down with the flu, chilled but not ill, not yet. I took a shower and crawled into bed. A few hours later I woke up freezing with a pounding headache. I made a steamy cup of tea, took some Ibuprofen, turned on my computer, and then Paris…

Sewing my granddaughter’s birthday dress. I was fretting over the perfect fabrics. Questioning the oversized silk bloom, that was to be pinned to the front of the bodice. All the while thinking, surely no two-year-old is going to run around with this monstrosity hanging from the front of her. In the end, opting to keep it because it was, in fact, adorable. I made coffee, took my dog out, said hello to the neighbor, and then Paris…

I was running errands, enjoying a beautiful warm and sunny day. Saddened by the visions of the fading colors of Autumn. All the while complaining about the traffic, the people, the potholes, and then Paris…

Family, friends, housework, phone calls, reading assignments, class, dinner, rain, snow, the neighbors, the dog, and then Paris…

My son came to me last night and asked, “Mom, do you think what happened in Paris is going to happen here?” I wanted to tell him, “Of course not honey.” Images of 911, the Boston Marathon and Oklahoma City bombings flashed through my mind. The only heartbreakingly honest answer was “yes, and it’s not a matter of if, it’s simply a matter of when – again.”

It’s shocking really, that despite these past atrocities that have landed literally at our feet, we as a people, get comfortable. Be it in our recliners, our marriages, our jobs, socializing or even, maybe most importantly and more specifically, we get comfortable in our country. We’re just so damned sure, aren’t we? We go to the store, to work, to school, to our parents’ homes, our children’s homes. Church, friends, the library, nightclub, we go on vacation. Then we come home to our comfortable homes, with our comfortable lives and fall into our comfortable beds. Fully expecting to wake the next day and start it all over again, because why not? Why wouldn’t we? We roam our country at will with our stars and stripes waving in the wind high atop our majestic buildings. Blanketing us in the comfort of the words we live by, “Land of the free, home of the brave.” Every coin, every dollar bill that passes through our hands reminds us, “In God We Trust.”
And then Paris…

My heart is breaking and my soul is overflowing with love and compassion for people I did not know, in a country that I have never been to. My eyes well up, my tears fall and I sit here in the comfort of my home. Helpless save for the never-ending prayers, that have been living on my lips.

From the moment I learned about this despicable act of cowardly violence I wailed from every fiber of my being, “When will it all stop?!” And then Paris…
Beirut, Africa, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, Ukraine, America…