I was making my afternoon tea and finishing my following week’s blogpost when I received a text asking me how I was doing. It is not out of the ordinary for me to plan a trip at the last minute to go somewhere, anywhere and just pick up and go. So since most of my closest loved ones were all of a sudden asking me how I was, I was not particularly surprised. Then I heard what happened in Paris hours earlier and understood why I was receiving texts asking about my well-being. A long-time friend, a person that wholeheartedly supported and encouraged my move to Spain, called me and we spoke at length about the ugly events that had just happened in one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. He and I were both struggling to come to grips with what we were seeing on TV. As we talked about the absolute, horrific atrocities that happened a day earlier, I realized I was having a hard time digesting the events that had happened in a country that was next door to the one I’m living in.
Sadly, what happened this past Friday stirred up all too familiar feelings. We will all remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on that awful day in September fourteen years ago. I was 15 years old, just dropped off at my friend’s house, getting ready to carpool to school. I remember waiting on my friend who was doing her makeup. An ordinary day by all accounts. “Good morning, America” was on TV. The first plane had already hit one of the buildings and everyone was discussing how such an “accident” could occur…then I remember seeing the second plane hit the other building. No accident. I’m talking about this because I remember the feeling of uncertainty and confusion that I felt when I was a 15 year old teenager. Which state is the next target? Which major city gets hit next? My state? My city? Sadly, it wouldn’t take long before those questions were cruelly answered.
As he and I talked, we could not help but struggle with the” Why” question? WHY attack the most famously loved city and the City of Love? We wondered about the hours leading up to the attack. It was supposed to be a normal Friday night. We were certain that most Parisians were probably either excitedly making their way to see the soccer game at the stadium or on TV at their favorite cafe or simply sitting somewhere, people watching, getting ready to enjoy a meal and/or reflect on the week over drinks with friends.
Instead, Friday the 13th, 2015, has become one of those – “Remember where you were” – kind of nights. I am profoundly saddened by what happened, and am old enough to know that when tragic events like these happen, they put your life in perspective. The frantic pace of the rat race that we find ourselves dealing with on a daily basis comes to a screeching stop and our communities, our countries ask once again – where were you that night?…the night that we will inevitably remember for the rest of our lives. My neighbors in France will never forget neither will the rest of the world when the city of lights was a little dimmer than normal, but just for a little while…