Words just don't seem adequate to express the sadness felt after hearing of the terrible events that happened in Paris over the weekend. My heart is heavy as I think of all those who have lost loved ones, and everyone affected by such a violent act.
It is just unthinkable that a city that I hold so dear, my very favorite place in the world, experienced such a horrible thing.
So, I am praying for peace, and praying for comfort for all.
When I think of Paris, I don't just think of the amazing monuments, the gorgeous flower markets, or the wonderful cafes and bistros.
I think of the people.
Often I am asked if people in France, and Paris in particular are friendly. For some reason, many are under the impression that the French are rude. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth!
So, I answer the same each time:
"Yes, they are very friendly!!"
I think of the staff at the little hotel on the Left Bank that hubby and I stay at each year. The same employees have been working at the hotel since we first started going there 15 years ago. Each time, they greet us with a hug and a warm handshake.
I think of the beautiful Parisian woman who I purchased lovely scarves from, at my favorite street market.
While we didn't speak the same language, we were able to communicate, and she gave me the most beautiful smile.
I think of the woman who owns the adorable little chapeau shop (hat shop) around the corner from our hotel.
As I was trying on one of her beautiful hats, she came over to help me, and showed me how to adjust it
I think about the guy selling produce at one of our favorite street markets.
We got such a kick out of seeing him in the University of Michigan shirt!
(we live in Michigan).
We were so touched when he told us that the French are grateful to the Americans for helping liberate their country during WWII. He said, in perfect English,
"If it weren't for you, I would be speaking to you in German right now."
Meaning: France would have been overtaken by the Nazi's and they no longer would be a free country.
Regular people. Just going about their regular lives.
I remember our first trip to Europe. How I was so shocked at the sight of young soldiers walking around with assault riffles, fingers poised on the triggers.
It still is shocking to me, but sadly is part of daily life there.
At the airports, and around all of the major monuments, museums and more.
Now I am sure they will be even more of a constant sight, unfortunately.
Please remember those who have lost. It could happen here.
It has happened here.
Praying for peace.