I’m not a flag waving kinda gal. I stand up for what I believe in and will even walk in a parade to support a good friend, but you won’t find me rallying for a politician or speaking through a megaphone like Gloria Stenheim at a women’s liberation meeting either.
But this time it’s personal. Paris! Where do I start? My memories date back to 1990 when I shared a bottle of Moet champagne with a couple of American strangers. These were no ordinary strangers though. They were soldiers who had been deployed to fight in the Gulf war.
I returned to Paris more than a decade later with my Italian husband and we shared a romantic Easter holiday sipping champagne at sidewalk cafés. In January, 2016, I have a plane ticket and accommodations already booked to celebrate my 50th birthday with my sister and niece. So again, yes, it’s personal.
Myself and husband connect through Paris CDG airport at least once a year. I know that airport about as well as I know the local shopping outlet at Serravalle. Paris is a major hub connecting most International flights to Northern Italy. I have been to many regions in France and in two hours I enjoy the French Riviera. Cannes, Nice, and Eze. I go to France at least once a year for a holiday weekend. So yes, it’s personal.
Right now, I’m sitting on a marble step at Piazza Matteotti where Italians have gathered to show their support and love for France. My sister wants to cancel our trip in January and my husband has a flight booked in a few weeks that connects through Paris.
What do we do now? What do I do now?
You’re damn right it’s personal. But I am only talking about my fondness for a country who also shares my Canadian heritage. Remember, we are a bilingual country. In fact, my first words were French! Too bad my mom didn’t keep that babysitter longer.
I’m on this side of the pond, neighbouring France. Is Italy also in danger? The short answer is probably yes. No one is exempt. My heart breaks for the lives lost last night and the horrors those had to live through to survive and tell us their story.
Stay strong. Even if my plans are cancelled for my birthday, I will return to France and to Paris, nothing will stop me.