Yesterday was Bastille Day, France’s national holiday celebrating liberty, equality, and fraternity. Much like America’s 4th of July, people picnic and host outdoor activities and watch fireworks at the end of the day. I was one of the thousands of Bordelaise, standing on the quais at 23h, waiting for the spectacle to light up the sky above the Garonne river. And the thing is, Bordeaux could have been Nice.
I receive regular US State Department warnings about avoiding crowds and demonstrations and using extreme vigilance when traveling in airports and bus/train stations. While I don’t ignore the message, I do choose to live life normally and not shrink into a shell like a hermit crab. That makes me vulnerable. Some might say that makes me stupid. Regardless, it makes the possibility of a tragic and brutal end of life scene more real.
So, this is my end of life good-bye to you, just in case I don’t get the chance to plan ahead. I love you all and I love you well. My physical presence will no longer exist but my energy will continue in other ways, other forms. I like to think of it as a breeze which kisses your cheek or causes the leaves to whisper…or a stream of water which flows over your hands or dapples a fountain pool. I like to think of it as a melody that starts from within and makes you want to sing. There will be no reason to be sad or angry for too long…life is finite and unpredictable and must be lived by each of us for our own happiness and fulfillment.
I grieve for those lost and those left behind in Nice. Like me yesterday evening, they probably hadn’t said I love you or goodbye to the people in their lives who mean the most.
I love you. “Think of me, think of me fondly, when we’ve said goodbye…remember me, once in awhile…”