Did you know, young man with the rest of your life ahead of you, when you left for the concert that yesterday would be your last day? Did you hug your parents? Did you tell them you love them? Did you have plans for today? For tomorrow? For the rest of your life?
Did you know, young couple madly in love, while you sat in the crisp air on the sidewalk of the café sipping your wine, having easy conversation with your lover, anticipating your meal that it would be your last? Were you talking about the weather? The children? Work? Your future together? That trip you were going to take?
How could you have known?
Who were you going to call today? Your mother? Your sister? Was today the first day of that long-overdue vacation? Were your children playing soccer today? Was your phone filled with contacts and a full calendar? Is today your birthday?
I’ve thought of you full of life on the morning of November 13, 2015, what your life might have been like, full of promise. I’ve thought of you on the street, going about your daily life, not expecting what would come next. I’ve thought of the horror you experienced as you realized what was about to happen to you. I’ve thought of your lifeless body, shrouded with sheets, lying there in the coldness of the night.
I’ve also thought about the streets filled with people, defiantly marching in remembrance of you, chanting and holding their signs. Their signs say they are not afraid.
I suspect that they are afraid, though. I’m afraid. No one is safe. No one is immune. But we are something more, something stronger than fear. We are courageous. Take heart, France. We are with you. We are afraid, but we will stand with you through the fear today, the day after a very Black Friday. And every day after that.
When we are afraid we ought not to occupy ourselves with endeavoring to prove that there is no danger, but in strengthening ourselves to go on in spite of the danger. ~Mark Rutherford