Vivre sans crainte

I spent part of my Friday night at a beauty supply store.  I was buying hair color to freshen up my roots.  I have had gray hairs since I was in my twenties.  I blame the boyfriend who dumped  me for an Applebee’s waitress. It was a stressful time.  I couldn’t compete with a woman who served all-you-can-eat rib baskets and sang an obscure Happy Birthday song to strangers who wanted a free dessert.  That hurts one’s ego.  

I was due for a fresh color which was pointed out to me by a bald co-worker.  I let a guy with more hair on his back make me feel insecure about my appearance.   I am kidding.  I can take a good ribbing and am even better at dishing it out.

I was standing in the ‘I’m too cheap to have a professional stylist color my hair’ checkout line when I got a text message.  “Did you see what happened in France?” I had no idea.  I was busy chauffeuring my children to appointments and classes.  I stopped for coffee and a ran a few errands.  I hadn’t seen the news.

It was going to be an uneventful evening. I’m sure people in Paris were thinking the same thing.  Unfortunately, evil walked among them that night.  The video and images of the terrorist attack are chilling.  Yet, I found myself awake in the wee hours of the morning scrolling through photographs.  I wanted to know the victim’s stories. I was struck by one picture in particular. It is a photograph of a young woman’s body covered in a floral sheet lying on a stone road, her shoes visible to passersby.  I imagine she was filled with excitement as she got ready to go out that night.  Perhaps she tried on several outfits before settling on those particular boots.  Was she on a date or out with friends? 

I can’t stop thinking about her mother.   Did she see this photograph and immediately recognize her child?  Her daughter went to a concert.  She could never have imagined the horror that would ensue. 

I am sad that my children live in a world where it’s common for bombing and shooting updates to scroll across the TV screen during the morning news.   I hate that we are horrified, but not surprised that men and women are capable of carrying out these attacks. I don’t want my children looking over their shoulder at a concert.  I want them to laugh with friends at a restaurant. They should go to a stadium to cheer for their favorite team without worrying about explosions- even if the team played in four consecutive Super Bowl games and did not win. I don’t want my children to live in fear.  I’m sure the mother of the young lady under the floral sheet had the same wish for her daughter.  

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