Notre Dame

It was devastating to watch the news this afternoon into the evening and watch flames seemingly erase hundreds of years of history. This came after watching segments of the Boston Marathon and keeping up with the updates from MGHfC and MEEI. What an emotional rollercoaster.

I like watching the marathon and especially reading the stories of the thousands of runners and why they are running. Everyone has a reason. Because of our affiliation with MGHfC, the Lurie Center for Autism, and MEEI, I read stories that would break your hearts. So many doctors, nurses, siblings, friends, and mostly parents ran for one child or another. It’s gut wrenching. Each one of them strapped their sneakers on and put one foot in front of the other. It’s nothing short of awesome. Paul Fussell, WWII veteran, literary historian and professor at Rutgers and then UPenn, said “a hero is someone who has been through hell and it doesn’t ruin them.” He was talking about fighting the Nazis, of course. But so many of these runners today fit the bill, for sure. So do the children and loved ones they were running for.

Just a few hours later, fire ravaged one of the most prominent landmarks on this planet. The first time I stepped foot in Notre Dame Cathedral, I was young and dumb, and it took my breath away. My eyes filled with tears. You could not help but to look toward the Heavens and feel there is a power much larger than all of us. Each time I traveled to Paris and to Notre Dame, it was as if it were my first time all over again. This Cathedral is a hero. She’s been through hell; revolutions, war and now a fiery hell. And guess what, it won’t ruin her.

There’s probably a bit of that in all of us.


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