What a tragedy.

Posted By: SforkUte
Date: Monday 15 April 2019, at 04:23 pm
Recommended by 20 user(s)

My wife and I recently celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. It's been twenty two years of highs and lows. While we tend to put the tough times behind us and cling to the good memories today's news about Notre Dame will be difficult to expunge from our collective memory.

It was just 12 years ago that I had the opportunity to travel to France for a work meeting. I was lucky enough to have my wife accompany me on the trip. After a week of meetings in a small town on the Brittany Coast we took the TGV back to Paris and spent a wonderful 4 days exploring the city and enjoying each others company. We had traveled to Paris prior but for those of you that are familiar with the city it is vast and never quite adequately covered.

On this particular trip we decided to focus on the significant architecture of this amazing city. The Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Dome of Les Invalides to name a few. No list of the majesty of Paris would be complete without the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

We were simply stunned, in total awe of the flying buttresses, the bells and the illustration of the last supper. Honestly really too many to count....let alone remember.

We were staying in the area where the cathedral has resided since it was completed in 1345, a very charming area called Ile Saint-Louis. After a day of walking the city and a wonderful dinner at a typical Parisian street side café my wife had a life changing idea.

"Let's renew our vows" at the Cathedral.

I didn't hesitate to agree.

The next day we arrived at the steps of the grand entrance into the cathedral. Our good friend Pierre, who lived and worked in Paris accompanied us. Pierre was a coworker of mine, and luckily enough for us an ordained Ecumenical Pastor.

It's hard to remember exactly what was expressed, but I will never forget the spire of the cathedral, the cool spring air and the commitment that my wife and I once again renewed.

Flash forward to the news today and I am numb, barely able to watch the horrible news that is splashed over all outlets.

My wife came home for lunch and I could tell she had been crying. We immediately embraced and consoled each other. Our love had been affirmed in Salt Lake many years ago, renewed again in Paris and now part of our shared life was in flames.

The spire of the cathedral had always represented our love for each other. The strong foundation of the cathedral, the intricate carvings.....all a physical representation of our love.

To say that today has been "tough" would be an understatement. My wife sorrowfully went back to work, I on the other hand can't seem to shake the malaise the surrounds me.

It's amazing that a physical structure and a shared past experience can hold so much weight.

What the fire took from us can't be replaced, but we can draw strength from our past experience. The remnants of the church are symbolic of our love that will always stand strong.

My heart aches for those personally affected by this event. We but caught a glimpse of it's eternal power.

Farewell to the cathedral of our memories, hello to the cathedral of our future.

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