I am struggling to get through every activity today. I am finding it so challenging to answer work emails, and go about my business like today is any other day.
I live about 30 km from Nice, far enough away that my family and I were nowhere close to being in danger, so far in fact, that we were asleep in our beds while our neighbours were having their lives thrown upside down. But we are close enough to feel the pain of those around us, to see their fear, and to know that their lives will truly never be the same.
When I left the comfort of my bed this morning, I was confronted with the news. I turned on my iPad, and instead of finding information, knowledge, understanding, I found messages of anger and of hate, promises of more war and more violence. I was overwhelmed, I nearly drown in a sea of ignorance and terror.
Then I realised something else, I had emails, Facebook messages, and text messages from people far and wide, those I spoke to yesterday and those I haven’t seen in years, all trying to make sure we were okay. People whose lives we have touched, who in this time of crisis thought of us. Again, I was overwhelmed. I had no idea that so many people would think of us, would care to know that our family was okay.
After I had answered all the emails, a new wave hit me, I was okay, but were the people I care about? I quickly scanned Facebook for all those that live in Nice, searched to see if they were marked “Safe” and then I started sending my own text messages of concern.
It’s 15h00 the day after; I am still feeling…feeling too much to really process everything, but my brain is slowly trying to take over. I am reacting less and less to my emotions and more and more to the facts. I am reminding myself that France is still one of the greatest and safest countries to live in; I have my family and friends who are today safe from harm. I have my health, a home, food on the table, clothes in my closest, running water, electricity, plumbing, the right to be at work, and be independent. I have love, a sense of humour and reason.
Today is a tragic day, but I won’t be crippled with fear and anger, and I refuse to feel hopeless and lost, because I will remember that one man created so much ruin, but tens of thousands of people have since shown nothing but love and kindness. The world is a good place, filled with happiness, and many many wonderful people and beautiful things. We must not lose sight of that.