Monday, May 17, 2010
Finding the Light.
Her eyes were empty as she looked at me.
It was as if her soul was missing, but her body was still standing.
I didn't know when I saw her last week, that her father just died.
She's only 23 years old.
I just found out the sad news.
And now, a part of my soul too is missing the light from her father.
Almost daily I saw him in our building, vacuuming the stairs, moping the floors, cleaning the windows.
He told me where the post office was when I first arrived in Paris.
He told me the neighbors were complaining that I was painting the grass white, when I spray painted my chairs in the back garden.
He helped me when I needed help.
He knew when I left the building and he knew when I came back.
He was our building concierge.
I didn't even know his first name, but I greeted him daily:
"Bonjour Mademoiselle.", he would say.
He quickly moved the vacuum out of the way when I wanted to pass.
He stopped mopping the marble floors and just watched as I tip-toed out the door.
And now he's gone.
I heard the vacuum outside my door this morning. I cried, because I knew it wasn't him.
When I left the building today, the floors were wet. His wife was mopping the floor.
"I'm so sorry." I said to her as I gave her an American embrace.
She kissed me on both cheeks.
I looked her in the eyes, holding back my tears. "I'm so sorry." I said again in French.
I tip-toed across the wet floor.
Life is so fragile.
It hurts so much when the light of another is taken from our soul.
What are we supposed to do when we are left behind?
How do we live when they have died?
My friend tells me: You must live Florence, just as they lived, you must live and you will live.
In some countries Death is a celebration.
Maybe he has no pain now.
Maybe he's in a better place.
Maybe his life begins again.
I can't find his light in my soul right now.
Maybe its there.