Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Ghosted for a memorial service on the same day as....

An email came asking me to speak at the memorial luncheon for Sue, a reader who the sender assured me had been a huge fan, driving up to Santa Rosa to hear my book talk. Sue, and her tribe of journalists, loved France and they thought it fitting I come and read from one of my books at Sue's memorial lunch at a chic resto in SF. 

No invite for lunch was included but though I couldn't remember Sue in detail I confirmed because well, it touched me. I re-arranged things and left for Denver.  I hadn't rec'd a confirmation back from the sender. The morning of the luncheon I called and left a msg but no answer. Yet, I couldn't just not go because if it meant something, even for 15 minutes I'd feel horrible not showing up. By the time I threw the car in expensive parking and knocked on the resto's door there were only staff who looked at me. 'We open later, we're closed.' I asked if there was a private party that had reserved an event. No. When I said it was for a memorial of a dead woman, finally someone said wait a minute checked their phone and said 'that was cancelled.'

Wow...re-arranging my day, paying for parking and ghosted without even a 'sorry, cancelled.'

Rude, right?

I felt righteously indignant all afternoon until the date's significance popped up in various feeds. Friday July 16, 1942, this day, seventy-nine years ago,  marked the first day of the infamous 2 day round up in 1942 of 13,000 Jews and 4,000 children in Paris.

My heart fell. My friend's mother lost her parents and sister in that raid, she'd been overlooked since she came back late from an errand. At fourteen years old she returned to an empty apartment in the Marais. 

Years later, my friend discovered that the grandparents and aunt she never know were taken to the Vel d'Hiv - a bike racing stadium - left without food and water until they were herded onto trains to Drancy, a holding site outside Paris. They didn't stay long as they were on one of the first convoys to Auschwitz and before the end of July were ashes. 

Remembering this put my day in perspective. My friend's mother is still alive and she never got to say goodbye to her family. Or attend a memorial service.  So maybe this was an odd way of memorializing ones we've lost but we can never forget.
Cara - Tuesday

1 comment:

  1. You are an extraordinary person, Cara. God Bless your fan friend's soul.