First, thank you to Ritu for helping me find the title of this post. I don’t think I could have done it without you.
That said, what want to talk about has nothing to do with the title. Which is nothing new, so let’s carry on, shall we?
The day Notre Dame burned, Alex came home from school and asked me why I was sad. Having no way, with my limited vocabulary in sign language, to tell him what had happened, my first thought was of Disney’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” So I showed him a picture of the movie, and of Quasimodo at the top of the spire. When he saw it fall in the videos online, he understood.
I’ve been in so many grand cathedrals over the years–Canterbury, St. Pauls and Westminster Abbey in London, Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, and yes, Notre Dame in Paris, among others–that it’s difficult to remember many specific details of any of them. But the sense of awe when stepping into such a church, of being surrounded by its history, leaves an indelible mark on the soul. When I saw Notre Dame burning, I went quickly from shock to denial and then to grief.
When all is said and done, Notre Dame is an object. No lives were lost–not even the bees on the roof–which is a miracle all by itself. Still, one can’t help but think we’ve lost so much more than a material thing. Places like that are alive with the spirits of everyone who has walked through their doors.
On a lighter note …
My middle son, Christopher, who is autistic, didn’t start talking until he was four years old. In order to help him out, we bought him computer games to play. There was one, featuring Elmo, that had a mini-game in it to aid kids in learning the alphabet. And it worked! Chris began mimicking Elmo’s voice. For a long while he refused to put sentences together himself–everything he spoke was a line out of a game or a movie. But I distinctly remember one of the first questions he answered independently was, “What is the alphabet?”
Chris quickly answered, “Q W E R T Y U I O P A …” all the way to M. Because he learned the alphabet at the keyboard.
Fascinating how the autistic mind works.
Thanks to the three lovely ladies who gave me my three “Q” words for today’s not-A-Z post. You’ll find their links under the words “Quasimodo,” “quick,” and “QWERTY.”
I don’t need any suggestions for “R” words for tomorrow’s post, because I’ll use SoCS to fulfill my non-duty of writing a non-A-Z post. Watch out for my request for “S” suggestions tomorrow!