I hope you’ve had a great week and are settling into the Fall. Autumn is officially here this Wednesday, so summer is history now. (Although it was in the high 90’s in Paris last week, so that’s VERY summery. But after some rain, it’s autumnal and chilly now. End of summer).
You probably know that I have a new book out in hardcover, “Rushing Waters”, it’s the story of a hurricane that hits New York, and how it affects 8 specific people, and impacts their lives and an entire city. We lived that ourselves 3 years ago when Hurricane Sandy wiped out the home of one of my daughters. The damage and trauma were heartbreaking, the loss of beloved treasures that couldn’t be replaced. It was a very impressive experience, and inspired the book. I hope you read it, —it’s really exciting and very touching. When Mother Nature unleashes her fury on us, anything can happen!!! The Force of Nature is stunning to watch!!!
I came across a quote recently that really caught my attention and I wanted to share with you. I think it’s very powerful and a good wakeup call: “All that’s required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” It’s an amazing statement, and I think it’s very true. When evil is showing its colors around us, and rearing its ugly head, if no one gets involved, if no one speaks up, if no one tries to stop it, then Evil has won the battle, and we let it happen. It speaks to courage and integrity, and standing up for our fellow man. In all of our lives there are bad things and evil that surface sometimes, and if we turn a blind eye, then evil has triumphed, and we help it to do so by not standing for what’s right. I originally heard the quote on my favorite TV series, Downton Abbey, which is brilliantly written by Julian Fellowes, and I just discovered that the quote is attributed to someone named Edmund Burke, who died in the late 1790’s. I don’t know anything about him, but I think it’s an extraordinarily good reminder of how easily we can help “the dark side” to win by remaining silent. The quote has haunted me since I first came across it.
The other quote was something Joel Osteen, the minister, wrote: “When you stop learning, you stop growing, and when you stop growing, you stop living”. That’s an interesting challenge and a good wake up call. I tend to be a creature of habit, and am most comfortable on familiar paths: the same restaurants, the same hotels, I eat the same foods when I go to restaurants that I go to regularly, because I know I like whatever I’ve already had on the menu. I read some books again if I love them, because they’re like finding old friends. I go to familiar places for vacations. I’m not an adventuresome traveller, or explorer. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut that way. It feels safe, and I’m not great at getting out of my comfort zone. The familiar is easier. But you don’t learn new things that way. What Joel Osteen wrote reminded me that we need to stretch and grow and continue learning forever in order to be fully alive. Reading that inspired me!!
I have a feeling this won’t be an easy week for me. Tuesday is the anniversary of my late son Nick’s death. He died at nineteen, it was a great tragedy for me and my family, and we miss him still. He was an amazing, talented, adorable boy. He committed suicide, which was an unspeakably terrible loss. We have all gone on with our lives, although we miss him very much. But the anniversaries of these hard dates bring back sad memories into sharper focus, as though it was yesterday. I’m flying in to have dinner with two of my daughters that night, but there is always kind of a ‘drumbeat’ for several days before leading up to it, and you remember all over again all that you lost. The day itself is hard, and on some years is brutal. Losing loved ones is not easy to say the least. And for days afterwards, you feel the loss even more acutely again. It happens in life, sometimes we lose people we love. And this week will be a sharp reminder of it for me.
Have a peaceful week, dear friends, and I hope happy things happen to you and come your way.
I send you all my love, Danielle