I remember my grandmother saying that. And truer words were never spoken.
I've been pretty busy. And lucky. Very, very lucky. Oh, and blessed. Honored beyond belief. Let me back up. I have a very, very beautiful and wonderful friend who has been my dear friend for 20 years. We both have two daughters - her oldest and my youngest are the same age and went to school together through 5th grade and were friends, too. They went to different schools after that, but remained friends. And Susan and I became stronger friends as the years went by. I've always said two things about her: one was that if I should ever end up in heaven (highly unlikely!) it would be because she went first and told everybody to let me in, and the other is that, while I'm not big into "soulmates", I do think if there is such a thing, she is mine. One of the things she and I used to talk about was taking our girls on a never-to-be-forgotten, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris, but it was just a fantasy. Last year her father died after a long, productive and mostly happy life. Susan had always been close to her Dad, and she misses him terribly. I miss him. He was a good man. On the first anniversary of his death I received a card from Susan, in the mail, and in the card was a check. I still cry thinking about it, but she said that all of his life her dad, a wealthy man, had given 10% of his earnings to someone or something he believed in, and she said she decided, when she started getting her inheritance, that she would do the same thing. So she sent me the money to take my girls to Paris, because she believed in me. Yep, I cried. I still cry every time I think of that. Can't begin to imagine what I did to deserve her in my life, but I am so happy she is.
So, we went to Paris! We got an apartment in the heart of Paris, in the Marais district. We saw the Tour de Eiffel, the Tulleries, Versaille, Notre Dame, everything. Everything we could fit into 8 days. And it was beautiful. The funniest thing that happened? I've mentioned before that my youngest daughter has many tattoos. Many. Apparently not very many people in France have tattoos. Certainly not the women. So Lovey #2 was the center of attention, everywhere we went. People would stop her in the street and grab her arm to look at them and say things in very excited French. The day we went to the Louvre - you know, where they have all that beautiful art? - Lovey #1 and I were taking pictures of Venus de Milo. I stopped to see where #2 was. I noticed a big group of people in the center of the hall, all talking excitedly. And then I see this tiny little blonde girl in the middle of the group. It was #2, and all the other people were tourists lining up to have their pictures taken with her! In the Louvre, people!