A few weeks ago, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned down.
I watched it live on the news, and although I'd never been there, I felt a sense of loss.
It is an iconic landmark, but it was also so much more than that to millions of people for (literally) centuries. The better part of a millennium, in fact.
Those who know me are aware of my tendency to plan far in advance.
I will be going to Paris for the first time in 2022 and naturally a visit to Notre Dame was on my list of must-do/must-see activities.
I was already very much looking forward to it but that's only a small part of why I was overcome with sadness on that day.
I'm sure many people can relate: when you count on something to be there (even if only because it has ALWAYS been there) losing that thing can leave you shaken.
My mother, ever the pragmatist, didn't understand my dismay. She's never really empathized with sentiment over inanimate objects or places so these were her words, "Yes it's very sad and I'm glad I got the chance to see it but you know it WAS very old and NOTHING lasts forever!"
Thanks, mom. LOL.
She is, of course, completely correct.
That's the sort of logic with which one cannot argue..... which makes it all the more exasperating. LOL.
I'll be keeping an eye out for news regarding reconstruction (there's already controversy) but no matter what state it is in at that time, as long as it is not completely hidden from view, I will still visit that historic site.
It took two hundred years to complete construction the first time so, assuming they've begun rebuilding when I finally get to Paris, whatever point it's at then will be a temporary sight to behold....
so is that not equally special?
I never met Peter Mayhew, the actor who portrayed Chewbacca the Wookiee in many of the Star Wars films.
Chewbacca is my favorite character in the franchise.
I had a Papillon dog to whom I gave that name.
He sadly passed away last year.
Although he was fourteen years old, it was very sudden and I still feel the loss every day.
My Chewbacca is gone and now the man who really WAS Chewbacca to millions of fans has also departed.
I cried when I heard the news, and am tearing up now as I write.
When I got home I immediately began watching the first trilogy (Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), stopping and rewatching my favorite scenes with Chewbacca.
His costars and many who met him over the years shared their memories of a man commonly described as an extremely kind and gentle soul, as well as an excellent friend.
He was as unique as the character he portrayed and although the role had already been passed on to a young actor, no one will ever truly replace him in the hearts of his fans.
I know I often come across as a somewhat-jaded smartass, but that's just one side of me,
I'm also sappy, emotional and extremely sentimental.
So yes, I get very attached to places I've never been, people I've never met and even fictional characters.
Why? Because they mean something to me. They were important. And a loss is a loss.