Mon coeur is broken


Paris was attacked and my heart aches.

I experienced my first terrorist explosion at 17.

July 4, 1986 Lima, Peru 9pm

I was in a hotel room with my mom and stepdad.
Suddenly, I heard the familiar deep thump right before a big fireworks show.

I thought it odd that Peruvians would be celebrating 4th of July..

Then BOOM!

The hotel shook.

A big green and purple flash!

Then darkness.

And sirens.

And tanks with young men pointing machine guns at people on the street.

The Time magazine when we first arrived was entitled “Bloodbath in Peru”. Retaliation for killing rioting prisoners.

We were stranded there for 3 weeks and could not get out.

I remember thinking ” Thank God that will never happen back home!”

But here we are.

30 years later and a global cancer is spreading.

Imagine your favourite place in the whole world.

Close your eyes

Your backyard?
A camping spot?
A tropical getaway?
The mountains?
A cafe’ where you can relax?

Can you see it?

Can you smell the scent of freshly-cut grass, pine sap, sweet hibiscus, crisp snow or roasted coffee?

You feel happy, at peace there.


You belong there and feel like yourself.

Now a group filled with hate and envy comes along and throws a grenade on it.

And kills anything innocent.

Blood is everywhere.

People, animals are killed and maimed for no reason.

Trees are burned.

The mountains turned to craters.

Paris was attacked by ISIS last night and it feels like 9/11 again. I have friends who I consider family there. One of the sons had been near one of the attacked places just that afternoon.

I feel sad and angry.

Paris is that favourite place for me.

Paris has not been in lockdown like this since WWII and the Eiffel tower is closed indefinitely. ISIS are the Nazis of our generation but the army is harder to see and destroy. Why?

Their core beliefs are fundamentally different from the West or Asia. The reason for living is not happiness, it’s dying.

DEATH is the reason for life there.

I never believed that culturally we were so different until going to Morocco. The way of thinking was so odd that it was as if I had gone to the moon. There was no reasoning with a woman who began yelling at us because we had an American passport. There was envy and a jealousy, seething hatred. In the city of Tangier, there were only men in the street. Women were inside. Always.

We were there only 3 days but wanted to leave as soon as we arrived.

When I was in college, I wondered what the world would be like if the US stepped back and were not the “policemen of the world”.

Now we know.

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2 thoughts on “Mon coeur is broken

  1. Hi Janet,

    It is your French family writing, your little sister….Once again, I found your words just so accurate and great !!
    Thank you to you and to all the americans for your help in these bad moments….we were deeply touched to see the French colors everywhere in your country and listen to the Marseillaise in New York.

    Don’t worry, Paris is alive….yesterday, Monday night, we had forecasted a piano concert. With some fear of course, we went to the theatre and discovered there that other people had also decided that Life would stronger ! The concert was exceptionnal….Gabriel loved it.

    Thanks for being with us, Lafayette is alive !

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