01 December 2010

Thanks, Jim!

I rarely get to go to the United States for holidays and this Thanksgiving was no exception. But don’t feel too sorry for me because, while there was no turkey and dressing, I spent my holiday playing with friends in Paris. Three other Foreign Service ladies and I met in Paris for the long weekend, arriving on Wednesday and returning to our respective posts on Sunday.

I’ve been to Paris previously but this was an opportunity to see things I had not seen before and to do something I’ve long thought about. I spent seven hours one day at the Louvre, even eating lunch there. For those of you who have been to the Louvre, you know that seven hours isn’t enough time to see all of even one section—and there are three sections! But I was alone, and that meant I did not have to compromise. I saw exactly what I wanted and spent as much time as I needed to thoroughly check out my interests. I didn’t even go by the Mona Lisa. Heresy!

But what I did do, something that had been lurking in the back of my mind for some time, only took a few minutes and still has me smiling—and singing—days later. My friend Judy and I found our way to the Père Lachaise Cemetery, a veritable maze of tombs, monuments and cobblestone paths leading to hidden treasures of history, some a millennium old, and the very nondescript grave of James Douglas Morrison, better known as Jim Morrison of the Doors.

A small group of gawkers was there, very quiet and respectful. I was seized with an uncontrollable desire to sing “Come on baby, light my fire,” and most of the others joined in. Truthfully, I went there with this plan in mind but almost chickened out when I saw other people. But there I was, standing at the feet of Jim, and breaking into song seemed appropriate, even necessary. It was a great, if short, moment and the memory is still tickling my fancy days later.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

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