To the Man on the Sidewalk

I did not write this. I do not take credit for it in any way.

I wish I had, but I didn’t. This was written by Julie Nelson, anchor of the 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 news on KARE-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota. I do not know Julie, and had never heard of her until I read this, but I admire her and her heart. She had written and posted this on her Facebook wall in the early morning hours of November 14, 2015, just hours after the horrific and senseless massacres in Paris.

Those events have shattered our hearts and our very being, and brought to our minds once again how short life really is. As many of us have said, “tomorrow is never promised.”

Julie, very well said. May you never have to write anything like this again. My heart and prayers go out to all who were affected by this senseless tragedy.

“To the Man on the Sidewalk in Paris:

He had a plan. That is what strikes me. The man lying cold and unmoving on that Paris sidewalk.

He had a plan…for how he would spend his Friday night, his weekend, his 401k. He had people to call and texts to return but first, a pause, a delight…really…a dinner on a sidewalk café in Paris.

I wonder if he felt blessed as he put on his ironed, starched white shirt, the cuff of which would soon peek out from under a white sheet on a picture that would be seen around the world.

Did he feel relaxed, full of life and the senses that only a dinner in Paris under the lights can bring? I mean, really, is there anything better than dinner at a café in Paris?

And yet, there is was, his form. Outlined under a shroud, the curves and the concave, the faceless mound on a sidewalk where life should’ve been busily passing by.

I see you. I want you know, I see you. I see that you had a phone full of contact numbers, a calendar full of events. A life.

You didn’t know that here you’d be, under a sheet, concealed and yet, so exposed. To a woman across the Atlantic. How could you have known that she would see you and hurt for you and wonder: What were your plans? Did you feel blessed? I think yes, judging by so little…not much more than the desire you had to be out living on a night in Paris, wearing a white, starched shirt.

I see you.

And I am desperately sorry.”

Julie Nelson
Anchor, KARE-TV (5,6 and 10:00 news)
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

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