This is an "iconic shot" I took
from the restaurant in Musee d'Orsay
with Montmartre and Sacre Coeur
on the horizon.
You've seen this view hundreds of times.
Everyone who's stood in that spot
with camera in hand
has seen the potential.
But it's the memory that counts.
I treasure images from this memorable jaunt in Paris.
This particular trip, I was with my best friend
and my mother-in-law for over three weeks,
one of them spent soaking up Paris
from our home base in the Left Bank's
My m-i-l, Jean, was a gifted artist
who'd come to her passion late in life,
after working for virtually all her working life
for the Illinois Central Railroad.
She loved the impressionists
and had seen work at museums in the U.S.
but never dreamed she'd go to Europe.
Her son, my husband, wanted to make that
unimagined dream happen,
so he designated me as tour director
and provided the bankroll.
He wanted her to go,
but not with him.
It was left to me to broaden her horizon.
I will always be grateful to him for that,
because as it turns out,
we had three wonderful weeks together,
Jean and I (and Gail),
the last carefree weeks of Jean's life.
Shortly after returning home,
Jean was diagnosed with late-stage renal cancer
and died only a year later.
The marriage died
about the same time,
though the cancer it suffered
was of a different form altogether.
But that's a different story.