This week I was going through my closet, getting rid of stuff I haven’t worn in a long time. I ran across a shirt that I haven’t gotten rid of the last several times I’ve cleaned out my closet, even though I don’t wear it anymore.
A shirt I brought home from Paris.
In 1991 I made my first voyage abroad to visit my friend who had moved to London. While I was there, we made one of those “it’s Tuesday, it must be Switzerland” tours of Europe, driving from Belgium to Hungary and back in two weeks.
In his British-made, un-air conditioned, two-door, standard shift Ford Escort.
Trust me, there are many blog posts yet to be generated from that trip.
After visiting Napoleon’s tomb one morning, we went to Paris’ most famous department store – Galeries Lafayette – the French equivalent of Harrods in London.
The building was beautiful. Enormous. And filled with the hustle and bustle of people shopping. Like Macy’s in New York City at Christmas time.
I don’t remember much about the whole experience until I carried a few things to try on into the dressing room.
And when I closed the door, I picked out the music over all the busyness noise of the store.
“Unforgettable, in every way.
And forevermore, that’s how you’ll stay.
That’s why, Darling, it’s incredible –
that someone so unforgettable,
thinks that I am unforgettable, too.”
I’d heard Nat King Cole sing Unforgettable lots of times growing up.
But this was different.
That was the summer Natalie Cole remade a version of the song her father made famous. She dubbed in his original recording as though she were singing a duet with him.
It stopped me cold in my tracks.
First, because it was something in English.
But more importantly, I heard two voices that, when blended together, sounded almost identical, as only a father and daughter could.
As though they were singing about being unforgettable to each other.
Suddenly I found myself halfway around the world fighting back tears in a foreign dressing room. Tears of the little girl in me who still longed to know she was unforgettable to her daddy.
On that day I began a remarkable journey. Tears bubbled to the surface, as I realized I would never be able to escape from that longing.
Nor from the Father who found me in a dressing room in Paris, France.
I just can’t go anywhere he doesn’t find me.