July 7, 2005
In memoriam: Dan Hickman - Explorer of Provence
Life is short, so let's appreciate every day
Less than 2 weeks ago I completed an interview
with Dan and Judith, the couple who spent 2 amazing years in
Provence, house-swapping their Toronto home for a country house
in the south of France, who had just recently returned from another
trip back to France.
Just 2 days ago I had a chance to include Dan and Judith's beautiful
photos into the interview and I re-uploaded the interview with the
photos onto the site and also sent the link to Judith.
5 minutes ago I received an email from Judith saying that she could
only respond briefly since she had to get ready for Dan's funeral
who had passed away unexpectedly on Monday from a heart attack.
In all her grief, Judith managed to say that she was glad that Dan's
words and photos will live on in this website.
I am in a total state of shock right now because when I met Dan
and Judith they both seemed so vital, so full of energy, and his
sudden death has taken me aback. I didn't know either one of them
very well since they are friends of friends, but both Dan and Judith
showed me tremendous hospitality, inviting me into their home and
sharing with me personal stories about one of the most exciting
periods in their lives.
This news today, combined with the tragic news of the London subway
bombings, brings me back to the harsh reality that we never know
which day will be our last on this planet. As much as we have figured
everything out, made plans, strategized for our lives - something
completely unforeseen could happen, an illness, an accident, even
a terrorist attack, that could turn our lives upside down and shoot
all our plans to pieces.
Today more so than ever, let's enjoy, treasure and appreciate life;
let's enjoy, treasure and appreciate the people around us; let's
live every day to the fullest and not get hung up in minor squabbles
or discontent. Let's not waste our time with feelings of resentment,
or even hatred.
Time, health and our families and friends are our most precious
commodities on this planet, and events like these hit home that
we need to appreciate and value them for the indispensable resources
that they are. Life is too short and precious to be filled with
My heart goes out to Judith in these difficult times, and I thank
both of them once again for having shared their exciting stories
with us. And to Dan: wherever you are, I hope you have a bit of
Provence with you.........