Congratulations. Even though you’re dead, I wanted to tell you that you have made history in the United States. Orlando, my hometown, is now a city who unwillingly holds the top ranking of the deadliest shooting in American history.
I woke up this morning later than usual as I do on any given Sunday. Lazily I unlocked my phone to see more Facebook notifications than I care to think about. At first I got excited as I thought, “Maybe I was nominated for something, maybe I won something!” Then disbelief set in as I read that 56 of my Facebook friends were sending me notifications stating that they are safe. Safe? From what?
Panic set in as I read a friend of mine (who’s a nurse) had posted an update stating how proud she was to be working next to her fellow staff and how amazing they were. It went on to say that her prayers were going out to everybody. What is going on? I kept scrolling and that’s when I saw it.
I sat up in bed, suddenly fully awake as if I just had ten cups of coffee as I read the devastating news. A man fully armed had shot up a gay bar located in Downtown Orlando. That’s literally in our backyard. The amount of people confirmed dead had been going up throughout the day. It started at 20 and somehow it jumped to 50. Videos of family and friends all being interviewed as they sobbed not knowing if they’re kids, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and friends were okay. It’s very hard to watch.
Just yesterday a leading young lady, who’s music I adored, named Christina Grimmie had been shot and killed downtown the night before. Needless to say, my husband and I are deeply saddened and I am so confused. He used to tell me, “Nobody ever thinks it’ll happen to them, until it happens to you.” That statement has never truly hit home with me, until now. It’s like all of sudden I’m fully aware that anything can happen to you and that our lives are never secure. We can die at any moment any given day and I’m finally awakened by this thought.
I’m very proud of Orlando in how everybody is joining as a community and helping. Stores are donating food and water and almost everybody I know have stopped by the blood banks to try and donate blood. I say try because you wouldn’t believe the lines for blood banks and to those who have tried, I salute you. There may not be much we can do but it’s proof that Orlando, as a community, is jumping at any opportunity to help and I couldn’t be more proud.
I’m sickly amused at the amount of people who, because they disagree with something they don’t or choose not to believe in, are somehow giving themselves a right to go in and kill people. Whether we believe in somebody’s religion views, culture, sexual preference, etc. or not, DOES NOT give anybody a right to kill somebody. That thought would not even cross my mind, yet here we are, a broken city. A broken world.
One of the things terrorists want you to be is afraid. Am I? I may be a little shaken up, but I am not afraid. I have never felt more like traveling than I do today. My fear of traveling the world has vanished and I am completely at peace as to whatever happens. It’s a sad thought that because of shootings in my hometown, I have realized that we’re not safe anywhere. Terrorists are everywhere and so are people who are mentally ill. You can’t escape it.
I have never relied on my faith more than I do now. I just want my city to know, that I am praying for the victims, the family’s, the friends, and anybody else who have somehow been involved in this horrific attack. I pray that the friends and family’s are surrounded by love and filled with peace during this heartbreaking time. I know that I usually don’t boost Orlando up, but I can honestly say that I am surprisingly happy with how we’re working together. Way to go Orlando!
#PrayForOrlando #PrayForTheWorld #Orlandostrong