One week and a day ago I woke to another gloriously bright Sunday in Las Vegas. I went for my morning walk. Almost every person I encountered gave a wave or a good morning. As I walked I felt so happy. This new home was nothing like I’d expected. I had the realization that I love it here. I love the scenery and the people. I love living in a thriving community where no community should thrive. It’s the middle of the desert after all. I realized I felt at home.
I realized I too am thriving.
The next morning I woke up to a phone screen lit up with texts. Sisters saying they were devastated reading the news, parents making sure I was okay. My heart racing, I immediately opened my news feed. Mass shooting…Mandalay Bay… hundreds injured… death and panic.
Just miles away from where I slept safe and sound, the worst mass shooting in modern American history had unfolded.
Last Monday is a haze in my mind and yet feels like yesterday.
Rob convinced me we had to leave the house. I agreed to drive to Hoover Dam. I don’t know why we chose this, but I knew just being around other people would be comforting in a strange way. I’d finally stopped crying when we got in the car to leave. As I’d been doing every few minutes, I refreshed my news feed.
Tom Petty. Fresh tears and a sense that my whole world was falling apart. To say Rob and I are Tom Petty fans in an understatement. I wanted to go back inside the house. I wanted to hide in bed until I could wrap my mind around the grief that had already been too intense. Rob didn’t let me. He went back in the house for the box of kleenex and we drove.
The rest of the day is cloudy. The rest of the week is cloudy.
Today is cloudy.
I grapple with so many emotions and thoughts over the course of the day. What kind of world are we living in? How are people that I know and love against gun control? Why did this happen? How do we heal?
Months ago I bought tickets to a concert at The Mandalay Bay. It’s thirteen days from today. I still don’t know if I’ll be able to go. I’m torn. Part of me doesn’t want to miss seeing a band I’ve loved for so long. This part is reminding me that I never saw Tom Petty in concert. I thought I had time. The other part of me is afraid. I’m not only afraid for our safety in big venues, but I’m afraid that I’ll be too emotional to even enjoy the show. Can I possibly enjoy a concert so close to where so many endured the most traumatic night of their lives?
The only thing I know for sure is how important people are. Your people. My people. Hold them close. Even in such uncertain times, we have each other.