I feel it’s healthy to get your feelings out on paper, or as we call it in 2017- a blog.
This post isn’t about my recollection of events, trauma, fear, anger, or any hardship I’ve endured or seen my friends endured. I feel the need to let this out because it’s difficult to comprehend how a tragic/traumatic event affects everyone differently. This was my first time driving past the venue, past Mandalay Bay, and on that side of the city since the event. A wave of emotions hit me and reminded me that this was not a nightmare.
All that said, yes I’ve experienced every negative emotion in the book. But there are two positive ones i never expected to feel:
PRIDE & LOVE.
Lets start with pride...
Growing up in Las Vegas, you always talked about the day you left Vegas. It never felt like home. I always imagined home being somewhere else, distant, suburban of course- just not Las Vegas.
After October 1st, I told myself for the first time:
THIS IS HOME.
My people, my neighbors. I’m proud to call this city home. I’m proud of the good and selflessness that poured out. There’s more good than bad. There’s a community of people that genuinely care for each other. That is something I’ve never felt. I AM part of something.
How can anyone choose hate? That’s the hardest thing for me to understand. How can people hold so much negativity in their hearts or consciously project hate and fearmongering? Why would you want a world of evil?
It blows my mind.
I choose love. 100% of the time.
I want to be better.
I want to teach my daughter better. I want to set an example and be a positive contribution to society. I want to influence my circle of friends to do and be better. I couldn't help but hug my daughter close while walking through here. I whispered I love you numerous times because I know she's my purpose.
After visiting the sign 4 weeks after the tragedy, I learned how strong, yet scared I still am. I realized how grateful I am to be able to hug my daughter each night, but at the same time devastated for those that had that option stripped from them. But most importantly, I was reassured that those of us who made it, have a bigger plan. To set a good example, love wholeheartedly, and live intentionally.
In loving memory of the 58:
Charleston Hartfield, 34, Las Vegas
Brett Schwanbeck, 61, Bullhead City, Ariz.
Austin Meyer, 24, Reno
Pati Mestas, 67, Menifee, California
Nicol Kimura, 38, Placentia, California
Christopher Hazencomb, 44, Camarillo, California
Andrea Castilla, 28, Huntington Beach, California
Carly Kreibaum, 33, Sutherland, Iowa
Steve Berger, 44, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Brian Fraser, 39, Walnut, California
Derrick "Bo" Taylor, 56, Oxnard, California
Denise Cohen, 58, Carpinteria, California
Christiana Duarte, 22, Torrance, California
Candice Bowers, 40, Garden Grove, California
Lisa Patterson, 46, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Rocio Guillen Rocha, 40, Eastvale, California
Jordyn Rivera, 21, San Bernardino, California
Austin Davis, 29, Riverside, California
Laura Shipp, 50, Thousand Oaks, California
Keri Galvan, 51, Thousand Oaks, California
Tara Roe Smith, 34, Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
Calla Medig, 28, Jasper, Alberta, Canada
Carrie Parsons, 31, Seattle, Washington
Cameron Robinson, 28, St. George, Utah
Michelle Vo, 32, Los Angeles, California
Brennan Stewart, 30, Las Vegas
Erick Silva, 21, Las Vegas
Dorene Anderson, 49, Anchorage, Alaska
Heather Alvarado, 35, Enoch, Utah
Hannah Ahlers, 34, Beaumont, California
Stacee Etcheber, 50, Novato, California
Christopher Roybal, 28, Denver, Colorado
Victor Link, 55, San Clemente, California
Melissa Ramirez, 26, Bakersfield, California
Kelsey Meadows, 28, Taft, California
Dana Gardner, 52, Grand Terrace, California
Bill Wolfe, Jr., 42, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
Carrie Barnette, 34, Garden Grove, California
Thomas Day Jr., 54, Corona, California
Jennifer Parks, 36, Lancaster, California
Kurt Von Tillow, 55, Cameron Park, California
Jack Beaton, 54, Bakersfield, California
Denise Burditus, 50, Martinsburg, West Virginia
Sandy Casey, 35, Redondo Beach, California
Angie Gomez, 20, Riverside, California
Jennifer Irvine, 42, San Diego
Jessica Klymchuk, 34, Valleyview, Alberta, Canada
Rhonda LeRocque, 42, Tewksbury, Massachusetts
Jordan McIldoon, 23, Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
Sonny Melton, 29, Paris, Tennessee
Adrian Murfitt, 35, Anchorage, Alaska
Rachel Parker, 33, Manhattan Beach, California
John Phippen, 57, Valencia, California
Quintin Robbins, 20, Henderson
Lisa Romero-Muniz, 48, Gallup, New Mexico
Bailey Schweitzer, 20, Bakersfield, California
Susan Smith, 53, Simi Valley, California
Neysa Tonks, 46, Las Vegas