I’ve been receiving a lot of messages regarding how everything is going here in Las Vegas (thank you by the way!). So, while I normally don’t get serious on this blog, I felt inclined to explain things from my point of view…
WHEN WE FOUND OUT
To make the long story short, Mike and I landed back in Vegas about two hours before the shooting. We were in a wedding in Portland that weekend. The groom texted us if we were OK and told us about the news.
We were just settling into bed when we got the text, and quickly grabbed our phones.
We followed the story until about 1am. Two deaths, 100 injuries.
Woke up to 58 deaths and over 500 injuries.
I went to multiple sites and refreshed the pages because I thought it was a misprint.
As I’m sure most Las Vegas locals will tell you, that Monday was a fog. It was a lot of texting and calling everyone to make sure they’re OK. Then, it was texting and calling people to let them know you’re OK.
A DARK CLOUD
I don’t know if people outside of Vegas truly understand just how small and connected our community is. We aren’t spread out like other cities. The majority of people live about 5 to 35 minutes away from the Strip, which means it feels like it happened right in our backyard.
You were either directly effected, or are close to someone who was.
It’s strange. Even though the sun is still shining bright outside, there still feels like there’s this ugly dark cloud over our city.
No matter where you go, this is the conversation:
“How are you?”
“Hanging in there. I’m Ok. How about you?”
Then we nod to each other in a silent understanding.
One of the many things I love about this city is how everyone comes together in the face of adversity. This is something I noticed years ago when I first moved here. Now, dealing with the biggest tragedy Las Vegas has gone through, the overwhelming outpouring of compassion is purely inspirational.
For instance, Mike and I were about to go donate blood when we heard on the radio that the donation centers were having to ask people to come back later in the week because they had reached capacity. I’m talking lines forming out the door before these blood drives were even open!
That’s badass Vegas. BAD.ASS.
We’ll try again in a few days, but in the meantime, decided to donate to the Las Vegas Victims Fund. The original goal for this fund was $500K. In a few hours that was far surpassed. Writing this now, we are close to $10 million. This isn’t just Vegas though. This is from people from all over the world. Thank you for helping these families that need money for surgeries, funerals, flights, and other financial aid that is necessary in times like these.
STARTING TO HEAL
It’s Wednesday night as I’m writing this, and I just got back from a Country Music benefit concert where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Las Vegas Victims Fund.
Those that were in attendance at the Route 91 Festival, where the mass shooting took place on Sunday, were called to the floor. The First Responders and Military were also called to the front. There were so many people out there they covered the entire dance floor. I counted 70, but I’m sure there were more.
Three massive circles of people formed on the dance floor, and multiple others around the outside of the bar. Everyone was holding hands as we prayed and sang the National Anthem. Afterwards people were hugging and consoling each other.
At that point I realized this wasn’t just a benefit concert. This was a gathering designed for people to start the healing process.
Evil is in the world. There’s no doubt about that. However, I choose to believe that the majority of humanity is inherently good. We were put here on this earth to help and love one another. Let’s do more of that.
If there is any silver lining in this tragedy, it’s that we are all reminded of how precious life truly is.
Hug your loved ones a little tighter. Say “I love you” more. Have a grudge? End it. If you aren’t happy, yell “PLOT CHANGE!” at the top of your lungs and do something different with your life. Do it now. Don’t waist a single second of this precious one life that we’ve been given.
*Thank you to all the courageous first responders who ran into the line of fire as 22,000 people were running out. Thank you to everyone for your prayers for Las Vegas. And first and foremost, thank you to God for hearing our prayers.