Three words I never thought I'd write. Pray for Orlando. Yet here I am, writing those words on the day of the deadliest mass shooting on US soil and the deadliest terror attack in the United States since 9/11; while watching President Obama's speech with tears in my eyes. I had plans on doing things today but instead I've been sitting here, glued to my tv and Facebook, since I woke up around 6:30 am and heard the news. Waiting for more information and watching my notifications on Facebook to pop up confirming my friends are safe and sound.
You see stuff like this on the news and your heart hurts for the community, the people, family and friends involved but you never think it will happen to you. I never thought that I'd be using the Facebook Safety Check to let my family and friends know I was safe and I never thought I'd be habitually watching it as if my life depended on it to make sure my friends were all ok as well. If you think it can't happen to you, you are wrong. It can.
Saturday night Kerri, the boys and I were sitting downtown just under 2 miles from the club where the shooting took place, just mere hours before it all went down, talking about the shooting that had happened here the night before. It never once crossed my mind that it could get any worse than the shooting that happened Friday night. It never occurred to me that something this devastating could happen in my city. Sitting here now, watching the coverage and hearing more and more of what happened I am still in shock. This not only happened in my city but it happened at place I have frequented, a place many of my friends still do. This happened in my backyard. Witnessing a terrorist attack around the world is troubling and saddening, witnessing a terrorist attack on your home is heartbreaking. It's the weirdest feeling in the world scrolling through social media and seeing celebrities and major companies telling people to pray for the city you're sitting in. No matter how hard you try to get away from it, you can't. While the rest of the world just woke up to the tragedy, we had to relive it over and over all day. It was so disappointing to see my Facebook and Instagram feeds filled with pictures of my friends out drinking and celebrating while we were here mourning. It's been even more disappointing to see how many people changed their Facebook profile pictures to stand with France during their terrorist attack but not their own country.
As I sit here in a fog you can't help but to wonder "why?" Sadly, that will most likely be a question that will never be answered. The lives of at least fifty sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, parents and children were taken senselessly because of hatred and ignorance. We must teach and project love and understanding, we mustn't rush to judge others and spew hatred for something you don't understand.
We will not be defined from the hate of one person. We will stand behind our community and provide support. Today my heart is full of sadness but it is also full of love. We are Orlando Strong, we are The City Beautiful. One city. One family. One love. One heart. One Pulse.
Linking up with Biana today as this is part of my weekend, not just part but the most important part. I want to remind as many people as possible that tomorrow is not promised. Tell your loved ones that you love them often, you never know when will be the last chance. Please excuse any grammatical errors in this post as well as if this post seems a bit all over the place. These are my thoughts and feelings during a moment of extreme frustration, sadness and confusion.