On Sunday evening of October 1st, 2017 at Route 91 Harvest festival on the Las Vegas strip, a lone gunman took the lives of many. I was not directly affected by this tragic event, but my city was. I’ve only been living here for about a year and I never realized that such events like this could take place so close to home.
I woke up Monday morning with a staggering number of texts from friends and family members asking if I was okay and if everyone was accounted for. I thought to myself, “Am I okay?” I was under the impression that a natural disaster, like an earthquake, had occurred. I quickly found a reliable news source, which is where I found out the news. It was extremely heart-breaking to read the details and accounts from the people who escaped. I had to turn it off. I couldn’t listen to it anymore. The bad news just kept coming in and I couldn’t keep up, let alone fathom what had occurred less than twenty minutes from where I reside.
Monday was a dreadful day. What now? Were we supposed to go on with our lives? How are we supposed to function in society when just hours ago a tragic event occurred? I just felt awful. I was sick to my stomach. It did not feel right to just continue doing what I I do every day. Sadness was emanating the city and I too felt it.
Although I was not directed affected, there were people that I knew I that were there or could have been there. One of my friend’s husband was bartending that night and was right near the stage when it happened. She texted me to tell me that he was physically okay, but mentally was struggling. Another friend of mine had a friend who she was close to killed that night. She was having a hard time attending in class Tuesday night, but she was glad that she was able to come because it allowed her to talk about how she was feeling.
I have been silent for a while about how I am really feeling, but now I feel like as if I need to talk to explain how I am comprehending everything. The first thing I thought about was my sister who actually works on the strip. She usually works late. Sometimes I don’t even see her. That Sunday night she came home early. We had a fight before we retired for the night and that is the one thing that has been on my mind. What if the fight we had would have been the last thing we said to each other? Just the weekend prior to the event, she attended Life is Beautiful and I Heart Radio Music Festival. What if that would have been the festival that was chosen? I appreciate her more than I ever had before knowing that it could have been her. We still haven’t spoken. I think a small part of us has the same thought, but afraid to say it out loud.
I am doing my best to move forward. The only way I know how is by continuing to live my life because in an instant it can be taken away. I encourage everyone to do the same.
If you are like me, someone who was not directly affected by this tragic event, but would like to help, here is what I have done so far: