It's been a few days since the horrific mass shooting in Orlando that left fifty people dead and over fifty more injured, but it's still the number one thing on my mind. And it should be, right? I mean, when did we become so desensitized to this kind of violence that we just let it go in a day or two, almost like it never happened? Does anybody remember hearing about Columbine on the news? It felt so shocking, so unheard of, that I (literally) fell to my knees. Now school shootings and murder sprees have become almost commonplace.
After I read about what had happened Sunday morning, I felt sick to my stomach. I reflected. Then I did yoga, went to Trader Joe's, and planted some tomatoes. I bought a new dress. I played with my kids. I made dinner. I went about my day like it never happened. Except it did. It's hard to digest that this has become our reality.
Perhaps a design and lifestyle blog that focuses on pretty things and (generally) the lighter side of life isn't the place for a post like this, but I can't just ignore it. I can't. I'm not trying to be self righteous here; I'm being genuine. In the past, I've done posts after tragic events where I've shared lists of links to ways to help. This time, I'm just not sure how to help, at least not in the big picture. Prayers and positive vibes for the victims and their families are all well and good but they don't solve the problem - one that keeps happening. I'm not going to use this as a venue for getting political (although those who know me in real life know that I am quite political), but I will say that something needs to change. Before it really is too late.
That said, there are a couple of ways to get involved. Although the local blood bank, OneBlood, met its immediate goals, there may still be needs as the days progress, especially for rarer blood types. You can visit their site here. An official Pulse Victims Fund page has also been set up by Equality Florida, the state's LGBT civil rights organization. You can donate here, to help support the victims' medical and funeral costs.
And here is a video with the names, faces, and stories of the victims of this tragedy. I will continue to hold each of these beautiful people in my heart and honor their memories.
Sometimes I look at my kids and have to really work to hold back tears because they are growing up in such a different world than we did. One of my greatest wishes is that something will be done, finally, to make these acts become rare again, or even better - stop. I don't have the solution, but I do believe steps can be taken to limit the violence. And while it might not solve the problem, and will never be enough, I will continue to send out every bit of loving, compassionate energy I can muster directly in the direction of Orlando. I will also make an everyday effort to teach my children that hate will never win.
Top photo by children's author and illustrator Dallas Clayton, who spent Sunday morning drawing small rainbows around the streets of LA in an act of solidarity. Pretty great.
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FILED UNDER: random thoughts/life