While many of us slept soundly in our beds last night here in San Diego, our country was again shook by what is now the biggest mass shooting in American history. Our hearts cry out for all the families and people that were lost, injured physically, and those who will never be able to forget what they saw and heard last night in Las Vegas.
I personally am definitely not okay. Frankly, I have not stopped crying all morning. I don’t know what is wrong with our country, why does this keep happening? I am devastated, heart broken, scared and angry. So many innocent lives lost and for what? Who or what do we blame now??
I hate feeling so hopeless. I don’t understand. Why so much violence? Why so much hate? Tell me again why we need assault rifles? But even other countries with less stringent gun control laws don’t have these high crime rates. It takes a person to pull the trigger, but why?
Then I wonder, is it a failure within our mental health system? But having worked in Social Services, I know there is only so much we can do to help people. How is any one supposed to know when “enough is enough” for someone? What if there were no obvious symptoms or behaviors that the person was struggling? And what is a diagnosis anyway? Many of these tragedies have occurred from people who had no known history of mental illness.
Through the tears and desire to blame, we have to search for hope. How do we prevent these things from happening in the future? What have we learned?
Tomorrow is not promised. How many of you have attended a concert in Las Vegas? I have, many times. I had a friend at that concert, and thankfully she is safe. But many were not. Even those that physically were not injured, still have to live through what they have experienced. It could have been any of us! How do we move on from that? What about all the natural disasters we have experienced recently? So much devastation but at the hands of nature (we can argue climate change another time and place). What can I do as a mother to change this world? Hug and kiss your family tonight. Tell them you love them, over and over again. Don’t hesitate to send love to the friends you are too busy to spend time with. Time passes by in our busy lives and its easy to take it for granted.
From one scared mom to another, please, above all, continue to teach your children to LOVE all people. Continue to spread joy and kindness. Teach them to ask for help and support when they aren’t feeling well. Introduce them to empathy and understanding. Make sure they take pride in who they are and love themselves for every special thing that makes them unique. And LIVE your lives, in the moment. Take each and everyday as another chance to love your life and the people in in it.
If it’s one thing these tragedies teach us: is that time is precious.