I've been a lot of things today in the wake of the news of the nation's largest-ever mass shooting in Las Vegas: horrified, teary, angry, baffled, weary, and just profoundly sad.
One thing I haven't been: eloquent.
I have no words to explain evil to our kids, or ourselves.
Other people offered words about how this doesn't happen elsewhere. Then I sought out words to explain why. And then realized that my words would never be enough and I'm at a loss on how to change minds about gun control.
My daughter's reaction, or lack thereof, left me afraid that she is getting used to such headlines. A world in which atrocities are normal is not the world I imagined for her.
I'm grieving the lives of people I've never met and the innocence of the person closest to me.
I feel gratitude for first responders, medical teams and heroes. I look for the helpers like Mr. Rogers said his mom told him to do, but I desperately wish their help wasn't necessary.
Most surprising to me was that I also laughed this evening. I laughed hard with my husband and my daughter, and it felt so dang good. And that was followed almost immediately by a wave of guilt. Then, an internal debate with myself commenced about the necessity of humor to make it through such days versus the need for somber respectfulness.
The was quickly followed by anger at even having the debate, and that I was on an emotional roller coaster I never asked to ride today. I hope to never ride it again, but I suspect that I will. And I can only hope that again, I'm fortunate enough that I and my loved ones are not in harm's way.
I'm sick and tired of the repeated loss of life to mass shootings.
I'm really over people telling me that all I need to focus on is my family. I've loved them all fiercely for as long as I've been able, and that didn't stop a man from killing 59 people from a room on the 32nd floor.
Many people say not to feel hopeless. I'm doing my best to take action.
I've donated money. I'm unable to donate blood but if I could, I would. I know that thoughts and prayers are woefully inadequate but nevertheless, I'm sending them. I've let my lawmakers know where I stand on a variety of the issues at hand.
And it's not enough.
But I don't know what else to do.
That's probably not helpful, but I suspect I'm not the only one who feels this way. If you are, too, know that you're not alone, and letting others know that they are not isolated feels important right now.
It's not enough, but tonight it's all I've got.
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