Over the past couple of weeks, it’s been impossible to avoid stories about the tragedy that happened in Las Vegas. Now, I know that at a time like this, my travel plans are very low on the list of priorities. But I can’t ignore that as this article posts, we are going to be driving to Las Vegas. True, I have hotel reservations, dinner reservations, show tickets and plane tickets that I made months ago but that’s not why we’re still going.
For a moment I thought, is it insensitive to go to Las Vegas so soon after such a horrible event? Should I try to reschedule the trip? No. In fact, I’m glad we’re going.
That seems like a horrible thing to say, but hear me out. I live in Orlando and we went through this just last year. Our city is still healing from the events that took place at Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. While I didn’t personally know any of the victims, I know many friends who did.
After the events in Orlando, I wrote my feelings on Facebook. One of the comments I got back at the time was from a relative who lives in Sandy Hook, CT. Her words, while not much different from others’, seemed to carry more merit. It takes going through something like this to understand what it’s like. Your words have a depth to them. It’s nice to hear a voice who knows what you are trying to get through.
How are you doing?
How often do you say that in passing to a co-worker or friend? Probably so often that the words have no meaning anymore. Things change after an event like Las Vegas and those seemingly unimportant words are now very important. When I am visiting Las Vegas and ask someone how (s)he is, I really do want to know how that person is doing. Are you OK? Interactions with other people helps us remember that we are important. Someone cares. Somehow, we’re going to be OK. Life will go on, albeit somewhat differently.
That’s why I’m glad we are going to Vegas. By this time, everyone will be trying to get back to normal. Falling back into a routine gives life some order, some structure. This is even moreso because Vegas is a tourist town, just like Orlando. I know there are also people living there who who are still hurting, or grieving, or wondering why it wasn’t them. Whatever reason it is, if I happen to be there when someone needs anyone to ask them, “How are you?” the trip will be worthwhile.
It’s always the ones who survive who have to endure the legacy of a catastrophe. You pretend that everything is all right because it’s only way to get through the day, but you are never the same. If I lived anywhere else, I don’t think I’d be capable to understand that. But I’m from Orlando, one city from a growing list that Las Vegas has just joined. I’m going to do what I can while I’m there.
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