Hi Baby Boy. I love you. Today is a day that makes Mommy and Daddy sad because once again it is the 2nd of the month. No matter how much we try not to think of this date, it will always be burned into our minds. Today is also a horrifically grim day for our country. Last night there were lots of people dancing and having a carefree night at a concert in a city called Las Vegas. I don’t even know how to describe to you how many people were there because I heard it was 22,000 people. That is more people than were at your school, dancing with you at the Greek Festival, and enough to fill more buses full of friends than you could imagine. They were all having a fun night watching someone put on a show that was far superior to Mommy’s living room performances with my guitar, when their lives changed forever. I don’t know why things like this happen or why someone would want to destroy lives just because they can, but that is exactly what happened. More than 50 people (that’s about one school bus load) died, and more than 400 (the number of people who came to your service) were hurt. Countless others won’t have their mommy or daddy or some of their best friends here on Earth with them anymore. Mommy’s heart hurts for all of these people. If you really are the Wal-Mart greeter of heaven, maybe you saw a line last night and got to give them a high-five. I really hope so. I hold on to these imaginary moments and somehow expect that they really are reality.
In times like this I also feel really helpless. Baby Boy, what can I do? What can any of us left in this world do? If you were still here, I’m sure you would have even more questions than usual, so I would’ve shared this quote with you. Ever since I’ve heard it, it comes to mind in situations like this. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”― Fred Rogers
I know there were many thousands of helpers and for that I am grateful. I am praying for everyone who is in the middle of surgery right now, the families and friends of those left behind (including the man who caused this and his family), for our country, and for humanity in general. I still wonder, what else can I do? What would you do? I immediately think of you giving hugs, so I will give Daddy a hug when I see him. When I went to get coffee earlier, he had already filled the tank with water for me even though he wasn’t drinking any coffee. Mommy already sent a message to tell him thank you for loving me and that I love him, too. I will continue to spread the love you modeled perfectly for us, and I will learn about at least three victims of this senseless tragedy. Many times, we remember the person who spreads evil, but not their blameless targets. I know that even in situations like ours where there is not an explanation or someone to curse, people are still hesitant or downright avoidant in speaking your name. It is taboo and people don’t want to make us sad, but what they don’t realize is that we will always have that sadness the size and perfect shape of you, square in the middle of our hearts. The truth is that we are constantly thinking of you, and can sympathize with the pain that is being felt right now in the hearts of parents who were instantly ripped of the people who will always mean the most to them. I want to hear these people’s names and know more about at least three of these victims that were out for a simple night of music because I want to keep at least three times the amount of innocence in the forefront of my mind. I’m not the best with names, but I want to learn more about these men and women, and try my best to honor their memory. I want to continue talking about those that have gone before us, as that is how we keep their spirits alive.
Mommy is a creative soul, which means I’m someone with a lot of ideas. I believe life circumstances have shown me that I’m supposed to use this creativity for good. I’ve been stuck, nervous, and at times unmotivated to continue pursuing this new career path, but I know just as in life, I am supposed to keep going even when we have zero answers. Please help Mommy think like you and encourage people to do SOMETHING. Prayers are always needed, but it is not the only thing we can do. It is the first step, not the last and only one.
Help us to focus on what is most important. Hug someone we love; write a letter or send a card the old-fashioned way; have your littlest friends make artwork to send to families that are hurting; sit by the person who doesn’t know anyone; visit the lonely; make a donation or volunteer to help a mental health organization; give blood; don’t be embarrassed to report something that doesn’t seem right; fight for changes for the things that aren’t working in your corner of the world; show up with a listening ear and a closed mouth; try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, especially when they are shoes that are extremely uncomfortable to wear; be vulnerable enough to cry with someone who is hurting; call, send a text, or knock on a door before there isn’t anyone left to answer; tell me about someone who perished last night and let me keep their bright smiles shining; use one of the templates in this link to “be nice.”
Help us become less gawkers and gossipers. Nudge us to start with bowed heads but to use our brains, compassion, hands, and feet to find ways to become creative helpers.
I love you and I miss you every second of every day. I always will.
I love you.