I had planned on spending Sunday catching up this little blog of mine. The last week of school had left my head spinning, so with Saturday filled with birthday parties and dance class, I really hoped that Sunday would be my day to knock out four or five posts. Good posts with good content.
Instead I woke on Sunday to the horrific news coming out of Orlando. First on my phone, because checking it is always the first thing I do, then with the live coverage on CNN. The Hubbs and I were so stunned that we didn't even make time to shield the kids. Instead we handed them the iPad and told them to camp out in the living room for a bit. Because we were stunned. Overwhelmed that it, this massacre style attack, had happened again. This time not in Paris or some other far off land, but here. Right here. America.
We watched and debated, the Hubbs and I. He votes Republican, I Democrat. We talked about how this would come up politically, in an election year. Gun control. Terrorism. That "Wall" we keep hearing about. As I made muffins with the girls, we both glanced at CNN to see live coverage from the Los Angeles Pride parade. Los Angeles Police had caught someone. Another someone with fire power and hate in their hearts. In confusion the Hubbs thought it was still about Orlando, but I said no, No this is Los Angeles. There was almost another one. And then I cried.
I walked into my bedroom under the guise of getting laundry so I could cry without the girls noticing. Because it would scare them, because I was scared and I was sad.
I had no words. No words of comfort. No words of understanding. There were no words to even wrap my head around Sunday's events. There was just quiet and tears and questions.
People, gay and straight, still marched in LA's Pride Parade Sunday. Out of respect and honor for those that died in Orlando. The community of Orlando, gay and straight, came out in full force to donate blood, feed the responding officers and volunteers, to help in any way they could. People all over the world lit candles, posted pictures on social media, and used their voices to protest or offer condolences.
At this point I don't think your gender matters. I don't think your race matters. I don't think your religion matters.
For the first time in my life I think the only thing that matters is prayer.
It's one of the first things I did after hearing the news on Sunday. I'm sure it's what most of you did on Sunday. It's something that I'm still doing today, as Anderson Cooper reads the names of those who died as he choked back tears. Praying as the stories of survivors and first responders come out. Praying as I hear about the beautiful people who lost their lives on Sunday morning.
Still, after all that praying, I was at a loss as of what to say. I could not open this lap top and pretend that everything was A-okay. It's not. Nothing about these types of attacks, nothing about this political season is okay. And I say that not because I don't agree with one side or the other, I say that because I feel that there is so damn much riding on America's future. On my children's future. On every one's future. Gay, straight, black, white, Christian or otherwise. Nothing about this is okay.
Then last night, as I was scrolling through Instagram for entertainment, I found the hashtag "wandsup". Wands Up, in reference to Harry Potter, in remembrance to Luis S. Vielma, who worked at Universal Orlando. He worked at the Forbidden Journey ride, and you guys, he was a Griffindor. Maybe none of that makes any sense to you and that is okay. For me, in times of trial and uncertainty, I turn to books, stories, fiction, anything to help make sense of the nonsensical. So when I saw the hashtag "wandsup" and the adjoining picture, I stopped in my tracks.
|photo cred: @patrickzfilms|
The accompanying quote to this picture of people holding a vigil at Universal Orlando, in front of Hogwarts, was:
"Do not pity the dead. Pity the living, and above all those who live without love..."
Maybe to you this seems like a lame memorial. Maybe this is the opposite of what their loved ones need, or what this country needs. Still, in the moment it made perfect and total sense to me. It made me cry. It made me stop and remember that Saturday night 50 people went out for a night on the town, to dance, to laugh, to sing, to live out loud; only to be silenced in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Like I said nothing about this makes sense. Nothing about this is okay.
So for today and tomorrow and for a while, Wands Up. Gay or straight, wands up. Black, white, brown or purple, wands up. Christian or otherwise, wands up.