I have sidestepped discussing the Aurora,Colorado theater shooting tragedy on my blog for a few reasons, one being I wasn’t sure how my audience could relate to this experience given I’m an NBA blogger sand I think the bigger reason is the following. I have always been one to be guarded, sometimes aloof, other times my walls impenetrable given from my past losses – remembering my baby sister passing and later watching my father die in pain — much of the reason, but every emotional experience that can be shared is an experience that gives the people of Aurora…of Denver…of Colorado the power.
I remember going to an advanced screening of The Dark Knight Rises Thursday evening, I remember coming home and laying down around 12:30, but I felt uneasy, restless, my stomach felt like a pile of rocks was in it. I finally dragged myself to my feet a bit past 2 a.m and like many of my Colorado late night friends I learned of the news.
“Theatre Shooting Massacre”
As the minutes passed, the more gruesome and horrific the details were.
12 dead. 58 injured. Hundreds of lives were shattered.
While, I live 10 miles away from that theater….it felt to me like I lived across the street. A city torn, a metro area ripped, a state that has seen tragedy before.
The past three days, I have cried myself out of tears. My walls were torn down immediately, my soul felt empty, and my mind racing.
Many felt affected by the young aspiring sports caster that passed too soon, but for me, as a mother, I lost it when I heard about the 6-year-old girl who died watching a movie….and her mother wouldn’t find out about her death until late Sunday night.
A little girl doing what children love: watching a movie with her mother. I have tried to make sense of it all, but you can’t make sense of any of this. A little girl who just learned how to swim was killed by a deranged lunatic. A beautiful, blonde-haired angel was taken from this life as her killer sits in jail, she lays lifeless. In no way was this fair, and as a parent of a 6-year-old, I was lost…helpless….confused….angry.
Angry in the fact I have no emotional ties to any of the victims, but I’ve never hated anyone as much as I did THAT MAN…the man who I will never utter his name for quite some time. A man that took the lives of 12 individuals. A man that destroyed an innocence that has been associated with moviegoers for many years.
All gone from a senseless act. A tragedy. That brings me to this: this is why an entire community is grieving, is because that could have been any of us and — more so — we’re all parents or children or a significant other.
While many compare this to the Columbine tragedy, this is another realm of madness. A depraved individual terrorized the innocence of a shrine that has brought entertainment to us for years. The movie theater was a place of sanctity; a place where a first date may happen, a place where a married couple may retreat to have a date night, a place where families go to enjoy a few hours together. The movie theater is a place where we can forget our problems, our issues, and escape for the moment.
That man broke that bond we had with the movie industry and terrorized us all. Not only those of Aurora,Colorado, but from New York City to Orlando to Indianapolis to Seattle. He tainted an experience that should have been a fun night for many, and because of the maddening nature of the tragedy is what frightened and made many of us emotionally bare.
Where do we go from here?
We don’t let THAT man dictate our lives. While this weekend, it was hard for me to watch the NBA — something I LOVE so much, something I have so much passion for — I felt atrocious attempting to enjoy something when our community was battling such a heinous event. I even tried blogging about the League, but couldn’t muster any sort of creative juices nor any heart into something that is part of my heart.
I learned — through all this carnage — that it’s okay.
I’m just another human being and I was literally stripped of all my walls this weekend, but now that it’s Monday, I feel less guilt and I am ready to remember the lives lost by living my life better.
What does that mean?
Being a representative of Colorado to the Nth degree, proving to the nation…the world…we are a resilient people and are ones who plan on looking for the rainbow beneath this thunderstorm.
As a blogger, I have a responsibility to use this to teach my audience that beneath every tragedy, this is the beginning of the road to recovery. Rebuilding our emotions, restrengthening our souls and retooling our hearts.
Today, marks a day that reshapes who we are……it’s the first day of the rest of our lives.
Today, it’s no longer about him.
Today, we take control; it’s about us.
Today, WE WILL REMEMBER by living our lives to the greatest that we can possibly can.
Today, WE ARE COLORADO.