Sunday, October 8, 2017

7 Days


7 days ago not only my life was changed, but everyone around me and the whole city of Las Vegas was changed forever. I know that not everyone died and affected by this horrible event was from Vegas, but it happened in Vegas, in our city. It happened to our people working. It happened to our law enforcement teams. It's an invasion like no other. So I'm just gonna be blunt and say it and put it out there that I think country music and the city of Nashville has taken some of the focus off of Vegas and for that it makes me sad. I know that we were all there because of our love for country music and of course music will help to heal us, but before #CountryStrong it should #VegasStrong. You can disagree with me if you want. That's your right, but that's how I feel right now, today.

7 days post massacre. And I say days, because each one has been hard in it's own right. But also each one better than the last.

And by the way I hate that word. Massacre. Even if it is true. Even if it is the worst in history. I just hate hearing that word, much less saying it. Again it makes me sad. So many things these days make me sad when I really think about stuff. That's the hard part. Not thinking, but thinking. I often think what the last 7 days would be like if the outcome were any different than what it was. I try not to think about it. My friend Katie, did a blog post about survivors guilt. We all have it in some form or another. We all process it and deal with it in our own way. I have my own and I suppose that will eventually be another topic of this blog.

I was finally looking back at some of my photos and I came across one of Jason Aldean that I posted to my Insta stories. I have a setting on my Insta account that all pictures and videos get saved to my camera roll no matter what once they are posted. I love that feature. Now more than ever. 

It posted and was saved at 10:06 PM. The picture next to it is my first text to Sam at 10:07 PM. Just a mere minute between these moments and our lives changed forever. 


We went to go get my car yesterday. We had to park and walk. We checked in with the officers that are in the church lot next door. My name was on a list of many, although my car was one of the last few in the lot. One of the officers walked with us. It was surreal being back there and telling Wayne exactly the path that Katie and I ran. I told him as we were standing at the car in the exact spot that is where I was talking to him. I showed him the fence that we went through to get to the street that led us to Desert Rose Resort. Away from the lot. Away from the shooting. Away from the screaming. Betty White was unharmed and just as Jill had said I started her up and away we went, away from the lot, she took me home.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Perseverance

I never thought I would be the type of person to be afraid to watch the news, but I am now. At least for the time being. And I am not talking about the normal daily news, but the videos and clips they keep replaying over and over again. I am afraid as to what they might show or what I might hear. What trigger will set me off next into a flurry of anxiety and possible tears. I haven’t watched TV or the News in 4 days. Which if you know me, you know that’s unheard of. But I just can’t right now. I can’t watch anymore videos from that night of people running. Screaming. The sound of such panic. That same panic that I felt running through my whole body. I can’t hear anymore of the rapid gunfire. It's already ringing in my ears and head everyday. I just can’t. I'm hoping as the days go on, they will stop showing it, so people can start watching the news again. I guess only time will tell.

On another note. The parking lot has been cleared and we can go pick up my vehicle. We plan on doing that Saturday morning after gymnastics. I want to go at a time that I can process it all. A time where I don’t feel rushed and that if I get emotional, I don’t have to go back to work or be somewhere. I can just be and process those emotions and get through it with the support of my Husband.

A certain comment was left on one of my friend’s Facebook threads. She had shared my blog post titled “Juggling.” The woman that left the comment is named Jill. Her words affected me so deeply and I needed to read those words, so I wanted to share it here not only to share it with all of you, but so that I can re-read it back for my own comfort:

“I can’t even imagine the feelings that each and every survivor will go through in the coming days, weeks and months. Fear. Anger. Sadness. Depression. Relief. Guilt. ...and I’m sure the list goes on.

I can totally empathize with her feelings about her car “Betty White,” and how it sat there while terror was unfolding all around it. Her feelings are real and raw. I wish I could hug everyone that was there that night just to show emotional support.

As an outsider, I think of “Betty White” as her chariot. It stood there valiantly and relentlessly to take her home. Whenever it’s time... it will do just that. Maybe it will become a beacon of survival, so to speak... an icon of perseverance.”

That last paragraph just rips at me like no other. Because it’s true. And now I have a new perspective about my beloved “Betty White.” We will see what condition my car is in. I have had numerous friends and even strangers offer for them to retrieve it for me. My loving Husband would love to shield me from the possible pain that it might cause for me to go and get it, but I need to. I think it will help with some closure issues. I cannot avoid that lot or certain parts of this city and as hard as it might be, I need to go down there. I need to walk through that lot. I need to see it. I need to get in it. I need to put the key in and feel it start up underneath me and I need to drive it away from that lot that changed my life forever.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Juggling

My car is still parked in the parking lot across the street from the festival grounds. The officer told Wayne that we won't be able to retrieve it until at least Saturday. At the earliest. Why? 

Because that parking lot is "just as much of a crime scene as the actual festival grounds." 

While I knew that in the back of my head, I couldn't actually process it until actually hearing it. How did I know that? It was the parking lot where we ran through. It was my car that I texted Sam to run to. It was supposed to be our meeting place to reunite before figuring out our next steps. Instead we couldn't wait there for her. We didn't have time. We had to keep running. We had to keep moving. 

And we did. 

Through that parking lot.

Out through the fence in the back and down the street running away from that lot. Leaving not only my car behind, but the sound of the constant rounds of fire and screaming.

I know that it is a crime scene because there were people bleeding. People injured, hurt. Bodies not moving. Blood. So much blood. I myself almost tripped and fell over a body while running. It is a sight that I cannot get out of my head. And I wonder if they were one of the 59 that were killed or the 515+ somewhere at one of the hospitals here in Vegas.

While driving down to the parking lot this morning with Wayne to get more information about the timeline on retrieving my car, I started crying. I know that I have to get my car. I can't just leave it there. Abandon it. But the thought of walking through that parking lot again and something about driving off just gives me a feeling that I can't put my finger on. I can't explain it. I just feel it.

It has nothing to do with my car and not having it. But instead me thinking of what happened all around it. Surrounding it. Right next to it. I will drive Betty White, as I have named it, everyday knowing in the back of my mind what awfulness and pure evil happened all around it. Again, I can't explain it, it's just a feeling of something I can't put into words.

So while we juggle having one car, one set of car seats, and multiple emotions and thoughts, I will continue to be grateful that is the extent of our week. Juggling. Thinking. Processing. Healing.