Monday, October 2, 2017

#VegasStrong

It was about 14+ hours ago that I heard that first POP POP POP. Standing in the pit on the floor watching Jason Aldean do what he does best, getting ready to have such a great night just like the last two nights before. I was confused as I had never heard that particular sound.

POP POP POP.

To say that it’s not replaying in my head over and over is a complete understatement. I didn’t know what was going on until I saw the band being rushed off the stage. I said to my friend Katie, "this isn’t good. We have to go." We quickly made our way to where we had a table. Where our other friend Sam was sitting. She was nowhere to be found. My heart dropped.

10:07 p.m. was the time that I texted her “Where are you?”

While taking cover behind the bar and continuously hearing the POP POP POP I knew we had to get out of there. We had to just run. It sounded like it was coming from every direction. Katie and I started running. Some people ran. Some people just stayed laying there taking cover. I needed to run. I needed to get out of there. People were falling. People were screaming. People were bleeding. We just kept running.

All the while POP POP POP.

As I called my Husband to let him know that something was happening, I could hear the panic in his voice as he could hear me crying and again the rapid and never-ending POP POP POP in the background. I couldn’t really stay on the phone. I had to keep moving and we had to find Sam. We made it across the fair grounds. We made it through the parking lot standing by my car and when we thought we could stop running, more POP POP POP and we were told to just keep running and moving.

We eventually found Sam. We were running towards another casino to take cover and find some sort of shelter. All of a sudden people were running towards us scared and shouting. We were trapped. We didn’t know where to go. We ended up going into a hotel/timeshare resort. People were filing in and we were still hearing the POP POP POP. People were carrying in wounded and injured. Residents were opening up their rooms to people and the three of us ended up in a room with 27 other people. This couple had taken 30 people into their room. Just out of the generosity of their heart. They offered water, snacks, anything they could to be comforting. We had people that had fallen and bumped heads, sprained ankles, a diabetic. We all rallied together. Still scared and not knowing everything, but trying to be a comfort in all the craziness.

We were in that room until about 3:00 a.m. That was about when the police came to that resort to check on the wounded and offer medical help. 4+ hours with complete strangers. Minds racing. Trying to stay in contact with loved ones. Tears shed. Hugs given. At about 3:15, I texted Wayne that we were finally allowed to leave. We made our way to the lobby to wait. He left the house and made his way to us. He wasn’t able to come directly to us as the roads around the resort were still blocked off. So we had to walk a few blocks to his truck.

All I could do was thank God that Wayne wasn’t there with me. Even though I knew he would help be my calm in this storm, I thanked God one of us was home safe with our babies. I know he feels guilty for not being there with me, but I am thankful he was not as weird as that sounds. I definitely had all my guardian angels watching over me last night. We got home a little after 4 a.m. and I immediately broke down and hugged my kids and cried over them as they slept. Thankful just to watch them breathe and sleep.

I hugged and cried with my sister that is in town from Minnesota and my Husband. I just couldn’t stop. My puppies were coming up to me wondering why I was hysterically crying. It was all rushing back to me. The adrenaline was wearing off and my emotions were winning and taking over. I was exhausted in every way imaginable. I still am. I’ve slept about an hour. I dropped my friends off at the airport early this morning. Hugging them a little tighter this time, telling them I love them. I came home from the airport and Hailey was awake. I hugged her tight and again started sobbing. Her not knowing why or what was going on. I had a difficult conversation with her about the events and what happened. We cried together and just hugged each other. It was a good talk with her. Wayne and I pride ourselves on how we are raising her by not sheltering her with certain things. We knew she may hear something at school or see something on TV and with it being here in Vegas and with me being so emotional. There was no way we could sugar coat it. I know we will also have another conversation after he gets home from work tonight.

To my Husband. Oh my Husband. I have no words other than thank you for loving me. He didn’t sleep at all and went into work this morning at 5am after bringing us home. He is doing a live broadcast with Taylor and Tony. They will be working all day to continue to bring this community together.

To my Mom, Dad, sister Amie, brother Ross, sister Kate, family and friends. Thank you and I love you all.

I have to shout out the Las Vegas Metro and other surrounding cities law enforcement, EMT’s and SWAT teams. There’s no one quite like them and they have a very unique city to protect.

I am proud to live in Las Vegas. The community so far has rallied and come together like no other. With 58 dead and 515+ injured, how do you start to even process this? All the stories coming out of this of people helping is amazing. #vegasstrong

Please please please, if you don’t take anything away from reading this just please live every single day you can to the fullest and love your people hard and with everything you got. Whoever they are. You truly never know when today could be your last, and with as cliche as it sounds, it is so very true. #loveyourpeople

Thank you to everyone that reached out either through texting or calling or social media or through Wayne. People that I don’t talk to on the regular, past co-workers and bosses reaching out to me to make sure that me and my family are safe. I truly appreciate every message, thought and prayer. I truly feel all your love and I love you all right back. God Bless.