Put so profoundly I have nothing to add.
I can’t sleep. At all.
And I, in all truthfulness, cannot stop crying.
I don’t know how many of you are really following the hell on Earth happening in Colorado right now.
But, I am completely breaking for Aurora.
Two months ago yesterday, on May 20th 2012 one of the best and dearest friends I’ve ever had died. And I wrote and posted a blog I’m sure a lot of you maybe read..maybe some of you haven’t..sharing how much my life will never be the same after losing him. And yesterday, on July 20th 2012..literally thousands of peoples lives are altered forever.
I got in from work this morning at 2:30, sat down and continued reading and hearing and feeling, so much.
I’m a writer. I always have been. And I really just don’t know how else to get this out. I feel compelled to write.
It’s not about making it about my experiences or my life or my story..it’s about the fact that I hurt because I know what it’s like..how much it hurts..how horribly helpless and confusing something so horrific and completely and totally senseless is to see, or hear of, or watch.
I have no reservations in saying I am utterly broken and in tears, crying watching all of this..feeling like there’s nothing I can do. No, I didn’t know any of those people..but I didn’t have to. And I shouldn’t have had to. What does that matter? I’d only imagine I’d be a better person if I had.
Those people, those “strangers” were PEOPLE. Someones best friend, family, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, boyfriends and girlfriends..
I think so literally. It’s just the way my head works. And I’ve always been heavily affected by things. All I can think about is what it looked like, what it sounded like, what those people..so many people..experienced. Just going to see a movie. The people that went in after..picking up these men and womens and childrens belongings. Id’s, bags, clothes, shoes, phones..things they’d just held, things they touched, things they owned like just like we do..making posts moments before being shot. Things they wore..
There just aren’t any words.
We hear and see so much evil going on in the world, everyday..everywhere. And are so lightly phased by it as we continue on with our lives without being “directly affected.” But I can’t and just don’t understand that. How the hell can you not?
I, literally, keep thinking about myself, just a week ago, deciding last minute to see a friend Grant. Someone I love and care about, so much. Deciding last minute to catch a movie and go see Moonrise Kingdom at a local theater here in Nashville. Sitting next to him, laughing, smiling, enjoying the movie. I remember at one point looking around at the people in the theater at a really funny part in the film. I remember a girl with blonde hair to my right sitting with who must have been her boyfriend. She was wearing a white sweater. And a family sitting behind her. And seeing all of their faces smiling and laughing.
And I can’t help but cry harder. How many of my friends, people I consider family, blood related or not, were at movie theaters to see the premier of Batman that morning. All across the country, thousands and thousands of people. I know you shouldn’t play the what if game but what if it had have been Atlanta? Or Florida. San Diego, California in general or Alabama. New York, Indiana, South Carolina..
What if Nashville and my theater a week ago with Grant. All I can think about is what I’d do if he were ever hurt or how quickly without thinking I’d have thrown myself in the way to protect him from being hurt.
They have names. They have faces and lives and stories and it makes me so beyond sick to know there are people making jokes, poking fun at everything that’s happening. IT’S NOT FUNNY. I’ll be that guy. You’re not cool. These are peoples families, friends..brutally slain. And murdered.
I woke up Friday morning to read a post from a dear friend of mine, Eryn, sharing the story of what happened in Colorado and immediately went into panic calling and texting and trying to reach my friends and family there, terrified. Zach Worthington, one of my closest friends since the 8th grade.. Ashlynn, one of the closest girl friends I’ve had the last 5 years since we met. My aunt, uncle and 9 year old cousin Ali. My Uncle Ted and his wife and kids. The chances they could have been there..could have been hurt.
There’s nothing anyone can ever say to describe such a helpless feeling. I’m thousands of miles away. What could I do. What would I do if I lost another friend..
These victims were you. and me. Kids. Catching a movie. How many of y’all have this weekend? Someones parents. Someones baby. Wednesday is Scottys birthday. He would have been 32 years old. Alex Sullivan was celebrating his 27th that night and was shot and killed in theater 9.
Seeing his father on the news, desperately searching..begging and pleading for someone to find his son. All I can think about is being at Scottys funeral and seeing his fathers eyes. Hugging him and his mother..I know what it’s like..what they’re going through. It’s enough to kill you. They need an outpouring.
25 year old Ashley Moser shot and paralyzed, still in critical condition, a mother..who doesn’t even know yet her 6 year old little girl..is gone. I think about how many mothers I know, 20 something year old moms with little boys and little girls..how badly Kala wanted to be a mother..how badly I do and haven’t yet been blessed to be. And I am breaking.
Service member, Jesse Childress, who served in the Air force like my grandfather. And shares my name. 27 year old John Larimer who served in the Navy like my uncles and best friend Aj. Serving me..as an American. Alex Tevis, a graduate from the University of Colorado where Zach attends.
I’ve looked up facebooks, twitters, blogs, news casts, all of everything I can find..everything. Seeing last posts and tweets like I’ve read over Scottys so many times.
These people MATTER.
Three guys..three different guys diving over chairs to cover and protect their girlfriends in that theater and all three lost their lives because of it. Three of them.. And another mans friends killed helping him protect his wife.
People shot in their faces, theirs heads and backs and chests. Just sitting in a theater excited to see a blockbuster movie. PEOPLE getting blown away.
Columbine, Virginia Tech, The Toronto mall shooting, so many others..it has got to stop. And the only thing that could ever beat all of the bad is an even stronger and more determined flood of GOOD.
Seeing the interviews..hearing the dispatch calls in panic.. it’s something I could never, ever describe the emotion of.
It’s too much to process. Even more so how someones heart doesn’t completely fall apart in hurt for them.
No, I didn’t know them. But it affects me. They were strangers to me 2 days ago and thousands of miles away now, affect me and my life..are impacting me. Their stories, their faces, their names.
I’m writing this not only because I feel compelled to but because I can’t help but feel like I have to do something.
Anything I possibly can? I don’t know. But I need to DO SOMETHING.
PEOPLE. NEED. TO. START. CARING.
This is my plea at a challenge. Seriously. I’m trying to reach out the only way I really know how to to ask everyone, anyone who cares to DO SOMETHING. Do anything you can. To help, to be there. It’s not cliche’ to say we all have a voice and one person can make a difference because it’s the truth. This is affecting “strangers” everywhere. Not just in the theater victims and their families but all of the officers, EMT workers like my dear friend and I feel brother figure, Mitch Whitson.
The doctors, surgeons, FBI, ATF, Nurses, schools, hospitals, churches, Senators, Specialists, Governors, Mayors, Presidents and candidates. Even sports teams, artists, musicians and celebrities..everyday people. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the people there, working, talking, listening, helping, trying, caring, loving, doing and being a part of some sort of good in all of it. THOSE PEOPLE ARE WHAT DEFINE HEROES.
THOUSANDS and thousands of people. Across the country. IT MATTERS.
To say I am praying, on my knees, praying for all of this isn’t enough to say. But praying, is. And I KNOW, Gods wrath on James Homles will prevail. And that’s all he deserves to have said about him in my opinion. Sincerely, may God have reign over Aurora..over Colorado..over our country, as a whole, ALL OF US AS A FAMILY OF AMERICANS.
Our job is to prevail for those people. Those families. If you can donate blood, donate it. They need it. Send cards, send letters, send food & brownies and cookies, flowers, start drives, donate money, start movements in your churches this morning, Sundays to come, the days, weeks, months and years that follow. A lot of your reading this are leaders, worship leaders, Pro postivite movement spearheads and founders..co-founders. I just really think we can all be loud enough together.
This is my sincere all out mass call to everyone who cares enough to care to MAKE A DIFFERENCE, because I know from experience one persons presence in support, makes all the difference dealing with something like this.
I really don’t know how one tiny little person, as I’ve said before in writing, can feel, SO much.
The word beautiful is the only word I keep coming back to in seeing all of the destruction one man can cause and the immensely and insanely beautiful outpouring of good and love and kindness that can still come from it. IF WE ACT ON THOSE FOUNDATIONS. WE. Us. You. And me. As one people for the people that are just like us, that need us.
“He” wanted his name known. He surrendered with no argument to arrest. He wanted this publicity. There is no other explanation. He stood there and he waited for it. He waited until it played out, like he planned it. And wanted this for innocent, good, ultimately helpless people. Little kids.
God is real. He is. And he is here in this..I know, firsthand, he is there sitting, holding, rocking these families in his arms. And rocking hearts across the country, mine included.
PLEASE you guys, PRAY. Pray so hard. Find the time to care. MAKE IT. Make it matter.
I’m really challenging y’all to put aside so much that doesn’t and focus on what really does. PLEASE, as a friend and as a person I’m asking everyone to read this, share it, repost it and spread a challenge to LOVE. If you do, thank you. If you don’t, you don’t. I just don’t know what else to do but try and do something.
There’s too much bad, but there is and will ALWAYS be more GOOD. Even if only in a few of us. And it. will. win.
I can’t even begin to say, despite any one personal belief or another, how sincerely honoring, pride worthy and “epic”ly beautiful it is to see opposing political parties, hugely established hollywood actors and studios..everyone, setting everything aside and coming together to put forth focus directed at what is first and foremost of real and utmost importance before anything else.
It really proves what the heart of America is at the end of the day. Not the politics or the bias’, but the PEOPLE. And the heart of em’
We all say so much about being proud to be an American but how often, seriously, do we really stop and think about what it really, really weighs. And means. And costs.
I challenge you to do something. Whatever you can to help stop all this bad. There are things, everyday, that can be done and need to be done by us..the “little people” if you will, that really can change the world. Change an outlook.
If anything, especially change our world as the youth. I just feel we sincerely have such a responsibility and something needs to happen to fix what’s going on wrong in the world and we’re the ones called to do it.
Yea it sounds intense, but it is intense. We have a say. We have a voice. We have action and we need to start using it. To the fullest and best of our abilities.
I encourage you all to take the time to follow the stories. To care. To learn and know and just decide to do whatever we can to bring about some, even if only small, movement of positive change.
Yea, it’s easier said than done.
That’s exactly why it needs to stop being said and it NEEDS TO GET DONE.
I don’t know what to do, what I can do, or how to do it. But I know I have to do SOMETHING.
I’ve watched every video I could find, read every article.. and I sincerely encourage you to take the time out of your day today to do the same. Watch all of them. And relate to someone who’s just like you. A human being.
Specifically all that is said in the clip entitled “Movie Massacre: How do we comfort the victims of tragedy” in the following link. Everything said couldn’t be more on point.
There’s no making sense of any of this. Of anything like these things happening.
But, it just can’t be an excuse to let evil keep happening anymore.
Especially us you guys. My friends, across the country, young Americans, the twenty somethings..
Like the multiple twenty somethings that were shot and killed yesterday in a movie theater next to their friends and significant others. They can’t now. We have more of a reason now more than ever in any sensible equation. What else has to happen for it to hit home? Really? It’s hitting home you guys. We get to wake up and brush our teeth today. Do something.
And in the process, don’t let the people you love go anywhere..without cherishing them being there. Tell the people you love that you love them. All the time. Do it always. There is no “too much.” You do not know what one man is going to wake up and decide to take from you tomorrow. THAT’S REAL. Trust me. Tell them.
“We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ right now for these people to help get them through these stages.”
“It doesn’t matter what you say, as long as you say something.”