No one can determine what happens tomorrow, but we live our lives with hope that gives us certainty that we’ll see our family and friends when we wake up from slumber.
Tragedy, however, is unexpected. We can’t predict it. We never see it coming. It’s a sucker punch coming out of thin air. It steals peace of mind and leaves a gaping wound on our hearts.
Unfortunately, tragedy is a pillager that mugs life away from us. It’s untouched, undefeated, and elusive—an unseen force no one is prepared for. Its ally: Angry individuals with selfish and hurtful ambitions.
On June 12, 2016, tragedy loomed among a gunman whose sole intention was to cause deadly harm to people he felt deserved to die. It mounted itself on the coat tail of the gunman’s actions waiting in the shadows that early Sunday morning.
The gunman, Omar Marteen, entered a gay nightclub called Pulse, which is located in Orlando, Fla. His prejudice was relentless. He shot his way through the nightclub wounding some and, sadly, killing others. The club-goers scattered to different areas of the club, but the gunman continued to shoot as many people as he could. By the end of his tirade, he killed 49 people and injured 53 others.
Orlando police arrived. The people that were injured and unharmed were held hostage. After negotiating with the gunman for three hours, they moved in. With the help of the police, the hostages escaped. Omar, however, met his end in a flurry of gunshots from police, but the damage horrifying. Tragedy pushed through like an ominous night mist covering the light of happiness and hope. What was supposed to be cultural celebration turned into one of the worse massacres in modern U.S. history.
Like any veil choking out the sky, it won’t last. Sooner or later, the sun will shine again evaporating misery and strengthening those rooted wounds that are slow to heal.
The number of injured people is declining. At least 19 individuals remain hospitalized. While we hope for a speedy recovery, we want to encourage emotional and mental recovery as well. Part of a person’s well-being is the community they’re in, and we must push positivity to the victims of this tragedy from wherever we are. Let’s give the victims a seed of positive change, so that their life can blossom into peace and strength.
Our lives are like seasons. There will be days of rain, drought, ice storms, and tornadoes. But we will persevere. As tears are shed for the victims of the Orlando massacre, know that those tears will bloom us into stronger individuals bringing forth change. It is up to us, however, to direct that change. Remain strong, fight the hatred and take the long road to forgiveness. There will be peace.
- a the word changes contributor