I Wasn’t

I wasn’t going to write about it. I wasn’t going to speak about it — not to my friends, not to my co-workers, not to social media, not on my blog.

I wasn’t filled with hope or fear or unity. I wasn’t feeling anything.

I wasn’t going to listen anymore.

I wasn’t going to contribute to the noise.

It’s all the same, every channel, every news source. Why did it happen? Who knows. At the end of the day no one will know except the one. Only the one will ever know and maybe even then — maybe even the one didn’t know why.

So why am I writing about it? Why did I change my mind? Because of 1 news feed item.

As I scrolled through my news feed at the end of my day to decompress, barely registering the hate, the hope, the praise, and the blame, 1 post was different. It caught my attention and I found myself reading the entire lengthy article.

This post didn’t talk about blame or hate or taking something from anyone. It talked very simply about the awful long journey of one grandmother to be with family in Orlando. To attend the funeral of a grandson.

We are Orlando

She was escorted through the airport to a waiting aircraft and then escorted by aircrew to her seat. The flight attendants waited on her and gathered words of condolences from every single passenger on the plane. What started out as a simple kind gesture turned into volumes of paper that was presented to the grandmother upon landing.

I fly a lot and anytime a whole plane stops and waits for one person or a small group of people to leave first is amazing to watch. But this time, this time everyone left before the grandmother and everyone stopped to talk to her, hug her, share her grief and pain, and in the end honor her and by extension her grandson. No one was in a hurry.

This story was the only one (that I remember) where I learned about the grandson, his name, what he did and what he wanted to become. It was a story focused on a victim, a victim’s family, and the people that stopped to help the family.

It was focused on what we should never ever have to focus on — the victim.

Let’s, if we must focus on anything, focus on the 49 plus souls and their families.

It wasn’t about the one — it’s about the 49 plus surviving friends and family.

Let’s focus on supporting the 49 plus — let’s focus on not what was lost, but on who they are and should have been.

Let’s focus on the side effects of hope and strength and the 49+.

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