Saying this was a tough week is an understatement

One of my favorite books is "The Secret Life of Bees" by author Sue Monk Kidd. For those of you who have read the book or seen the movie, do you remember the character May Boatwright? She lived in the "Pepto-Bismol" colored house with her sisters, August and June, and, although she was never diagnosed with a mental illness, it was obvious that May was depressed.

May was so emphatic that she carried the weight of the world on her shoulders and took on others' pain as if it were her own. Whenever she heard about disasters, murders, etc. on the news, she would begin panicking and crying uncontrollably. The only way she could calm down was by taking a warm bath or visiting the "wailing wall." She would write down the things that were bothering her and tuck the scraps of paper in-between the stones in the wall.

The main character, Lily Owens, found some of these notes: "I walked the length of the fence, and it was the same all the way, hundreds of these bits of paper. I pulled one out and opened it, but the writing was too blurred from rain to make out. I dug another one. Birmingham, Sept 15, four little angels dead."

This week, I felt like May Boatwright.

If I had my own wailing wall in my backyard, I know what I would write on my scrap of paper: Las Vegas, Oct 1, 59 innocent lives senselessly taken.

I've read the accounts of people who were there at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. One woman, Ashtyn Zamora, described the scene on Facebook: "People started dropping around us, like something out of a movie. ... One girl was brought to us, in a wheelbarrow, cold to the touch. Her friends had to stand there screaming as we placed a sheet over her body. Gone, just like that. She was maybe 20 years old, and she was just one of many."

I can't pretend to know what it was like for those people. But, like May Boatwright, when I think about it, it makes me sick, and it makes my heart ache. I imagine if I was there, and when I close my eyes, I can see it - dancing to the music one minute and the next minute, an explosion of gunfire and  people falling dead all over the ground - the scene looking more like a war zone than a country music concert.

I imagine if it was one of my friends, dead in the wheelbarrow. Or I imagine if it was me in that wheelbarrow - if I had gotten dressed up to go out with my girls, not knowing that I would never return home.

It's overwhelming when, instead of just a number, you think of each of the 59 as individuals. Each one of them had so much more to give the world. And all because of one man we'll never know what their futures could have been. Each one left behind family and friends who loved them and whose lives will never be the same. This wasn't supposed to be the end of their stories. There was supposed to be more.

It's mind-numbingly scary to think about the shootings and the bombings that have happened over just the last five years. How a movie theater, a marathon, a school, a nightclub and, now, a concert can be unsafe. For someone who is anxious as it is, it's enough to make me not want to leave my apartment. Just work from home, call to have my pizza and Chinese food delivered, and order pantry items on Amazon Prime.

But we can't live like that. We can't think of the world as a horrible place with horrible people. Yes, there are evil people in this world. But there are also a lot of really amazing people too. For instance, on Tuesday - the day after I heard about the shooting - I found a scrap of paper. No, it wasn't hidden under a rock in a wall. Instead it was tucked under my windshield wiper blade. The note said, "No matter what type of day you're having, remember to keep ya head up." I have no idea who the note was from. It was probably a random act of kindness from a stranger. But, with the week we're all having, it was a reminder I needed to hear. And it reminded me that there are kind people out there who want to bring others happiness instead of pain.

So, with this tragedy, live your life for these 59 people who can no longer experience it. Instead of living your life in fear, live your life with no regrets. In their honor, bungee jump, sky dive, travel to Australia, quit the job you hate, break up with someone who treats you badly, ask out the person who you've always been too chicken to talk to, and tell those you care about how much you love them. Because one of the things that the shooting in Las Vegas has reminded me is that we never know what day will be our last.

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