I wanted to write about something a bit different this week considering the painful tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas. Everyone is talking about this and is completely horrified to learn about what occurred. There are many people with connections to the victims, and many who simply watched the chaotic scene reported on the news. My better half was in Las Vegas for a work expo just two days before it happened, and was staying with colleagues at the Mandalay Bay hotel. Thankfully, he returned home safe and sound. However, had a vendor simply decided to take him out to a country show or had he been in the area just one or two days longer, I would have possibly lost the most important person in my life, and I can’t bear to imagine the agony of that. I would have been devastated. A mother and father would have lost a son, and a younger brother would have lost his big brother. The realization of how close it was, how easily he could have been taken from me has certainly rattled me, and inspired me to write today about thankfulness.

To the family and friends of the victims, I am so sorry for your loss. I know that there are no words that can lessen the heartache of what has just occurred. It was so senseless and sudden. Although we will never know why it happened, all that matters is that it did, and our thoughts and prayers are with you. For the rest of us, it seems like a good moment to pause and realize what we have to be thankful for. Think of the people you love, and think how it would feel to lose them. This attack came out of nowhere, and we are all dumbfounded. This sudden and unfathomable day has changed the lives of so many, mourning the irrational loss of someone they loved dearly. It could have so easily have been in my family, or one of my colleagues’ families – this shooter did not even know the people he was aiming at, and that makes it all so incredibly disturbing.

When you arrive home from work, school, or wherever you are tonight- hug your family and tell them you love them. That’s exactly what I did when I arrived home from work last night. Unfortunately for those who were victimized by this event, they no longer have that chance. Nobody could have foreseen what was coming. Mothers lost sons and daughters, children lost parents, and siblings lost their brothers and sisters, all in an instant of senseless violence.

I don’t know why these things happen, why people choose to randomly destroy the lives of innocent people – people just out enjoying some music – nobody understands this. All I know is that every day spent with the people I love is special, and I am thankful for them. Again to the families of the victims, my heart goes out to you. I know that your relations, just like mine, are unmeasurably loved. I wish you strength and healing during this time of heartbreaking loss, and that the city of Las Vegas finds hope and strength during its recovery.