Skip to main content

Let's Act In Honor of Orlando

How will you change?
  • Author:
  • Updated:
How will you change because of Orlando?

Sitting at my desk at work when I first heard about the Virginia Tech shooting, I began crying. I later sat at the same desk crying as I looked at the faces of the victims and read about their lives. My intent was to give them more attention than the shooter. Driving to pick up my son from school after hearing about the shooting at Sandy Hook, I could barely see straight. He was close to the age of the victims and I couldn't fathom how it could have happened. Again, I read about the victims, wanting to pay them and their families the respect of remembering and honoring those lives that were violently ended.

When I heard of the shooting in Orlando, I first saw a headline in my Facebook feed. I wasn't ready to read it. The news was still fresh - information developing. I shut it off until I could bring myself to read it. Later, I read a little more but still wasn't able to process it. I don't know if I have yet been able to process this. I have such a heavy heart and in a few years, I will likely look back and add this too the list of moments when I reacted after a mass shooting. I'll remember writing this out in a blog post because I have so much sadness that it had no where else to go but into these words that I am sharing. I'll remember doing the same thing - reading about the victims, although it will surely make me sob. I've started reading some of the stories and will continue. I do it because they deserve to have their stories heard, they deserve to be remembered, to be honored.

I have the luxury of tuning this whole thing out when and if I choose. But there are so many that cannot look away. It is personal. It is their story. It could have been them. It was their brother, their cousin, their friend, their daughter. But in all reality, it could have been any of us. I feel helpless and hopeless. And I ask myself what I can do, and what can I contribute. I see acts of kindness, donations of blood, donations of money but I still feel a sadness that has yet to leave. And I think that I can't shake it because it keeps happening. Each time I think, surely, this will be the time, this will be the event that will unite our country in an effort to prevent gun violence. Already, I see people posting defensive gun rights statements. Can't we mourn for those who have been slain before I read about how evil people would still kill, that guns aren't the problem? To reduce what has happened into a meme that taking away guns will not solve the problem makes me even more disheartened. A violent storm of hate was unleashed on innocent lives and immediately people are on the defensive over the weapon that was used to do this. Can we not shut our eyes and plug our ears and say, "I can't hear you" until the next tragedy occurs? Can we engage in a conversation? Can we listen to each other?

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

I ask myself even more questions. Will this turn someone away from hate? Will this make someone think twice before condemning someone for being gay? Will this shooting help us take the hate that was bottled up and unleashed in Orlando and turn us toward being a more loving and peaceful country?

It's no longer the time when my son doesn't understand what is on the news. He sees it. He asks why. And I'm at a loss to explain the why. I can't explain why because I don't know the answer. Yes, we can #prayfororlando, but let's act in honor of Orlando. Each of us can find a way. I can do teach my children respect for others, for human lives. I can live a life I want my children to emulate showing love for others. I can serve others and be kind. I can show and teach my children that in honor of those lives lost, we can use our love as a small and simple way to overcome fear and hatred. And although my hope seemed to flicker and fade in the wake of this news, acting upon those intrinsic feelings to show more love will ignite that hope to burn brightly again.


Balancing Act

How often do you find yourself feeling out of balance? It feels as though there are so many things in your envelope that you just can’t cram in one more thing, but somehow you manage to do it anyway. You life is full of “stuff” and sometimes you feel that you are in the thick of things. The urgent seems to force out the important but you just can’t figure out how to make things change.

Rich Johnson and daughter dressed as Rey

Daughter Shines as Rey in Photos Taken By Photographer Dad

All the photos are pretty much ridiculously amazing. You definitely understand how much this photoshoot means to both father and daughter.

Seen "13 Reasons Why"? 4 Shows You SHOULD Watch With Teens

Seen "13 Reasons Why"? Here's 4 Shows You SHOULD Watch With Teens

Whether you watch or don't watch "13 Reasons Why", here are 4 shows on Netflix you should watch with your teen that tackles the same tough issues.

Traditions: Honoring Autumn

Enjoy the fall season before we hunker down for the winter. Here’s how our TodaysMama staff honors Autumn.

The 10 Photos You Must Take This Holiday Season

The 10 Photos You Must Take This Holiday Season

Pictures of your kids on Santa's lap can always be risky. Especially when they are little and afraid of the big guy in the red suit. But here is some inspiration for you to capture the magic of the season with your camera (or camera phone). Here are the 10 photos you must take this holiday season.

Honoring the “Greatest Calling in the Universe”

Affirmations are like compliments we give ourselves in order to inspire our highest responses. If you are a caregiver, try telling yourself, “I am fulfilling the greatest calling in the universe,” and notice what happens to your consciousness.

Hurricane Harvey Sandbags


Social media is full of articles like this one from CBS news about what not to do, so I thought I would investigate what we should do and how to help with hurricane (now tropical storm) Harvey.

Iceland shows how to avoid teen drug abuse.

Best Way To Prevent Teen Drug Abuse? Iceland Has The Answer

Over the past 20 years, Iceland has taken an unconventional approach to reducing drug teen abuse – not just giving kids alternatives to drug use but to prevent even starting in the first place.