This week has been a noisy week. The country is still reeling from the largest mass shooting to occur in the US. It has added even more fuel to the debate on gun control. My facebook feed has been a bipolar display of love and support for victims and family mixed with the most ridiculous memes of "DON'T TAKE AWAY MY GUNS!" There have been times I wanted to chime in. I do think there's something wrong with a system where it's harder to get a driver's license than an AR-47. But I also recognize that people who feel it necessary to repost those ridiculous memes are the type that lack critical thinking skills. They are the kind who are easily lead by fear mongering tactics and are posting to a gut reaction without thinking things through. It is a waste of time and energy to even try to see reason with them. I'd rather spend that time and energy on better things.
Josh McGill managed to escape the nightclub that night unscathed. When he saw a man stumble out bleeding, Josh pulled the man behind the shelter of a car and then removed his shirt to staunch the flow of blood. He rode with this man, a stranger, all the way to the hospital. His actions saved the man's life. Ray Rivera, the nightclub DJ, stayed with a woman who had taken cover under his booth. He shielded her as he guided her to the nearest exit. Edward Sotomayor Jr was shot in the back while pushing his boyfriend out a door to safety. He died protected the man he loved. Imran Yousuf, a veteran Marine, helped dozens of people escape the nightclub. Sunday morning, after news spread of the horrific events, the Orlando Blood blanks were overwhelmed with people who stood in line to donate. Today, I am thankful for Josh, Ray, Edward, Imran, all the people who showed up to help and donate blood, and this community who have rallied together.
The gratitude I have this week for the little things may seem slightly frivolous in the wake of such tragedy. If anything, tragedy makes those small things even sweeter. When we said our goodbyes to Terry on Saturday, he handed me two giant ziplock bags of chopped pineapple and watermelon, because this is Terry's way. I don't know how we managed to get out of his house the last time without a bag full of carnival sausages. My first instinct is to always wave it off and say "no...we don't need that", but the Cabbage had already pulled the bag of pineapple from my hands and was opening it up to grab a handful of pineapple. I have eaten pineapple and watermelon in my lunch every day this week. I am thankful for Terry.
I am thankful for our evening walks even though it has been blazing hot here. Unseasonably hot is what most KCMO natives have been saying. Really, I'm just thankful to finally be warm. No freezing hands or toes. I have some great success on some things I've been testing out at work. I am thankful for this. I am thankful for surprise visits and cups of coffee. I am thankful for quiet moments.
I am thankful for all of you.
Here's to a simmering hot weekend and a super Thankful Friday!