New Horizons
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New Horizons

What #VegasStrong means to me

What #VegasStrong means to me

I grew up in Missouri. There were no block walls between the houses. In fact, sometimes you mowed the neighbors front lawn because you didn’t know where your grass ended and theirs began. There were block parties and neighbors knew each other. Up until last week, I longed to go back to that sense of community.

That is, until I felt our brand of community. The night of October 1st, 2017 changed our city forever. We experienced a trauma like no other. Not only those who were concertgoers, the whole community was traumatized. And then we rose. Like no other city. We responded. We mobilized. We gave blood. We donated money. My therapist community offered and continues to offer free crisis counseling to those in need. We organized. We rallied. It didn’t matter what your beliefs were about gun control or what your politics were, as a community, we saw a need and we stepped up.

That’s the community of Las Vegas. We’re the rugged, silent type. We may not have neighborhood block parties. Mostly because we’re busy getting shit done. Working around the clock to keep this 24 hour town running. But, I guarantee, when crisis hits, we are there for each other. We show up. We love our neighbors. We sacrifice for one another. We are Vegas Strong.

The Importance of Play

The Importance of Play

My birthday was October 3rd, 2 days after the mass shooting in my hometown. My husband surprised me with 4 tickets to “The Little Mermaid” at the Smith Center for our family. As we prepared to go, I found myself feeling guilty for being excited. How could I be celebrating when our community was facing such a devastating crisis? We went, had a great time, but I took no pictures and posted no updates of our celebration on Facebook.  I felt conflicted.

As I settled into my seat, I looked around at the crowd. Were they grieving too? How are they reconciling what happened just two days ago? The play began and I couldn’t help but laugh at the man who so artfully played Scuttle. I realized that play is important ESPECIALLY at a time like this. When something traumatic happens, we tend to shut down. Play and laughter can be a way to plug back in. Start to feel again. It is an important part of recovery. Giving ourselves permission to play can be a brave step towards reentering life anew, changed. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel sad. We can feel seemingly conflicting feelings at the same time.

I cannot begin to know what grieving people need as everyone’s journey is different and there are no timelines for grief. But, softening into joy and laughter helped me. So, here’s a picture of my son and I enjoying The Little Mermaid. Happy Birthday to me.