This morning I woke up and found out about the deaths in Colorado, at a theatre, showing the Dark Knight movie. Initial reports say twelve are dead and somewhere between 38 and 50 are injured, including a 3 month old and 6 year old. My blog is usually very upbeat and fun, and I generally avoid commenting on social issues or politics. But this morning, my heart is heavy with the unnecessary loss of more innocent people.
Last Saturday, a shooting in Toronto at a youth picnic grabbed my attention, as well as the worlds. The Danzig shooting hit more close to home as family lives very near there and my good friend works in the neighbourhood with youth. Multiple people were injured there (initial reports stated 28) and two died. An infant (under three) was injured by a bullet wound.
For three consecutive nights after that shooting, there was more gun violence in Toronto.
And of course, a month ago, we had the Eaton Centre tragedy in Toronto where a gunman opened fire in a full food court.
I’m not here to talk about the benefits/negatives of gun control or what should be done about gang violence or the implications of lack of support for those with mental health disorders because to me that isn’t what this is all about.
It is about the loss of innocent lives, the continuous loss. Of children and adults who had dreams and went to a mall/movie theatre/picnic with no intention of violence, just another ordinary day.
The story that has grabbed the most attention to me and the one that has hit me the hardest is that of blogger Jessica Redfield (she wrote under a pseudonym).
If you go to her blog, A Run On Of Thoughts, you see Jessica’s post about “Late Night Thoughts On The Eaton Centre Shooting,” because she was there. She witnessed people who were being carried out on stretchers, she was in the food court three minutes before a gunman opened fire. And last night, Jessica passed away in the Colorado shooting at a theatre. Her last tweet was, very simply, “THE MOVIE DOESN’T START FOR TWENTY MINUTES”
The blog post gave me chills.
“I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath.”
So this is what I wanted to bring to your attention today. None of us know where or when our lives are going to come to an end. When or where or how we will live our last day, what our last sight will be, what we will last hear. Remember, in the chaos of every day that we live, to stop and appreciate what you have, to stop and be thankful, to stop and admire, to listen.
Take the opportunities you have and live them fully. Breathe deeply. Today I will remember those whose lives were cut short because they went to the mall, or a picnic, or a movie theatre, and were in the wrong place at the wrong time and I will choose to live my life out, every individual moment, with passion.
I hope you will do the same.
Hug your family and friends a little bit tighter today, remember to say I love you, never go to bed angry, and as cliche as it is and as much as I never used to live by it or believe it, live each day as though it was your last.