We’ve all heard crazy stories about Las Vegas. One lady tried to get cash from a Sprinkles Cupcake “ATM” machine, while there’s a guy in a corner crying, and he’s in a diaper. A stupid sign that reads “Kick me in the nuts” and it only costs $10.00. Friends at a Blackjack table pulling their money together—a lot of money—and when the dealer had 14 and they had 20 they all did a victory dance, only to realize the dealer then flipped over a 7, – 21 dealer wins. Goodbye money.
Outlandish stores of people urinating on the streets, in elevators, and even in fountains. One guy who worked at Caesars Palace saw a guy urinate in the fountain on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd. and Flamingo. No less than five minutes later, eight college students jumped in the fountain splashing, taking pictures, and spitting water at each other. When the Caesars guy told them about the pee in the water, they couldn’t get out fast enough.
And then, there are even sadder stories like the guy who left his wife at the megabucks machine “to cover it” while he used the restroom. The machine hit big, only she hadn’t put in enough money to make it count, and the man ended up in jail for beating up his wife.
Yes, we’ve all heard stories.
Only this time the story is beyond our comprehension. A shooter–a madman–from a high-rise hotel room aims a machine gun killing senselessly those at a concert.
We are all left baffled and grieved.
According to the Chicago Tribune tragic stories have been told about those who died and have left behind loved ones.
It could have been me, we all are thinking.
It could have been someone in my family.
It could have been one of my dearest friends.
And for way too many, it is.
Like Mavis, the mother of Carrie, 34, who worked at Disneyland for 11 years, died while celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday.
Denise, a mom and grandmother, died in the arms of her husband of 32 years.
Sandy, who was a special education teacher of a middle school or Susan from Simi Valley who was an office manager at an elementary school or Angela a college student who had a love for the arts.
Tom’s son said, “He was the best dad.” At 54 he died too soon.
Travis was dancing next to his dad, John, 56, a business owner from Santa Clarita, when John was shot in the lower back. It wasn’t until Travis carried his dad to a car and got him to a hospital that he realized he too had been shot in the arm. Sadly, John didn’t make it. Travis said of his dad, “He was my best friend.”
Who’s your best friend?
What happened was senseless and tragic, none of us can comprehend how someone could do such a thing. There is a lot of hurting today. We feel compassion and grief for those mourning.
What can we do in light of what happened in Las Vegas?
Certainly, we can pray.
And we can treasure our time with loved ones. We can surprise someone with our time. We can forgive someone who we’ve been holding a grudge against. We can say those sweet words we’ve been thinking about saying. We can hold our spouse a little tighter. We can mark up our calendar for family time. We can be kind to all. We can be kind. Choose kindness always, because you’ll never know when it will be the last time that you can.
Lucille Williams is the author of “From Me to We: A Premarital Guide for the Bride- and Groom- to- Be.” Order a copy to day or visit your local bookstore. For regular updates we invite you to subscribe to Lu Says.