Three days ago I woke up to find that one of my dogs had been sick during the night. Gee, what a way to start my day. Then I turned on the TV and half listened to the news as I began to clean up after my little dog. Here we go again….another shooting. I wondered where this one happened. My head snapped up and my heart sank when I heard the name “Aurora”. I held my breath. After all, there were a lot of towns named Aurora across the country. And then I realized that once again, a horrible mass shooting took place in my own back yard. How could this even be possible?
My home state is famous for it’s beautiful mountains, big snowfalls and endless sunshine. Colorado is also known for it’s fabulous skiing, hiking and biking, as well as other multiple outdoor activities. We Coloradans have a reputation for our healthy lifestyle and our rabid passion for our football team. Unfortunately, we are also known for one of the worst school shootings in history. And now for the nightmare in the movie theater.
The magnitude of what happened in Aurora is too devastating to even discuss or consider at this time. Yesterday I saw a headline that proclaimed “Aurora residents are still reeling.” Well, duh. Forgive me for my sarcasm, but they will be reeling for a long time. We all will. Long after the media is gone and the victims are laid to rest, the survivors, families and friends will struggle through indescribable pain as they somehow try to put their lives back together.
We will hear a lot about the details of the shooting in Aurora over the next several weeks, months and years. There will be a lot of analysis, speculation, accusations, posturing and politicising etc. But now is not the time or the place for such discussion.
Colorado is a beautiful place; it has heart and spirit like no place else I have ever seen. I am proud to call it home, and proud to be a part of it’s history and community. The people who live here are strong beyond belief. We will find a way to stay strong and support the survivors as best we can. I humbly ask that you keep a little bit of Colorado in your heart over the next few months, to help us find our way as we cope with another painful tragedy. Because in spite of the hell that was unleashed on us this weekend, Colorado is still God’s country, and it is still Heaven on Earth. See for yourself.
Cheryl Ilov, PT GCFP