When the Nightmare Comes to Your Backyard

For those of you who may not know, I have lived almost my entire life in central Florida. I was born in Titusville and the Orlando area is my current home.

I've had a hard time sleeping the last couple of nights even though we have a newborn and two other children under age five. Sleep usually comes easy when I can get it.

My heart is broken for my city.

My heart is broken for all of the victims and their families and friends.

My heart is broken for the LGBTQ community.

My heart is broken for my children. I have had a hard time looking into their eyes because I am ashamed. They have no idea what is going on, but I am devastated because I can't promise them that things are going to get better and not worse.

Even though I can't sleep, I am tired.

I am tired of the thoughts and prayers of elected officials.

I am tired of the same arguments about guns that result in complete inaction.

I am tired of being told that there is no solution other than more fear, more hate, and more guns.

I am also angry.

I am angry at the murderers.

I am angry at those who embolden murderers and fan the flames of hatred with ignorant speech and bigoted action.

I am angry at myself for not speaking out more.

Tomorrow, I hope we can do better. Those of us who are lucky enough to see another day can't give up. No matter how heartbroken, tired, and angry we are, we have to keep trying to spread love and create change.