When I opened my computer yesterday morning, it was past midnight in the US.
I logged onto Facebook and right there on the small side bar, I saw the words "shooting in Las Vegas." My finger made its way to the link, and then my eyes made their way down the article.
It was one of the early reports, and not much was known other than the basic facts - and some numbers.
Shooting in Las Vegas. Where my daughter lives.
She did not pick up the phone when I called the first time, nor the next many times.
I hung on to a text she had sent me several hours before telling me that she was going to the lake. I hung on to a text from her brother telling me that she would never go see this particular concert.
More than anything, I hung on to a feeling in my body that said that if she was hurt, I would know it.
I got dressed, I dialed her number, I went hiking in the hills, I dialed her number. I had my feet in Tuscany and my heart floating somewhere else.
I hung on to a feeling in my body that said that if she was hurt, I would know it.
At 4 pm, I got a text from her. She was camping at the lake. She did not have her phone with her. She had just awakened.
I asked if I could please see her face for a minute. She immediately got on FaceTime, and I saw her face. Tanned, in nature, and very much alive.
That's when my heart simultaneously exploded in two very distinct directions.
It exploded from having held a possibility at bay for seven long hours, telling myself that "if she was hurt, I would know it." At the very same time, my heart exploded because I was aware that this moment when I could see my girl, healthy and alive was not going to be granted to all parents, siblings, friends, today.
The rest of the evening, the night and today have felt like a haze. A fog made of thick layers of gratitude and bereavement. And of wondering ... "what the heck is going on?" Followed by so much awe and love for the people who showed up at the very best we can ever hope to show up for each other.
"Thank You Laura for sharing, for teaching and spreading loving kindness. "
"I think I love you. You bring good things into my life, or remind me of things I love and know, but have let go of."
"Laura, you are so good for me. I laugh and sniffle and get the shivers when I read your essays. Thanks so much for letting all your wonderfulness run around loose."
"Thank you so much for who you are and what you share with the world. Your mere being transforms lives as it has transformed mine. This particular post did to my heart what water does to parched soil."
"Thank you for your gentle words that are packed full of wisdom. I have been struggling with the concept of what words can do to another person when they are negative words. Your words are the flip side of our word power, and shows how delightfully powerful kind words can be. Thank you."
"Once again Laura Lavigne takes you on an adventure of the heart. She has a way of pulling you right in the car with her. Asking you to consider changing a fear to taking thoughtful action. Whether she's teaching a class, leading a retreat or heading for a happiness sprinkling, Laura will invite you to shed old ways of thinking and be completely authentic. Join in!"
"Essentially pure love.
I enjoy how Laura is kind to herself and to us other humans who dance in and out of each other's lives. "
"Don't miss an post!
You can count on Laura for warmth, humor, charm, and a lift to your day and your heart. She inspires me to be braver than I am, and to love the world out loud. She's a gem, and a generous one at that!"
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.