Today, something horrific happened in my hometown.
Every year, thousands of people flock to the Reno Air Races to marvel at the classic and modern planes race thousands of feet above them. While I never attended, most Reno-ites did as it was a local favorite. However, this year’s air race was different.
I was sitting in my cube at work when I received a text message from my mom about the second tragedy that Northern Nevada has suffered in a week. First, it was a mass shooting at an IHOP in Carson City, and now, a P-51 had spiraled out of control at the air race, killing an unknown amount of people and injuring at least 50. No, no, no, this couldn’t be happening.
I quickly jumped online and found a YouTube video of the crash that pummeled directly into the box seats of the show. My stomach sank. I called Chicken Face, I called my mom, and I IM’d my boss a link to the coverage, not sure if she would recognize the impact that it had. Soon after that, we noticed that the tragedy was being displayed on CNN. Oh no – national news – this can’t be good.
For some reason, I replayed the video two or three times, watching in disbelief. The news reports began quoting people, comparing the carnage to that of Vietnam, with body parts scattered throughout the tarmac.
Although I was sitting in my San Francisco cube, I couldn’t help but to feel my hometown heart strings ache. You see, although Reno is a city of over 200k people, it still feels as intimate as Main Street, USA. When a tragedy strikes, it hits us all…hard.
From that moment and through the entire night, I’ve been thinking about how the people involved in this disaster, or what the news is calling a mass casualty, might be my family, my friends, people I know, people I went to Reno High with, people who shopped at Meadowood Mall, people who know what Port of Subs is, people who can get down at the Peppermill, or people who “Back the Pack.” My gut sank some even more.
What could I do to help them? At that moment I didn’t think there was anything. But as I sit here on Bart, fresh off the heels of a belated birthday celebration with some of my favorite people, I realized there was something I could do to help. I could write.
I could write to ease my nerves and my mind.
I could write to just let it all out.
I could write to tell everyone who has ever had a passion, keep after it and live for it.
I could write to tell you that life is too short to not do what you love doing.
I could write to tell Chicken Face, Lola, my mom, my dad, my sisters, my family, my friends that I love each and every one of you.
I could write to tell anyone who is scared, nervous or confused about what the future may bring to just keep on keepin’ on. Wherever we’re going, we’ll get there.
I could write to remind you, anyone, everyone, and myself, to live every single moment of every single day like you’ve just won an Olympic marathon.
Then, as I sat on BART writing this, something amazing happened…
The sky sparkled as the train’s doors seemed to stay open longer than usual and the train car went quiet. Together we stared as if it was a rare moment of silence, commemorating those that were lost and reaffirming these feelings. I dedicate that moment to Reno.
I don’t usually use my blog for posts like these, but today was a reminder at just how precious every day is. My heart, love, thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Reno.
And most of all…happy running.