Orlando On Parade

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

We begin this week in June in the aftermath of tragedy. Which, thankfully, has motivated a backlash of kindness. Let’s reflect for the moment. It is clear to us that an oily darkness is dimming our pockets of light. Attacking spaces where all kinds of people like to congregate for the sole purpose of feeling happy. Nothing wrong with that. I mean wanting to be happy. Now at the epicenter for family fun…the other OC(There are nine Orange counties in the US.)lies Orlando and it is loaded with more than a dozen theme parks, most notably Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. It is also the town where 49 people died in the deadliest mass murder in US history. And set off a tidal wave of bad luck.

Days later, Orlando took a double-whammy when a 2-year-old boy – dragged into a man-made lagoon by an alligator – drowns on one of Orlando’s Disney properties. (It was reported that the toddler was wading in the waters along the shore around 9pm, while guests of the hotel watched a movie nearby. Whereas people have been known to feed the gators along its shores, the hotel employees recommended putting up fences to keep them off the property.) As I remember – polar bears live in Alaska and alligators live in Florida.

Not observing the No Swimming signs is understandable in the case of the kid. He was only 2. Learning how to read was far off in his future. Parents can read, however. Even in the dusk. I’ve asked myself – Is there a lesson we can learn here? Before I get my answer, the oily darkness strikes again.

This time outside a club in…you guessed it…Orlando. Feeling the after-glow of a good performance, Christina Grimme – the 22-year old singer and The Voice alumni – was shot, signing autographs, during a Meet-and-Greet. She died later. Has someone lite three cigarettes with one match here?

A gentle breeze of kindness rolls in, breaking through the heaviness. Three things happen next.

A divided nation mourns in unity. Putting aside its prejudices.

A world-famous musician and actor (Adam Levine of The Voice and Maroon 5 family)speaks his sorrow publicly over Grimme’s passing. Meanwhile, he reaches out to console her grieving mother – quietly    off-camera. Allowing a pocket for light to seep out. He also pays for the funeral services. Allowing a gentle breeze of kindness to roll on in. Meanwhile, Christina’s manager Brian Teefey sets up a GoFundMe page to help with the family’s expenses. Three days later, the fund had more than $171,800 in donations.

As for the little boy whose body was found in the shallow waters where he was attacked, nothing can replace the loss of a child, not even a large settlement. Disney is trying to move forward too, putting up the appropriate warning signs and eradicating as many of the reptiles as they can as the guilty one is still at large. It’s going to get ugly. Gators have lived on earth for about 37 million years here. They like to vacation in the lagoon.

A gentle breeze rolls in, releasing kindness. Because of outpouring of condolences from around the world, the Nebraska family have been touched by love universally and are grateful.

As for me, I like to ease myself of second-hand pain by cranking up the music and swaying like a gentle breeze. Sing with me. Maroon 5 is on the radio.

Stay tuned…



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