I’ve been reading stories coming out of the tragedy in Orlando over the past few days, sick to my stomach from one headline to the next.  What does it say about the state of our country that when you turn on the news and you see that there is another mass shooting and all you can do is say, “again?”  I’m not going to get political with this post, because the comments I’ve seen back and forth on Facebook and on news articles makes me burn with rage of a fire of a thousand suns, but honestly, something has got to give.  I can’t believe I’m raising a child in a world where mass shootings are basically the norm, and all anyone can do is fight about it without figuring out a plan on how to MAKE THINGS BETTER.  What a fucking joke.

The reason for this post, however, is a story that I came across this morning.  Brenda Lee Marquez McCool was 49 years old, a native of Brooklyn, New York, mother to 11 and two-time cancer survivor.  She went to gay clubs with her son Isaiah Henderson regularly, because she loved him and supported him as a gay man and wanted to spend time with him in a place that made him feel safe and welcomed.  When that horrific person went into a safe, fun place and began shooting, Brenda told her son to get down and stepped in front of him.  She was shot and killed.  Her son Isaiah survived the horrific attack.  That right there is a true testament to a mother’s love.  She gave her life for her son in a situation that should never have occurred.

I don’t really have a huge point to this post, but I just think that someone like Brenda Lee Marquez McCool should be remembered for her final act in life.  She went out for a night of fun with her son, and she ended her life protecting him from harm’s way.  None of those 49 people should have died the way they did.  America may be a mess, but I don’t want to fall into a hopeless despair.  In the words of the great Lin-Manuel Miranda, “And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.”

Let’s just stop hating each other, alright?

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