Most of us have never lived through a tragedy that’s comparable to the Aurora theater shooting that took place in July of 2012. The catastrophe claimed twelve lives; fifty-eight were injured but lucky enough to survive. These survivors exhibited a bravery that most of us couldn’t hope to muster that fateful night not to mention, the courage they demonstrate each day as they live with the memories and the pain of those we lost. All can likely agree, though, that the memories of the incident shouldn’t debilitate the survivors and witnesses for the rest of their lives; instead, they should channel their strength into moving on and making something better of their lives. And that’s exactly what many of the survivors are doing.
Take, for example, Zack Golditch. Zack always dreamed of playing college football as a kid and is a defensive lineman on his high school’s football team, but this dream was almost taken away from him that fateful night when he took a bullet to his neck during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. Not many high school students can say they’ve had a similar experience, but Golditch isn’t one to let the negative define him. According to his athletic director, he “didn’t miss a rep, didn’t miss a practice,” and his attitude has paid off. He’s just enrolled at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and will be playing for their football team come fall.
Or another of the Aurora shooting victims, Caleb Medley, a 23-year-old who was injured by gunfire to his head and was hospitalized for several months after the incident, in a medically induced coma and having lost an eye. His uninjured wife, Katie, gave birth to their beautiful baby boy, Hugo, a mere five days after the horrendous attack. Now that baby Hugo is seven months old, Caleb has finally made enough progress to be able to return home to his family and build their new lives together.
Marcus Kizzar and his wife, Daybra, are prime examples “moving on,” as well. Despite his military history, the images and memories of the incident were difficult for Kizzar to reconcile especially considering Daybra had to experience them as well. It will be difficult to overcome, but he says he’s “on the way to good;” he’s now in school studying to become a personal trainer and has re-enlisted in the army reserves, refusing to allow the past to get in the way of the future.