Barely six months ago I
sat down and wrote a post about Jay’s life and passing. As with so
many things, I never imagined we would find ourselves here again so
soon. Grief on the tips of our tongues, as those we support and love
live through one of the hardest of times there can be; the loss of a
parent. Then as now, I feel there is little we can say with any true
knowledge, save our experiences from the fandom side. A few words are
all I can offer, framed by my own experience of loss.
Robin Twist. A charming
man with a delightful name, always ready with a large smile and a
quick joke, not least at Harry’s expense. I remember him from the
earliest days of The X Factor, at Harry’s side with the rest
of his family cheering him on, and speaking of the new family Harry
had found in the boys. Always supportive, always ready with a warm
hug, always so proud of the boy who had left home to audition at
sixteen, and who never came back home.
It’s a measure of the
man he was that he had Harry be best man at his wedding to Anne, and
that Harry was so supportive of their relationship. As a child of two
families where both parents remarried, I know how hard it can be to
make all those new relationships work, and it’s credit to all
involved that they made it seem so seamless and effortless, and that love
seemed to be the centre of it all. I’m also lucky enough to have step
parents that just became parents; a safe place and a warm hug
whenever they are needed. I know that’s not always the case with
everyone when melding families, and I’m so glad for them all (from
all we were privileged to see), that Harry and Gemma seemed to have that kind of
relationship with Robin. A Dad, in all the ways that mattered.
Robin always struck me
as someone it would be fun to meet for a quiet pint which would then
turn into a raucous session, underlined with his quick wit and warm
heart. A presence like a heartbeat, life circulating around him.
These are things I’ll never know to be true, but I like to hope that
I can truly say that
Robin is woven like a bright thread into the history of the 1D fandom
family, there from the get go, always so supportive and proud, even
as recently as a few weeks ago, clad in Harry’s bright silver boots
and his hat at his London gig, there with a joke and a laugh with fans. There are so
many memories he’ll be part of, a hug and a smile, and a bit of
banter. He had a sparkle in his eyes and it always caught the light.
Robin, I’m so, so glad
you got to see Harry perform his new songs live (duck noise and all).
I will never, ever hear Woman without thinking of you. You
made me and so many others laugh so very much, with your ability to
keep Harry’s feet on the ground in the funniest of ways. And that is
a glorious thing.
To Anne, Amy, Mike,
Gemma and Harry, and all his family and friends now living with the
loss of such a warm and vibrant presence, I can only say hold close
to those memories and to that laughter, to help you through the days when
you can no longer find a smile. The days will seem endless, and they
will not be easy. But there will, I hope for you, come a time when there are more
smiles than tears. When those very stories will make you laugh
instead of cry. I hope you reach those days when you are ready, and
can hold steady to one another until they come to pass. I hope that
you all get the quiet and space you need in these coming days and
weeks, and that some day far from now you find one another again, in
those places you’ve never been.
A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas casino unleashed a hail of bullets on an outdoor country music festival below, killing at least 50 people as tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives, officials said Monday. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
More than 400 other victims were taken to the hospital, authorities said.
SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room and found he had killed himself, authorities said. He had as many as 10 guns with him, including rifles, they said.
There was no immediate word on the motive for the bloodbath.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said authorities believe it was a “lone wolf” attack. And the U.S. Homeland Security Department said there was no “specific credible threat” involving other public venues in the U.S.
Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in front of a crowd of more than 22,000 when the gunman opened fire from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across the street.
The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. (AP)
Photo credits: David Becker/Getty Images (4), John Locher/AP (2), Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, Paul Buck/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock, Ronda Churchill/AP,