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Redding Native Mourns Loss of Friend in Orlando Shooting

The hardest part about waking up to CNN alerts on your phone is the sinking feeling that you are somehow going to be affected by what is going on.

Sunday morning I awoke to dozens of texts from friends and family around the world; all of them checking on me and my boyfriend.

After catching up on the news, I logged onto Facebook. The first thing I noticed was that almost every one of my friends had posted a status about another friend that was missing after the attack. My heart was completely torn out. Later that evening it was confirmed that my friend was one of the victims.

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado was among the 49 people killed in Orlando Monday. Photo from the Orlando Sentinel.

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado was among the 49 people killed in Orlando Monday. Photo from the Orlando Sentinel.

My friend’s name was Xavier. He was 35.

My friend was a truly beautiful person. I remember dancing in parades with him at Disney World. We had a few really deep and meaningful conversations while on break at work. He loved salsa dancing. He loved his son.

Xavier and son. Photo courtesy of GoFund.

Xavier and son. Photo courtesy of GoFundMe.

He was passionate about relationships and I remember his desire to help others feel cared about.

The world has not only lost a beautiful soul; it has lost an advocate. The world has lost something special in each of the victims.

The shooter did not see all these wonderful things when he decided to take my friend from this world. That right there is the part that really gets me. How dare he? How dare he not have to recognize just how wonderful this human being was? What a coward.

It finally hit me today, while I sit crying at my desk — this coward wanted to instill fear in my community.

I will not let this coward’s actions change me. My boyfriend and I love to travel. We are constantly flying around the world to discover new experiences. It would be so easy for us to give in to fear and stay home. It would be so easy to assume that the world wants to do to us what they did to my sweet friend.

We are going to keep traveling the world, and in doing so; find the best in people. Fear will not win.

All we can do in this world is try to make it better.

Click here for the Orlando Sentinal’s tribute about Xavier

Click here for the GoFund site to cover Xavier’s funeral costs, as well as to raise money for his son’s college fund. 

Danny CanaryFormer Redding resident Danny Canary and his partner live in Texas where he works in the airline industry. They love to travel and spend time with their many pets.

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