The recent and bloody Las Vegas shooting by a lone gunman not only put an abrupt ending to the Route 91 music festival—it marked the final moments for some of the audience’s most beloved and cherished individuals. With 58 people killed and over 500 injured, it was hard for anyone to wrap their heads around the sudden tragic turn of events.[like_button]
There have been several tear-jerking and heartbreaking accounts of survivors, heroes, and great losses during the condemned shooting. Among these painful stories is one that was supposed to have been a bigger step to a lifetime of happiness. The California-based couple, Derek Miller, and Andrea Castilla were both present during the musical event when gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd.
Castilla had always been a fan of country music, and so she thought it would be a brilliant idea to celebrate her 28th birthday by attending the said event. She took a trip to Vegas with her boyfriend, Miller, along with her siblings. Unbeknownst to Castilla, her boyfriend had been prepping for a big and wonderful surprise for her that night. He had been planning to propose to her, that he decided her birthday would be the best timing to ask her hand in marriage.
Unfortunately, his opportunity to get on his knees and put the ring on her finger never came. Castilla was shot right in the head and was pronounced dead the following morning at the hospital. Despite Miller and Castilla’s efforts to save her, it did not bear great results for them.
Castilla worked as a make-up artist, a passion she discovered after her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Ever since she learned of her mom’s terminal illness, it had been her life’s mission to help patients feel more empowered and beautiful. “She wanted to make everybody look beautiful and feel beautiful…that was the last thing she told me, actually.” Said Adam, Castilla’s brother. Among other things and activities that Castilla loved include green tea, living a healthy lifestyle, and hiking.
When asked to describe the kind of relationship that Castilla had with her boyfriend, her siblings shared that the two were truly happy with one another, that they had dreams of starting a family of their own shortly after they get married. Athena, one of Andrea’s sisters, said in an interview that Miller had talked to them earlier about his proposal. On the other hand, Adam recalled how his sister and Miller shared promise rings, along with how they would often talk passionately about getting married.
A very important life lesson can be learned from this tragic outcome: We need to seize every waking moment we have and use it to show just how much we love our family, friends, and significant others. A simple hug, a reassuring touch, a kiss, an abundance of some kind and loving words—we shouldn’t hold back on these because it is what connects us to those we hold dearest. Moreover, it sure doesn’t hurt to always go the extra mile for the people we care about most, right?
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