The stories coming out after the horrendous mass shooting in Uvalde just keep getting worse. Two days before summer break, on the day of end-of-year awards ceremonies, nineteen elementary school children were murdered by an eighteen-year-old in a mass shooting. Two teachers were also murdered. Since the unspeakable happened on Tuesday, any good news story is seized and relished by a grieving American public.
All of the stories about the children and the teachers killed are heartbreaking. The new reality for the families and loved ones left behind is unimaginable for most of us. The small town of Uvalde, where everyone knows everyone else, has come together. The story of Irma Garcia, a 48 year old teacher, wife and mother of four was tragic enough when she was listed as one of the murderer’s victims. Then news came yesterday that her husband suffered a heart attack and died. The couple’s four children were left orphaned by the senseless act of violence.
Irma’s husband, Joe, was seen placing a large vase of roses at the memorial in front of Robb Elementary School on Thursday morning. Not long after returning home, Joe’s nephew, John Martinez, said he “pretty much just fell over.” Martinez said he died after suffering a heart attack. The family said his death was likely brought on by the shock of losing his wife of 24 years. A GoFundMe page had already been started by Irma’s cousin for the family. When Joe’s death was announced, the page was updated with that news. The fundraiser’s goal was put at $10,000. As of Friday morning, the amount raised is over $2M.
“These two will make anyone feel loved no matter what,” he tweeted. “They have the purest hearts ever i love you [so much] tia and tio please be with me every step of the way.”
Martinez wrote on Twitter that his uncle had “passed away due to grief.”
“I truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling,” he said. “…God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy.”
EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, i truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy pic.twitter.com/GlUSOutRVV
— john martinez ❤️🔥 (@fuhknjo) May 26, 2022
Celebrities and other public figures have weighed in on social media, mostly demanding gun control legislation and putting the blame on Republican lawmakers. The same happens after these events. However, in this case, some celebrities are doing more. They are showing compassion and donating money to the fundraiser. Credit where credit is due.
Among those who have been touched by the story include Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland, ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ star Porsha Williams, YouTuber Mona Kattan, writer Maureen Orth and Billy Joel’s daughter, singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel, all have donated more than $2,000 each.
Maureen Orth is the widow of Tim Russert, for those of us old enough to remember when Meet the Press was bearable to watch.
The couple’s four children range in age from 23 to 12 years of age. The oldest, Cristian, is at military boot camp. The couple’s second son, Jose, age 19, attends Texas State University. Two daughters, Lyliana, 16; and Alysandra, 12, live at home.
Yesterday it was reported that Meghan Markle donated food at a community center that was hosting a blood drive. She had a photo op as she laid flowers at a memorial for the shooting victims. She was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and most people didn’t know who she was. I wonder if any of the cameras trained on her at the memorial were from a Netflix camera crew. She and Harry are reportedly doing a reality-style show for the streaming service. Pardon my cynicism but she has no connection to the area, as far as I can tell. Her reputation can use some good publicity.
Blood drive volunteers told the news site that Markle quietly visited the center’s kitchen to drop off two large crates filled with sandwiches, drinks and desserts for blood donors.
“I had no idea who she was. She just was carrying on a conversation like her and I knew each other for years,” volunteer Gloria Contreras told BuzzFeed. “We were just talking about, you know, the situation and what happened what we were doing here.”
A representative for Markle confirmed to several news outlets that the duchess visited Uvalde in a “personal capacity as a mother” to offer her condolences to the community.
"I had no idea who she was. She just was carrying on a conversation like her and I knew each other for years," one volunteer said. https://t.co/bhiM7SZQCp
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 27, 2022
These feel-good stories are much needed after the horrors of the last few days.