These stories come and go in the headlines but the effects on those who directly experience each tragedy are long-lasting.
The story of one man from El Paso shows how people can come together in the wake of such staggering heartbreak.
Antonio Basco lost his wife Margie Reckard in the El Paso shooting after being married for 22 years. When his message inviting “anyone” to her funeral was shared by the Perches Funeral Home in El Paso it quickly went viral.
The message was simple:
“Mr. Antonio Basco was Married for 22yrs to his wife Margie Reckard, He had no other family. He welcomes anyone to attend his Wife’s services.”
There was an outpouring of sympathy for Basco and his tremendous loss from people far and wide. According to NPR more than 1,000 mourners are expected to attend his wife’s funeral on Friday.
This is Antonio Basco.— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) August 13, 2019
His wife of 22 years, Margie, was murdered in El Paso.
Mr. Basco says he has no other family so he’s inviting anyone, who wants to come, to attend his wife’s services in El Paso:
Friday, August 16th
Perches Funeral Home Northeast 4946 Hondo Pass
Strangers also sent flowers.
“Dear Antonio, please know that Margie and you are in the thoughts and prayers of many today, even those who don’t know you. May you find comfort in her memory and love. ~ Gigi”— Gigi Graciette (@GigiGraciette) August 13, 2019
Flowers sent! I can’t take away a stranger’s pain but I can tell them I care. That we care. pic.twitter.com/anwdygwvSW
Others are working together to figure out the best ways to help Mr. Basco, including by sending food and restaurant gift cards.
Dear God, I hate to bring this up. I'm sending Antonio Basco my sincere condolences and a gift card for groceries to help him through this agonizing time.— 🇺🇸Calming Influence 🇺🇸🇸🇪🇮🇸🇫🇷 (@jexter) August 15, 2019
But 46 people were shot. 22 died. Let's please not forget them in our desire to do something, anything, to help.
Beto O’Rourke at the vigil last night with Antonio Basco. He lost his wife in the shooting and has no other family. 😭 pic.twitter.com/CytLott9vp— Schuyler Smith 🛹 (@schuylerannemac) August 15, 2019
According to Buzzfeed News Basco has been sleeping in his car outside the Walmart where his wife was killed since her death.
Antonio Basco has been sleeping in his car next to his wife's cross outside the Walmart in El Paso since she was killed.— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) August 14, 2019
He isn't sure when he'll leave. He has to learn how to live, he said, since his wife was the "strong one" and handled the bills https://t.co/VXq0yJCRI9 pic.twitter.com/yWFjbujoZG
Basco spoke to Buzzfeed from that same Walmart parking lot saying “She was my world” and that when he heard she’d been shot “I felt everything leave me.”
While it can’t undo the tragic losses inflicted by the mass shooting it is inspiring to see the compassion shown by so many. Perches Funeral Home director Harrison Johnson told Buzzfeed: “We have people calling saying they’re flying in from all over—New Mexico, California, Nevada—and asking how to get here. It’s going to be an amazing turnout.”
In fact, according to the funeral home “due to the overwhelming response of the community” Margie Reckard’s funeral service on Friday has been moved to a larger venue to accommodate everyone who will be in attendance.
h/t: BuzzFeed News