The lacy embellishment on Teche Bergeron’s favorite denim shirt might seem like nothing more than a fashionable flourish. But it is so much more.
Carefully positioned and lovingly hand-stitched by her mother, the delicate floral detailing sits just above her left hip, where she was hit by shrapnel Oct. 1 at the Route 91 Harvest festival. Petals and leaves cover the bloodstains that Bergeron tried so many times to wash away. It’s become so much more than a simple piece of clothing. She reaches for it often, particularly in moments of stress or doubt. The soft fabric brings comfort, reminding her how hard it was to run that night, and how she managed to flee despite her panic and fear. “The shirt,” she said, “is like an outside symbol of the strength that I’ve gained.”