The pain has faded, but don't be fooled into thinking that it is gone. I was reminded of that as I walked to school on a cold April morning last week. The shiver that went up my spine was caused by more than the temperature. And even if I could suppress all of my feelings about it, the media instantly brings me back to those terrifying days with their gun control pitches and package pieces on the news magazine shows. It will probably be even more prevalent this year because it is the 10th anniversary of Columbine this week as well.
So where does that leave us...2 years later...another year older, wiser, better equipped? Well, in some ways. However, my heart still skips a beat when I hear a siren, especially when I'm on campus. I also have moments, like one last week, when the topic comes up unexpectedly and I'm not sure exactly how to handle it. But alas, those situations come less often now than they did before.
I still visit the memorial to pay my respects when I'm in Blacksburg and will continue to do so for many years to come. My eyes still fill with tears as I touch the Hokie stones and flash to that day. The maroon and orange still fill me with pride but also with a sense of longing.
Time does heal, but scares almost never fade. It's like a dull ache you feel at certain moments when the weather's changing. I feel the pain at times when I least expect it and even when I'm most prepared. However, this year is more hopeful than painful, so I look to future for guidance.
Like last year, I will highlight a few of my important events/achievements. Though they are far from the level of the first year, it's still important to recognize I'm lucky to be here and I still feel accomplished. Here's just a few:
- On track to finish my coursework...my last classes ever
- Attended the historic Presidential Inauguration
- Visited a few new places: New Orleans, Pittsburgh, the Florida Keys, Chicago
- Presented a few more papers at conference
- Added 2 more classes to my teaching repertoire
- Watched two good friends get married
One of the greatest events of this year will be watching my twin sisters walk across the stage at their college graduation next month.
Thank you to all of you who've sent messages of support.
Here is information about how Virginia Tech is remembering:
We Remember site
Day of Remembrance
Also, a song I find therapeutic.
Forever Changed VT (Were All Hokies Today) - The Season
And a great representation of Hokie Spirit during those dark hours...