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I used to be in that same Virginia Tech classroom
by Mary Foley

I just got off the phone with my Mom. We were sharing our great sadness about the loss at Virginia Tech.

You see, as a 1988 Virginia Tech engineering graduate, this tragedy hit much too close to home for both me and my parents.

I used to walk across the enormous green 'drill field' with friends from my dorm to Norris Hall where I took some of my toughest engineering classes.

Sometimes I woke up wondering if my homework was right and worrying how I was going to do on the next test. I never woke up worrying about being hurt, or killed, in class.

And yet that was the reality yesterday for 32 victims of this senseless massacre.

I can't even imagine how I would have felt if this happened while I was at VA Tech or how my parents would have felt knowing I could have been sitting in those classrooms.

I can't imagine wondering if my friends who lived in the same dorm of the shooting were dead or alive. I just can't imagine.

We offer up prayers to the families. We sense their heartache, yet can we never really know their pain.

Evil exists in a very real form.

What can we do?

Could this tragedy have been prevented with more detectors? More security? More guns?

I don't think that's the answer.

What we can do, all of us, is live. Live with our whole hearts and souls. Live like we mean it every single day.

Ironically, after almost 20 years, I'll be speaking at a VA Tech alumni conference for women this June. I was so looking forward to this opportunity as a way to circle back to the college and community that gave me so much.

I still am, though now my message of bodaciously mustering the courage to truly live will have a new reference that I frankly wish it didn't.

Today, if you know of someone hurting, reach out and offer some words of encouragement, a listening ear, or some practical help. If you're the one hurting, ask for help and receive it graciously.

May we help each other to simply LIVE!

With great sadness,


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