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Make it Live for 32.

15 Apr

It’s been five years, and I wish I knew what to say. I want to say something deep and meaningful and poetic. But I’m not good at that, so I will just write something that is true.

Five years ago, 32 members of the Virginia Tech community were killed. And they are missed every day.

There are two phrases that everyone who was part of the VT community on April 16, 2007 has had their lives shaped by.

We will prevail.

Live for 32.

The first kept us going in the days that followed April 16. The second keeps our lives moving now.

Because what people often forget, what they don’t understand –it’s the living that is the hard part. The getting by, the getting through, the getting over things.

No one ever wants to know about the living. About what happened in the days and months and years after. I always get asked about the dying pieces. Where were you when it happened, was it nearby, did you know anyone, what was it like.

In class, next building over, yes, and it was the worst day of my entire life.

And even though it’s been five years, it hasn’t gone away. It’s there in the times I’m scared that I might miss something really memorable, so I try to do everything. I feel it when I know that I can’t do everything, and when I know that I’m going to miss something. It screams loudly at me when the realization that tomorrow is not guaranteed sets in. It’s there in the moments where I freak out. And it’s there when I find myself becoming angry at stop lights for taking too long to change, because life is short, and that red light is keeping me from the people who I love.

Like I said, sometimes it’s the living that is the hard part.

But live for 32 is not sadness, it is celebration. And it’s there when I cross things off my bucket list. It’s in the back of my mind when I play games with my niece. It cheers me on when I am in impossibly tough situations, and it is the finish line we all race towards. It has been there as I have fallen in love, out of love, and everything in between.

Live for 32 is about living life as much as you can. Because there are 32 people with a view from heaven that don’t have that luxury any longer.

I know today is Monday. And no one likes Mondays. But if you do only one thing today, make it something amazing, memorable, and impactful. Make it Live for 32.

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