I visited Blacksburg this weekend. It was under unfortunate circumstances though. I attended a memorial service for Teresa McDonald. She was my riding instructor my first semester there. But that is the least of it. She was a mentor to so many students throughout the years. The church was bursting at the seams to hold the amount of people that came to celebrate T’s life. It was quite a humbling experience. And it made me think about the ways our lives touch other people.
I missed my Blacksburg family very much. And I saw quite a few of them yesterday. It was wonderful even given the reason we had gathered. And even though my nostalgia was working over time, it wasn’t the same. I had to drive five and a half hours to get home. Most of them had similar drives to attend to before work the next morning. I always think that things don’t change. Sometimes it’s an unpleasant slap in the face when something does change.
Gumby’s closed. The road by Squire’s is now one lane. There’s a Waffle House in the old TCBY. I drove down 460 and watched the exit pass that would have taken me to our townhouse. But other people live there now. I can’t just walk in the door and grumble at Colleen for making cupcakes again (very delicious, and very fattening). And Brittany won’t be there to look disapprovingly at the dishes I left in the sink. Alex isn’t in the next room laughing at old “Whose Line?” episodes. I’m not in college anymore. And that’s okay. That’s how it should be.
My Blacksburg family is all over the world. Most are still in Virginia and Maryland. But there are branches as far away as Europe and Asia. But I know that even though I haven’t seen them in a long time. They are still my family. Memories and experiences don’t go away because there are a couple of hundred miles separating you.
Maybe one day we’ll all get together at Macado’s (Or Hokie House or El Rods or PK’s…) and catch up. More probably we won’t. And that’s fine. We all have lives to live. It’s not practical to drop everything and zoom off the Blacksburg to spend a week living in the past. I’m going to move forward with my life knowing that I have had all of these great experiences with great people. And they have changed my life and myself for the better. VT’s motto is “Invent the Future”. And I intend to invent a future that includes and does justice to the wonderful people from my past.