This past June hubby and I visited the Blue Ridges again. We love those mountains and it’s people and culture or should I say we love the places we have explored so far. One of the things I noticed this time while visiting the backside of Gatlingburg was how often the people said ‘have a blessed day’. It makes me smile.
One morning we ventured to a farmers market and talked with the locals, who can spot a tourist a mile away. The question asked by one of the sellers was ‘where y’all from?’ I responded -Virginia Beach. This poor woman put her hand to chest and declared ‘oh precious I’m so sorry’. Now I was confused (doesn’t take much). I know Virginia Beach is not the best place on Earth but it’s not nearly the worst either. I was actually kind of offended. I proceeded to say, well I like it there. It’s not so bad. The sorrowful woman said, did you know any of the victims? How far was that shooting from y’all? Coming to understanding I assured her that while it was fairly close, I did not know of any of the victims. This compassionate woman followed up with, but it was still tragic to what has happened in your community. If it happened to one, it happened to all. I know it’s hard but we have got to be strong and don’t lose faith. We are praying for y’all. It’s just awful. It could have happened anywhere’.
Now, I was shocked when and where the shooting happened. We can ride our bikes to the courthouse area and back. My family called from allover the U.S. checking on us. For a days we were glued to any news that would help us to understand why this happened. But to go away on vacation and meet someone in another state, in a small town who took the time to console and remind us of how strong and necessary community really is was sobering. Her concern and care blessed me so.
Since returning home to Virginia Beach, I purposefully look people in the eye. I speak, whether others speak back or not. I say have a blessed day. I smile when I pass someone. I hold doors. I talk to cashier’s, servers or anyone really. I volunteer to serve others in my community by mentoring young girls. I seek the small business persons to support. I try to be better each day. I try to understand and grow and give. I am #vbstrong. I am #vbproud.