Anne Lynam Goddard was happy when her son, Colin, decided to attend college in small town. Blacksburg, Va., was a safe place, she thought. She still feels that way.
“We’re not going to live in fear now,” she told TODAY’s Ann Curry from the hospital where Colin is recovering from gunshot wounds to his shoulder, buttocks and leg.
“There’s risk in life. You’ve got to be able to accept that risk and just keep going on and not live in fear constantly. We’re going to keep moving forward.”
Lynam Goddard speaks from experience. She helps run the Christian Children’s Fund, which deals with security issues for children in 32 countries. She and her family have lived in many countries, including Somalia.
“We were living in Egypt when he applied to go to college,” she said. “I was happy that he chose Virginia Tech that was in a small town, not a big city. I thought this will be a safe place. I think it is a safe place.”
Her husband, Andrew, and daughter, Emma, were with her and Colin as she spoke. All, like Colin, wore orange Virginia Tech shirts.
“This was a very horrible, unfortunate thing that happened,” she said. “But it doesn’t color the whole school. Bad things happen in lots of places. There’s no rhyme or reason for it.”
Her son has already begun the healing process. On Thursday, more than 20 of his friends came to visit.
“We just started cracking jokes right away,” one student told NBC’s Michelle Kosinski.
“We’re his roommates,” said another. “We told him he needs to get home and make us some burnt toast.”
‘Ready to laugh’
They brought him a movie to watch — “Borat.”
“Just to try to get our minds on something else,” a friend explained.
“Just being together is the best medicine for this right now,” another friend said. “That's the only way we'll make it to try to heal each other.”
On Thursday, the Virginia Tech marching band, in full uniform, assembled outside a hospital to serenade their recovering schoolmates inside. The band had lost a member in the killing spree, but now was the time to begin healing, to begin taking Anne Lynam Goddard’s advice to move ahead — without fear.
Her son can’t wait to get out. He chafes at having to use a walker to stand. “He says walkers are for old ladies,” his mother laughed.
Colin is believed to be the last person shot by Cho Seung Hui before turning the gun on himself and ending Monday’s bloodbath that left 32 Virginia Tech students and faculty dead and more than two dozen wounded. He is recovering from his wounds and from surgery to put a steel bar in his leg to help him stand, which he did for the first time Thursday.
Colin said he needs to “return to my friends, return to my daily routine. Try to get it as much back to normal as I can.
“I’m ready to laugh. I’m more than ready in my head to move ahead.”