Saying goodbye

Published 5:31 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

When I first visited the Farmville area more than two years ago, it was to interview for a staff writer/photographer position for Farmville Newsmedia. I remember having some free time before the interview, and parking at the Barbara Rose Johns Farmville-Prince Edward Library in view of Wilck’s Lake.

Looking at the water, I remembered feeling a lot of things: nervous about the prospect of moving from my home in Fredericksburg and a sense of both uncertainty and excitement about the future.

I feel a lot of things leaving my position as a staff writer and photographer with The Gazette as well. My last day is Friday.

I’ve gotten to know a lot of amazing people. I have been able to witness and report on a lot of changes that have taken place in Charlotte County. I was able to see, after the indescribable destruction and loss of lives that occurred after the hurricanes of last fall, how people moved together to help each other and help their communities.

After my first day on April 17, 2017, I’ve received a lot of support and guidance from everyone at The Gazette. Their understanding and support as I transition to a new career field has been wonderful as well.

I think my resounding emotion in typing this out is inadequacy. Words aren’t adequate to describe what the past two years have meant, what it’s meant to live in a community where I wasn’t born but have grown to care deeply about. A community where, every single day, there are people working to make the lives around them better. Where people are engaged to what is happening in their communities. They speak with their board of supervisors members and raise money for their loved ones who have lost homes in storms or fires.

This area is filled with people who see needs, who see injustices and move to counter them.

To everyone who lives, works and serves to make their communities more just, more fulfilling, more inclusive, more fun, who seek to provide food, entertainment, job opportunities, education and healthcare for all people, keep doing this.

I leave a remarkable team of reporters, community leaders and coworkers who continually inspire me with their dedication, attention to detail and pure talent.

I plan to be in the area for the time being and am excited to follow the example that those in the Heart of Virginia have set, to try to use my time and abilities to help those around me.

Emily Hollingsworth was a staff reporter for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Emily.Hollingsworth@ TheCharlotteGazette. com.