Monday, February 28, 2011

While the snow was falling

Two college students died this weekend, apparently after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. The events were unrelated, except by the fact that they occurred within a day of one another in an upstate college town that was being blanketed by snow. One student was a sophomore at Cornell, a young man, 19,  from Brooklyn who was found "unresponsive" on the couch of his frat house on Friday morning. The other was a freshman at Ithaca College, a young lady, 17,  from Spencer, New York, who was found "unresponsive" lying on the snow outside an off campus house on Saturday afternoon. No foul play is suspected. It is surmised that in the students had had too much to drink and passed out, and no one noticed them quietly slipping away.

While these young people lay dying in the town where my son attends college, my boy was away competing in the pentathlon at States, equalling his personal record in three events (high jump, shot put and hurdles), smashing his previous record in the 1,000 meters by seven seconds (huge), and doing abysmally in long jump, his weakest event, which dropped him to seventh place, still not bad overall.

I wondered if he knew either of the students, as he has friends on both campuses. He said he did not, and in fact did not even know about the deaths until the track team returned to campus late last night. I am glad he is on the track team, because on weekends when there are meets, the team observes strict instructions not to consume any alcohol or otherwise compromise their conditioning. I pray that my son's desire to compete and improve in a physical endeavor will limit his involvement in drinking and such.

Do I even want to post about this? Not really. But it is all I have been able to think about. What those children's parents must be feeling tonight stalks and haunts me.


  1. so sad. when i read about such events, i find myself sending up silent prayers for the parents, especially the mothers. i cannot imagine the pain of having a beloved child leave you in such a way.

  2. We do our best and then send them out to the world, knowing full well that one mistake, one tiny mistake, can be profoundly wrong.
    You not only did your best, Mama, you did THE best.

  3. I did not hear of these deaths until I read your post. The children are at peace with our God but the heart breaks for the parents. Holy Mother is Heaven, comfort these broken hearted and grief stricken parents in their time of need.

  4. chris, i know what you mean. maybe they hear your whispered prayers. i am whispering them, too.

    Ms. Moon, we do our best. that is all we can do, but still. but still.

    Kathleen, yes. I pray for their comfort, too. It seems like such an impossible thing, but it is all i can do.