Tragically my Cru staff team woke up to this news on campus: Bowling Green, OH – Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity is mourning the devastating loss of our Sisters, Rebekah Blakkolb, Christina Goyett and Sarah Hammond, who were members of The Beta Mu Chapter at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. The women were involved in a fatal automobile accident in the early hours of March 2. Sisters, Angelica Mormile and Kayla Somoles, also Beta Mu Chapter members, were passengers in the car and were critically injured.
The women were on their way to the airport for a Spring Break trip this week. Devastating.
Since I work with Greeks on campus I felt compelled to go over to the house. I was pretty sure I didn't know any Alpha Xi Delta's any more (many had graduated since last being in their chapter for a workshop I had done) but I wanted to extend my heartfelt sympathy on behalf of the Cru Staff Team as well as myself and my friend and coworker who works with Greeks as well.
We wanted to bring flowers....and I felt like I should also bring my children. Robby and Olive are sweet, and could be sources of light and hope, and just a break by letting the new life settle in their house. I hoped it was the right decision.
Before we left, I told Robby that we were going to bring some pink roses (their sorority flower) to some college girls on campus that were sad.
R: Why are they sad?
Me: Because their friends were in a car accident.
R: In a car accident?
Me: Yes, babe....(do I tell him?)..... and they died.
R: (long pause) It's not supposed to be that way.
Me: You are absolutely right, sweets. It's not supposed to be that way.
Wow. I don't know where he got that line, but it was spot on. His theology is what we believe; it is not supposed to be this way. I asked him if he would draw them some flowers on a card and I then wrote our conversation above inside it. Beautiful.
We walked in and it was just jammed full....full of tear stained beautiful faces, parents, the news, food being delivered...a lot of hustle and bustle, but in a tip toe, hushed kind of way.
Several girls came to greet us in the hallway and I actually recognized many of them. Robby was so sweet. And then I took out sweet Olive from her car seat. It was a moment of beauty. Moms and the college women flocked, oohed, ahhhed.....Olive just ate 'em up. She smiled, kicked, cooed, smiled some more - completely lit up the entire room. The entire house. It was amazing.
Robby was a champion as his sister stole the show - he was very aware of the atmosphere and was sweet and silent.
We were just there for a matter of minutes, but their advisor thanked me, parents thanked me, women thanked me, so many were grateful for the life we brought in my children. The healing that they ushered in was so simple. So awesome.
There is such work to be done on this campus with healing, especially in the Greek Community this year. Their have been suicides, deaths, loss. More than this house. I continue to ask how I fit as a mom, and involve my family on my staff team. And God continues to open doors.
I hope to put together a workshop of the Grief Cycle with my counseling friends for the Alpha Xi Delta's. May God's love and peace be with the survivors.
(Robby loves to "nuggle noses" with his sister. She hardly minds the obvious things he does in her face - in fact - she laughs the most at him)