Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Broken hearts February 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:58 AM
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A dorm at NDSU, photographed during my campus visit last Friday.

FOUR YOUNG WOMEN die in a traffic accident along a snowy stretch of Interstate 94 in central Minnesota on Monday afternoon.

The news breaks your heart. How can it not?

Early Tuesday morning I published a post about a recent visit to the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo, the destination for these women returning after a long holiday weekend.

I knew of the accident when I published the post. But I did not know then the names of the victims or their status as NDSU freshmen.

Jordan Playle, Danielle Renninger, Lauren Peterson and Megan Sample—three of them roommates—all from the Twin Cities metro area, are gone.

Students and staff on the campus I walked just days ago grieve.

Parents and siblings and other family members mourn.

Friends and high school classmates face the very real and tough reality of death.

And those of us parents who have sent our children off to college think about how many times we’ve hugged our kids goodbye, waved to them as they drove away and expected them to arrive, without incident, back at their dorms or apartments.

It is the kind of day when you want to circle your family close around you, wrap them in your arms and tell them how very much you love them.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling