Today was brutally cold in New York City; the kind of winds that made your face hurt. After missing trains and getting flummoxed in Brooklyn, I finally got the Lulubeans to Grand Central, where she watched the laser show on the ceiling – then we went to Rockefeller Center to see the big tree over the ice skating rink.
Spending the day with my daughter is such a wonderful thing, and it made the following news that much harder to fathom: Lillian Chason, a freshman at UNC from Barrington, RI, died today of the H1N1 virus.
The wonderful Anne from the comments section had sent me occasional updates (as she’s our Rhode Island delegate) and like most people, I’d assumed Lilian was recovering, but if you go to her heartbreaking Facebook group, the dispatches from her father continued to get worse and worse. The crew at UNC Hospital did everything they could.
I know good people die every day, but Lillian was… sorta one of us, you know? Look through the pictures, and you’ll see yourself back at the dorm, or posing with friends on a porch in mid-summer. I can’t imagine being her dad, reporting the little victories and ultimate descent, and then I saw this picture:
And I recognized it instantly as the Tuileries garden in Paris opposite the Louvre, where I took this picture with Lucy, Tessa and Seth in 2006:
All we can do is offer the Chason family our sincerest sadness over their daughter, and in return, they offer us overwhelming perspective, and an opportunity to hold our kids as tightly as we can during the bleak and the chill wind.