I find it interesting how Siena College is connected in so many ways to what has happened. I looked up the word "siena" on dictionary.com in hopes some phenomenal meaning would pop up but all it said was "a city in Tuscany, Italy"... Not quite what I was hoping to read. Is that where Chris might be??? I think not. I was looking for a more profound definition like "one who is perpetually happy" or " the name for the colorful rainbow one sees after the storm". Oh well. I know there's a sienna color, I've seen it in a crayon box before but that's a different spelling. It's a burnt orange color. Very nice but still not what I was hoping for.
My dad went to Siena. He never graduated. He had, I believe, less than a year of classes left to get his degree. He passed away in 1973 when I was in third grade. I don't recall him taking any classes but what would I have known about that way back then. Still, he walked the halls there and sat in classes.
Mike went to Siena, he graduated and got his degree there. He worked full time and lived at home but commuted daily from his parent’s house nearby. He said he would have liked living on campus.
I was accepted to Siena and went there right after high school. I commuted also. I lived in Loudonville at the time and couldn't justify staying on campus when my home was ten minutes away. I wish I had lived there. Something big is lost from not immersing yourself in the school community in my opinion. But I worked part time and so I'd go from class to my job. I really wasn't ready for college. I didn't know what I wanted to do or be. I loved high school and wanted to stay there with my friends. But off I went. I didn't do so great... I think I dropped a class the first semester as well as another the second semester. Oops. (I don't suggest this any seniors that might be reading!) There was nobody pressing me to show up and learn and I enjoyed my new found freedom so I slacked and skipped classes. Not so good I know. As I was paying my way with loans it occurred to me I might be better off somewhere less expensive so I transferred myself out and went to Hudson Valley Community College followed by Russell Sage College. I did finally get my Bachelors but I was a year behind when all was said and done.
Jeremy was accepted to Siena with a nice scholarship. He debated about it because he liked the program but what he wasn't thrilled about was the closeness to home. He wanted some distance. I can't blame him. Mike and I tried bribing him, we offered to buy him a nice car if he lived home and commuted! He turned us down and headed for Massachusetts. He made a great choice for himself, he's doing wonderful and found a second home. That's reassuring for us.
My nephew Bob, who I spoke of yesterday, was admitted to Siena. His deposit was in and he was planning to begin his first freshman semester but he passed away before the first day. His parents helped set him up with a car and schedule his classes but it never came to be. Bob was a 2010 SHEN graduate looking forward to college life.
All these Siena connections!
Christopher never applied to Siena. He really wanted to go into teaching phys ed or becoming an athletic trainer. Siena doesn't offer it. I think Chris was fine with that. I don't think he wanted to follow our paths but carve his own. We tried the same bribery trick on him with the car offer. It didn't work. He didn't apply anywhere locally to our dismay. I tried telling him he should pick a safety school near home in case he got cold feet and opted not to go away. He basically giggled in my face and reminded me he liked meeting new friends. I know, I know... I was the one who didn't want to part with him... I was already missing seeing Jeremy nightly so I was pressing hard to keep Chris close. Totally selfish but he wasn't biting anyway. I needed to try! I would miss my little "squirt" (as I called him)...
Christopher, Deanna, Bailey and Matt were actually on their way home from the Siena vs. U Albany game the night of the accident. Ironic that Siena played into the picture again. There has to be a connection of some sort. So many of my family members have a tie there plus I have other family members that go there now. I'm curious if Bailey or Matt or Deanna's families were past graduates or had applications out there for next year? I don't know the answer to that.
I'm not sure why I felt the need to talk about Siena College with you. Merely, I guess because I'm intrigued as to how these veins link together. Some of us actually went to classes there, others merely thought about it and Bob never had the opportunity although he planned to. Curious how things play out. Not nearly as we expect sometimes.
I like the word Siena but I think it should have another meaning, something good, something positive and powerful, something beautiful and glorious like that rainbow I suggested.
I like driving by that college campus on my way to work, seeing the students out front playing frisbee on a sunny day. I looked on Siena's website to see what it says:
Developing Leaders Capable of Extraordinary Achievement
Siena has been kind enough to allow SHEN and Shaker high schools the opportunity to hold a fundraiser on January 10th for the SHEN scholarships for Chris and Deanna. The varsity basketball teams will play, both girls and boys. I'm sure it'll be a great night; a sea of blue and green shirts in the stands with happy students and spectators cheering. The best part, for me, is that my brother’s son plays varsity for Shaker and I will scream the loudest for him! GO ZAK!! I so look forward to it :-)
Good things are happening from this terrible tragedy. I need reminding when I'm having trouble. I think about, and grasp onto some of these fabulous future events and they help me. There are so many kind hearted people who donate time and money and ideas. They create and solidify these amazing events and propel me to hang on tight to those nuggets of goodness. When I have something to look forward to it makes me so happy. So thankful. I immerse myself in knowing, wholly, that my community cares and they want to help. I'm so appreciative! I hope you'll come out and enjoy the night with us. My son Chris will be right there too. He was also a leader capable of extraordinary achievement.
Thanks for reading!