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What Can We Say Except ‘I’ll Pray For You’?

I hadn’t planned to be where I was Sunday night. In fact, I wasn’t supposed to be there. And yet, everything happens for a reason. And sometimes it takes a very long time for us to find out the reason. Sometimes we never do. And I was where I was for reasons different than for the man who you are going to read about now. And yet, I believe I was there for some reason other than the one I thought I had gone for. Confused? Life is confusing and disturbing. Especially so on Sunday night.

 

Under normal circumstances, striking up a conversation in a public men’s room in the basement of a building would be considered odd, perhaps even frightening. And this was anything but a normal circumstance. And this was no ordinary basement. And no ordinary building.

 

It was the basement of St. Kilian R.C. Church in Farmingdale, during the vigil for the four teens killed in the horrific car crash early Saturday morning on Conklin Street, near Staples Street. 

 

This story is not about the crash. 

 

This is about the anguish of one man, 14-year-old Carly Lonnborg’s uncle. And the pain of a family on Mother’s Day.

 

“Carly,” he said, “was my sister’s only child. And it’s Mother’s Day.” 

 

I touched his arm and said, “I will pray for you and your sister and her family and for Carly.” 

 

He thanked me and told me that he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from the Farmingdale community. Mother’s Day night is supposed to be about celebrating family. Children and their mothers together.

 

When I shared the only words I could at this point, to “Keep the Faith, there is one you know...”

 

Carly’s uncle replied, “I know. I saw it upstairs.”

 

It isn’t the first time this community has gathered to support its own. Ten years ago, four teens also died in a horrific car crash. Conklin Street has a history of accidents. About four times a year, on average, there is a serious one on this heavily trafficked road, where too many drivers drive too fast, too often.

 

I was reminded in brutal fashion that none of us is promised tomorrow. For Carly’s family, along with the families of the other children who died early Saturday morning, Mother’s Day will never be the same.

 

Perhaps it is time for the state, county, town and village to work together to explore ways to make Conklin Street a safer road to travel.

 

Gerry Laytin is a career coach and lecturer at Hofstra University. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


News

Last year, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer stopped at Moby Drugs in Farmingdale to highlight the launch of a drug take-back program, which was designed to help residents remove addictive prescriptions out of their medicine cabinets. 

 

Yet, despite studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control—which found 70 percent of those addicted to prescription drugs get them from home, family or friends—federal regulations have prevented pharmacies in New York State from hosting the take-back program. 

Lt. Matt Komorowski of Farmingdale was recently honored with the first annual American Heroes award, for showing bravery when faced with impossible odds. 

 

On Sept. 11, 2001, Komorowski was one of  six FDNY firefighters with Ladder Co. 6, called to the World Trade Center just a short while before the tower collapsed. Arriving at the scene, Komorowski and the members of his ladder company rushed inside the building. As they rushed up the stairs the men of Ladder 6 stopped to assist Josephine Harris, a then 60-year-old Brooklyn grandmother, who was stuck in the stairwell of the building. 


Sports

 

The 2014 Farmingdale Flag Football season kicked off with a blast on Sept. 7.

 

3rd Grade Division

 

The Texans and the Jets played a great opening weekend game, with the Texans getting the victory.  For the Texans, touchdown pass from Joseph Spano to Jaxon Parisi with 20 seconds in the half broke a tie that the Jets never came back from.  The Jets were led by Brendan O’Keefe, who had two rushing touchdowns and Jimmy Caputo, who picked off a pass at the goal line.

 

Farmingdale State College’s women’s tennis team opened the 2014 season with an 8-1 victory over John Jay College (0-1) on Sept. 3. The Rams (1-0) held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play before sweeping the singles matches.


Calendar

Board of Education - September 17

A Town of the Taste - September 18

Evening with Jeffery Wands - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com