Think About It

The Mystery of Life

by Don Meyer, Ph.D. | October 16, 2010

"Mystery hovers over all things here below."
Alphonse de Lamartine

Over the years I have been gathering questions I would like to ask when I get to heaven. Recently I added one more to my list. Life is filled with many mysteries that God chooses not to explain to us and the story of Jeff Rosinski is one of them. 

On Friday, July 16, 2010 Jeff Rosinski died in a hiking accident in Longs Peak, Co. He was 29 years old and he left behind his wife, Molly and two small children, Dylan and Jocelyn, as well as his family and countless friends. 

We first met Jeff when he came to Valley Forge Christian College as a freshman. Evie and I knew him well because as a student he was employed in Evie's office on the work study program. Throughout his years until he graduated in 2002 his sparkling personality and servant spirit earned for him a special place in the hearts of everyone who knew him, including us. 

When Molly came into his life and then as they were blessed with Dylan and Jocelyn, his new roles as husband and father brought even greater joy and depth to his life. 

Although he graduated from VFCC several years ago, our paths did cross a few times. The most memorable was about a year and a half ago when his sister, Anna, had a severe car accident which required her to be airlifted to a hospital in Philadelphia. Her parents, grandparents and brother, Greg and his family, and many friends came to visit her but it was her brother Jeff who just about took over making sure she was well cared for. 

From the moment we got the call about Jeff's accident until we sat there in that quaint Rhode Island church during the funeral, we could hardly fathom the reality of what had taken place. He and his brother Greg and two friends were climbing Longs Peak, one of more than 50 Colorado mountain peaks over 14,000 feet above sea level. At a certain point Greg and his friends contracted altitude sickness and decided to stop. Jeff continued to the summit and somehow on the way down his accident occurred. 

The evening before Jeff's funeral Rev. Bob Wise, a family friend and church leader, attended a funeral wake in Brockton, MA for a former parishioner of his who had died after a two year battle with cancer. In a passing conversation with another attendee this acquaintance asked if Bob was going to attend the funeral of the man who died of cancer. Bob explained he could not because the next day he was going to attend the funeral of a young man who was in a hiking accident in Colorado. 

As they talked further that man told Bob that he and his wife were from Longs Peak, Co and when that hiker was brought down from the mountain, they were right there. He and his wife held hands and prayed for the hiker's family never imagining they would know someone who knew him. It was as though God had someone there at the base of that mountain caring for Jeff during that hallowed moment. 

The church was packed to overflowing as friends and family gathered to show respect and love for Jeff. We all wiped away tears as the pastor read a letter to Jeff that Molly had written. Our tears continued as we listened to parents and siblings and friends reminisce. The pictures and stories could not begin to capture the essence of a young life well-lived. 

I'll adapt the words someone said of his friend, "It might be difficult for some to adjust to heaven, but I don't think that was true of Jeff Rosinski. He will be right at home." 

This I know. Life will always have its mysteries and my list of questions for when I get to heaven will continue to grow. 

Think about it.

Dr. Don Meyer is President of 
Valley Forge Christian College, Phoenixville, PA 
Responses can be mailed to president@vfcc.edu
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