Deerfield girl remembered as vibrant, talented student
Epileptic seizures began when Rose was in fifth grade and came to occur at a rate of nearly two per month.
In April, she was in a gym class in an athletic field located a distance away from the main building at Deerfield Community School.
"She just worked through it, she loved to learn and it never affected her love for drama," her father said. She was a member of the track and cross country teams, was elected class president and was drawn to the performing arts, both in school drama productions and with the Concord Chorale.
Without announcing the reason, the school postponed the performance from Friday to Sunday, changing the plans of scores of parents, grandparents and siblings."We were in the ER at 3 a.m. Saturday morning," Robert said. "She rested up, and that Sunday, she nailed it."
Respecting his daughter's growing sense of self-sufficiency, but worried about what he knew could happen to her, Robert busied himself in the front yard, to be in a position to wait and watch as she came by, running the loop formed by the streets in their neighborhood.
Saturday, she ran by once. The second lap took longer.
He quickly realized it had been too long.
Robert got on his bike and went looking for his daughter. Police and town emergency squads came out to help in the search.
The girl died not far from her home.
"They really stepped up, and I know they took it hard," he said. "The police involved; the rescue squad really wanted this one."
"On a personal level, what I learned from Rose, despite her difficulties is, life for her was still a joy — to learn, to be with friends, to do what she liked to do."
But Robert said that for his family, the publicized problems will never overshadow the community's heart.
Robert said he also hopes people understand how important Rose's friends were to her and are to her family.
They protected her when she suffered an attack, elected her president of her class and helped her live a typical adolescent life, despite her affliction.The day after Rose died, Robert went to the community school where he expected a small group of her friends to gather to mourn together.
In addition to her father, Ernest Robert Jr., Rose is survived by her mother, Mariane; a sister, Liza, 25; brother Atticus, 22; and a sister Anna.
Candlelight vigil set for homeless
Volunteers sought to wrap gifts for youths
The rise of the snowmen