The Ripple Effect

Toss a pebble into a pond and you see the “ripple effect.” In 1982, falling 40 ft. from a cliff was like a boulder plunging into a lake. The waves created were immense and they endured for years. As a matter of fact, recently retelling the story of my fall to a client, I felt the waves of the past crashing into the present. When I spoke of my friends observing my fall and their involvement in my rescue, her eyes filled with tears. She couldn’t believe how many lives were touched by what happened to me. In fact, 35 years later, she became part of the ripple effect.

Ern, an east coast cousin said, “I’ll never forget the day I got the call.” Working for a doctor in Philly, Ern was a “go to” for my parents. Ern’s sister Sandy lent us a station wagon to transport my paralyzed body from St. Louis to Chicago. So many people jumped in to help.

It’s always surprising how far ripples spread. In 1984, while touring Europe with my elder sister Kathy, we arrived on the island of Krk, our grandfather’s homeland. A relative met us at the bus stop. With a language barrier, after we pleasantly greeted each other, we quietly walked to her home. After exiting the WC, it was as if an ocean wave swept over the island. Our cousin grabbed hold of me and vigorously slapped my back, saying, “Nancy, Nancy, Nancy!” Bug-eyed, I looked over her shoulder to see my sister in shock. I mouthed, “What did you say?”

Kathy responded, “I guess she just figured out who you were.”

Family near and far received word of my fall. I could have done without the back slapping, however, the love and recognition were welcomed.

When I think of others, I see how what happened to me impacted so many. The ripple effect certainly played on the sea of my life. It doesn’t take much to see how each of us touch this world. Just look at the surface and the waves we create. Be well… Nancy T

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