Ripple Effect

Tragedy can hit home so easily. Last Thursday while subbing at one of the elementary schools in Springfield, the staff was informed that one of the mother’s of two of their students, had a stroke and had no brain activity. The daughter, the eldest of two, would have been in the fifth grade class that day. The boys is just a couple of years younger.

I didn’t know this family. Not directly. But as I felt the ripple effect of all the teachers at this special neighborhood elementary school. The specialness of Julie and her family radiated.

I’m on the fence when it comes to religion and beliefs of God and Jesus and Whatever. But I sure like the strength my Christian friends have when facing adversity. Thursday night I begged for a miracle. I don’t know how many people have come back from being brain dead, but I do believe in miracles. I wanted to believe in miracles for the children’s sake. I didn’t want them to have to go through what I went through at twelve when almost exact thing happened  to my mom. Sudden death is so much different than the lingering kind. Death is cruel regardless of the way it happens, but it is so much harder to have closure without any warning.

Turns out Julie was the daughter-in-law of one of my ex-coworker and friend. World can be so small sometimes, reminding me everything that happens around me is connected to me. This is a good reminder as I realize that I have as much power in controlling how I effect the world as how the world effects me.

No one should ever lose a parent, a sibling, a child, but a child should never lose a parent. When my mom died, she was only 50. I was an extremely immature twelve-year-old. Sometimes I think I have never been successful in pulling up the nose of the plunging plane. The nose-dive has been going on since 1972. You can do the math. So much longer than my 55-years on the planet. You would think that 43 years worth of experiences would somehow have covered over that one experience the night Richard Nixon was re-elected. Now I’m really dating myself.

Barbara gave me this picture for Christmas one year; we’re very small in the picture, but it’s the only picture I have of my mom’s girls. I think the only family pictures I have is my sister’s wedding. My dad did most of the photography.

I’ll have to ask how old wMom's girlse were in this picture. I could have been maybe four or five. This would make Barbara 14 or 15. This would mean that mom had seven or eight years left of her life when this picture was taken.

When I heard that Julie passed away, I felt that pain I felt when the rug was pulled out from me. My prayers shifted to those to help heal her family and the community. I pray that the two young kids have a stronger aviation team; maybe they don’t have to take a tail spin if that’s possible. I can’t imagine anything this devastating to not make a major impact on their lives. And as I pray for them, I can start getting the nose to pull up.


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