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Who Made the Ripples That Touched Your Life?

by Melissa Brunner

A little more than a year ago, I wrote a blog about how our lives extend in ripples around us, touching people in ways we might never know. Several occurances had me thinking more about that recently.

It started with the loss of our coworker, Elmer. When he passed away, I was grateful I had a chance to see him one last time to tell him how much he meant to me. In the weeks before and after his death, it was amazing to hear how far his ripple extended.

A few days later, someone stopped me to tell me they wanted me to know about a ripple I put out several years ago by stopping at a basketball game to talk to a young boy in a wheelchair. The man wanted me to know how much it made that boy's day. Truth be told, the boy was a ripple to me - I saw him at every game I attended, always with a smile on his face, and his enjoyment was contagious.

Recently, I've heard Jude Quinn, founder of SilverbackKS use the same ripple analogy to talk about the difference even seemingly small actions can make.

And just this week, I had a conversation about the girl who inspired my initial ripple blog, Brenna Morgart, and how her life continues to make waves.

It got me thinking how nice it would be if we could express appreciation to those people whose ripples touched our lives. They may not be close friends or even frequent acquaintances. It might be a person you watch from afar or have seen on the news whose words or actions inspired action or change in your life. Who made the ripples that have touched your life? Let's hear those awesome stories!

The original "Ripple" blog from May 2012:

If your life was a ripple, traveling across the water, how far might it extend?

I thought about that this morning as I saw the vehicles packed along the frontage roads, parking lots and grassy fields around Northland Christian Church Wednesday morning. Did Brenna Morgart have any idea that, at the age of 18, her life would have had that much of an impact? Did she realize each smile, each hello, each kind word, would leave an impression on the recipient? Did she ever think her ability to remain positive in the face of adversity would have those left behind asking, "WWBD - What Would Brenna Do?" when deciding how they will move forward in the face of this tragedy?

It reminds me of that commercial where someone holds the door for a person, then that person helps another pick up their dropped papers, then that person helps the neighbor rake leaves, and so on. We have no idea how those small interactions each day make an impact on those we encounter.

It's evident from the outpouring of love and support we've seen over the past week that Brenna's ripple was more like a wave, reaching beyond the boundaries of the shore.

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