Valerie J. Steimle
My life has drastically changed over the last month. My writing has taken a back burner for quite a long while but the spell was broken a few days ago when tragedy struck and I was snapped out of my fog. A good friend; a very good friend had been in an auto accident almost two years ago now. I visited her in the hospital. Her ankles were broken and feet just about crushed. Her wrist broken and there were other bumps and bruises that were too many to count. But she survived. Not only did she survive but was on the mend starting out in a wheel chair and learning to walk again and then graduating to using a cane but the plates they put in her feet had caused her pain and the bone was growing around the plate. The surgery the doctor’s scheduled was supposed to fix that and life was going to be much better for her. But another diagnosis came up right before the surgery of Sleep Apnea and that is what got her. She went under the anesthesia and never came out. So young at 40. So unexpected.
My whole world was spinning around when I found out. She was a friend to many. She had such a large circle of influence. A marketing genius in a large company, an instructor to students in night classes, a Young Women’s leader at church, a mother, daughter, sister and wife. The list goes on and on. She was taken to the next life leaving behind so many that she loved. So this time of reflection, when I know my friend has gone on and left behind such a hole, I think about our own lives and our own circle of influence.
Like the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, what would happen to us if someone close to us was snatched up to the next life unexpectedly and left a hole. How would the world go on without us without our good influences? What if we were the ones taken, what kind of hole would we leave?
What are we doing in our life to help others and show that we care for them? My friend would not only ask about how we (ourselves) were doing but also about our families. I have heard this more than once from others about her. How she cared about our children and grandchildren.
From The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, President Lorenzo Snow said this: “We have been sent into the world to do good to others; and in doing good to others we do good to ourselves. We should always keep this in view, the husband in reference to his wife, the wife in reference to her husband, the children in reference to their parents, and the parents in reference to their children. There is always opportunity to do good to one another.”
The legacy my friend left behind will be felt for generations because of all the good she has done quietly and without fanfare; a wonderful example of a human being. A circle of influence lasts forever.