The Ripple Effect

Aaron and Molly

Have you ever given much thought about how a drop of water impacts a larger body of water? I hadn’t until the other day when I heard a segment on the radio about the ripple effect. As I began to ponder this seemingly mundane event, I began to realize the spectacular nature of this event. As a drop of liquid descends and drops into a body of water…the first miracle occurs. As the droplet hits the larger body of water, half of the initial drop is consumed…..BUT the other half is divided up into a series smaller droplets that dance on the surface of the water….a term coined by researchers as the coalescence cascade. As the droplets dance on the surface, they eventually merge with the existing water. Thus, creating a series of perfectly uniformed and evenly distributed concentric walls of water that are pushed outward from the impact of the droplets until stopped by some force or until their force slows down. In this grief journey, I have learned that sometimes the strongest lessons come in the most simplest of forms. The ripple effect is one of those lessons, both beautiful by design and simplistic in meaning. If you get the opportunity to view this simple phenomenon of Gos’s wondrous creation, please view it with new and wondering eyes…open to see the beauty, simplicity, and complexity of this wonder He created for us.

EVery word we speak and every action we take in our lives creates a ripple in our world that continues in an outward motion, much like the ripple effect that takes place in water. The ripple of our behaviors and our choice of words not only affects us, but anyone within our path. I envision people around me as waves of words and consequences of my behaviors wash over them and as the cadence of reactions pulsates outward further and further down the line….more are affected by not only what was said, but by what was done. Sometimes, I think that we don’t realize the true impact we have on others. And sometimes what we see isn’t what others see at all.

I know this because of my son, Aaron. To me, Aaron was my son…I was one of the ones he came to with his deepest sorrows….one of the ones with whom he shared his innermost fears. His sister got that side of him too, but to many others, the ripple effect of Aaron’s life is continuing beyond his death. That brings me so much comfort even in his absence…just to think about the fact that his influence has and will continue beyond his grave. We often don’t see the impact of the everyday person and how their life affects others beyond the grave, because inour society, that privilege seems to be reserved for the famous and well known.  I, however, beg to differ. I know that my son, your son or daughter, or any loved one that once existed in this physical plane of existence has impacted our world through a series of ripples that are unique to them and those effects will continue forever.

Looking back at words spoken by others about your loved one can be comforting, painful, and bittersweet all at the same time. I’ve dreaded this part of the blog with my entire being because of the painful memories of his death, but it is by far the most powerful. Below are some quotes that signify the impact of Aaron’s ripple effect upon this world:

~”One of the sweetest persons I have met in the Navy…so strong willed and amazing. You have touched my heart and probably didn’t even know it. I’m grateful I got the chance to meet you…until we meet again.”

~”Aaron was and always will be a great shipmate and friend of mine. He always stayed positive and strong. He will always be remembered.”

~”Your son had a beautiful spirit and touched so many of us at NBC. I will remember him always.May God’s peace be upon you knowing his legacy will continue on in all who knew and cared for Aaron.”

~”Your smile was warm and your laugh was contagious.”

~”Aaron was an individual who carried himself well with a positive attitude and a determination to make the best of of any situation. Giving my best prayers in his honor.”

~Aaron had a positive vibe and an energetic conversation that will be missed.”

~ “I didn’t know that people could dance like no one was watching.”

~”I first met the blonde haired free spirit on my ship. I think it went something like, ‘ Oh you’re from the Carolina’s too?? AWESOME!’ Our friendship grew, adding mutual friends that became known as the Rolling Gorillas. It was more than a crew we rolled out with to get a bite and some brew, it was a family. Our group was special beacuse we all brought something different to the table with our personalities. Aaron’s was uplifting, happiness, humor, and positiveness. Blend all that together and you have someone  who could see life in the darkest of places. So many times. He had me look on the bright side of very negative situations whether I liked it or not. When you got knocked down at work, he’d be there to pick uou up. He always wanted to,explore and he never had his face in his phone…it was always looking at you with a big smile. So many times, I would come home from work and would be angry at it saying there’s never enough time to enjoy ourselves. Aaron would prove me wrong time and time again. He also taught me to appreciate what I had at the time and not to,worry myself about the future.”   ~ taken from Barry Johnson’s blog.

I could go on and on, but it’s easy to see that Aaron’s impact is one that will continue without end….his heart, his positivness and his willingness to look up in the darkest of situations is the legacy I hope to leave in this world. The droplet of his life hit the water with an impressive impact and it danced on top of the water much like the coalescence cascade….and the ripple effects of his love, compassion, positivness, and determination are set in the minds of those that were fortunate enough to be caught in his wave. I for one, feel blessed to have been not only a part of Aaron’s wave, but a part of his ripple. I was blessed to be caught up in the ripple of his life that has forever changed me and others that he knew.

Remember…that we all have our own ripple effect….choose your words and actions wisely…you never know how the wave of your ripple effect might affect someone else.

Thank you, Aaron for your impact on us all. We love and miss you more than you know!

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