Friday, September 14, 2012

The Ripple Effect

We affect each other. 

That is not an earth shattering statement.  We've heard it before.  What isn't realized is just how deeply we can affect one another, and how far reaching an act of kindness, or cruelty can go.

This week was an anniversary for my family.  Six years.  Six years ago my 18 year old son died from injuries sustained in an auto accident. 

I've thought a lot about him this last week.  His talent with playing the cello, in fact one song in particular has been playing in my mind for days. 

Kevin had a way with people.  He got into texting.  Remember six years ago the cell phones did texting, but that was about it.  He could text with the phone in his pocket.  One month he had over 2,000 text messages.  He built a computer out of odds and end parts of several computers at home.  He had instant messaging going, talking to his friends from different places we had lived.  He had five windows open, and he was texting.  The thing was, everyone he was talking to thought they were the only person he was talking with.  He reached out and cared.  Touched a lot of lives, he was full of life.

One of his friends came up to me in the hospital just after I announced to everyone in the ICU waiting area that my son had passed away.  He said, "Mr. Rich.  Your son saved my life."


"Yes sir, he did."

He went on to explain that he had been contimplating suicide, and Kevin had befreinded him.  He got a text message inviting him to join up with Kevin and some other friends.  They went out and did some crazy things that evening.  This young man found a friend in my son, and choose to keep living.

Over the years people have stopped me to tell me stories about my son, and what he had done to enrich their lives.  What they remember him doing for them.

One man told me that when he was talking with Kevin, age disappeared.  It wasn't a 59 year old man speaking with a teenager, it was two friends sharing something.

Yes, I miss my son.  Deeply.  However I am impressed with all the people's lives he touched in one form or another.  His Ripple Effect has gone way past who he was.  We made a RIP Kevin Rich page on Facebook, and there are so many comments on that wall.  His wall is filled with people stopping by to say thanks for the memories, miss you, and such.

We all influence each other.  For better or for worse.  As a nation stops to remember 9/11 and how fragile life is, I also pause to remember how life can be lived.  Cherish loved ones, find time to do simple, thoughtful things for those you love.  You do not know how far you reach, and who's lives you touch.

Yes, six years ago this week a light went out, but the memory of that light shines bright. 


J. Lea Lopez said...

*hugs* to you and your family, Dean. This was a beautiful tribute to your son's memory.

E.B. Black said...

I tried to read this post without crying, but I couldn't help it. Your son would have been around my age if he was alive today. This was a great tribute to him.