I have been in an emotional daze for a few months now in moving across the country, finding a new job and making new friends.  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 when it happened.  Her ankles were broken and feet just about crushed. Her wrist was broken and there were other bumps and bruises that were too many to count.  But she survived.



Her sphere of influence was huge.

Not only did she survive but she was on the mend -starting out in a wheel chair and learning to walk again and then gradually using a cane to get back to her normal routine.  But the plates they put in her feet had caused her pain and the bone was growing around the plate.  The surgery the doctor 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 home to recuperate and 3 days later she went to sleep and didn’t wake up.  So young at 38.  So unexpected.


My whole world was spinning around when I found out.  She was a friend to so many.  She had such a large circle of influence.  A marketing genius in a large company, an instructor to students at  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 during 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 circles 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 influence?  What if we were the ones taken; what kind of hole would we leave? These are the thoughts that are buzzing around in my head.


We all care for our circle of family and friends. We do what we can to help others but sometimes our understanding of how far the ripple effect takes us doesn’t show itself until we are gone.  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 was mind boggling.


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.”

To read more of Valerie's articles, click here.

To read more of Valerie’s articles, click here.


This “doing good” towards others isn’t something we can broadcast.  It’s not an advertisement of how great we are but in quiet, seemingly small, acts of kindness which is passed on from friend to friend and from family member to family member.


The legacy my friend left behind will be felt for generations to come because of all the good she has done quietly and without fanfare; a wonderful example of a human being.  Her circle of influence will last forever.

About Valerie Steimle
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.

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