It Takes But One Small Ripple

The “Ripple Effect”

I love this concept

Had I ever experienced the “Ripple Effect”?

No I had not, that is, until very recently…

I Wanted to Bring Comfort During a Difficult Time  I know many of you will find the name “Paul Tuyp” sounding familiar.  He was one of my friends, really like a brother,  that recently passed away from cancer, he is greatly missed and will never be forgotten.  Prior to his passing I felt the need to find some way to bring him some comfort during his days of chemotherapy and being home battling that evil disease.  I could not fathom what he was enduring mentally, and physically.  Residing in a different state made visits and conversations challenging, but I wanted to bring a piece of me to his side whenever needed.  I chose to create a quilt for Paul, I yearned for it to be comforting and inspiring.  I emailed friends of his and asked if they were interested in sending me a short message to be incorporated onto Paul’s quilt.  The response was inspiring!

Get It Going  The quilt prior to messages being place into white blocks.  Didn’t realize what a big quilt I had created! Good thing Paul was a large man or I would have been in trouble.

Healthier Days  This photo is of Paul and his daughter.  This is the Paul I will always remember.  He always wore a constant smile and possessed the kindest soul.  Paul was one of those rare people who always made you feel as though you “mattered”  when you were in his presence.  You could be in a room filled with people, but if you were conversing with this magical man, he closed the rest of the world out and those walls held only the two of you.  Isn’t that all we want to achieve in life, making every moment matter? Well, I believe Paul conquered perhaps life’s most important lesson, making moments, and all those around him matter.

 “The Silver Dragons”  Paul and his gang of friends that have been together since preschool!  They were named the Silver Dragons and would eventually each obtain “silver swords”.  So remarkable to have such life long friendships. Watching this group over the years has been awe inspiring.  They would do anything for each other… and I have witnessed this.


 Comfort Quilt Reveal  I was lucky enough to receive a picture of Paul, family, and close friends as he saw the quilt for the first time.  He loved it! Smiles were shared around the room!

The One Small Ripple I Unknowingly Threw

The quilt provided Paul with a sense of warmth, comfort, encouraging message, and loving thoughts over his last few months.  Yet, I would not know the magnitude of this quilt, and how it had a “rippling effect” until this past weekend during his memorial services.

Witnessing the Rippling Effect   Attending Paul’s memorial services proved extremely difficult and yet profoundly enlightening.  I had tried my best to prepare myself for the sorrow that would consume my being, however, no amount of talking myself into keeping it “totally together” proved successful.  My tears would eventually give way to the emotional gates of loss and remembrance, over a very loved man.  What I had not readied myself for was the effect a piece of fabric had brought to so many different individuals.  The quilt had “rippled” beyond his presence and embraced others.  Paul’s daughter thanked me for the quilt as it will now provide her comfort and a daily reminder of her father.  Those that had emailed me messages to include on the quilt thanked me because it allowed them to share their feelings and thoughts to their dear friend.  Very quickly it became apparent that Paul’s quilt held several meanings.  Its purpose was priceless and its message was diverse.  I’ve never experienced such an outpouring of heartfelt gratitude and shared thoughts regarding a choice I made.  Had it not been for the unfortunate event of Paul’s service, I would never had known that I had created one small ripple. I would have never observed the “Ripple Effect” that transpired from doing one kind thing.

   It saddens me greatly to acknowledge that I have lost such a unique and priceless friend.  But leave it to Paul to depart, leaving me with one huge “moment that mattered”.   Paul made sure I realized how much that quilt “mattered” to others.  Moreover, Paul allowed me to feel and comprehend how much the “Ripple Effect” matters.   I thank you Paul, that gift “mattered” more than you will ever know.

Have you been part of the “Ripple Effect”? Have you been the cause of a “Ripple Effect”?

18 thoughts on “It Takes But One Small Ripple

  1. I too have made several “message” quilts for friends facing major illnesses. My friend’s husband said it was so comforting not only to his wife but for those visiting her. It was read over and over by visitors and was a great ice breaker into conversations for those who had difficulty talking about the situation. In fact it meant so much to him that he even had it displayed at her funeral.
    Another friend who has survived her battle with cancer has thanked me multiple times for putting together all the messages from her friends and colleagues that helped her through those dark days knowing so many cared for her.
    I will continue making a “message” quilts for my close friends and family who need its comfort.

    • Paul’s quilt was draped over the lower half of the casket at the viewing. It was very emotional. I am so glad I did it. You always think you have time… time to tell people that you love them etc…. you just never know. I am glad your one friend survived her battle.

  2. Lisa, Sorry for your loss. May you find peace in the memories that Paul has left with you. May God grace you with comfort in every ripple you have and will send in this piece of fabric.

  3. So sorry you lost such a dear friend But I am so happy that you discovered the comfort and ‘joy’ that your thoughtful gift provided so many: not just your dear friend Paul. I hope that knowledge bring comfort to you…

  4. HI Lisa: Peace and well wishes. Remember the happy times I made a small comfort quilt for an aunt in a nursing home. She loved the colors. My cousin has since returned it to me sometime after her passing. It is a treasure. L

  5. I am sorry for your loss of a great friend and thank you for sharing such a heartfelt story. To have known someone so special is a blessing, Take care Lisa.

  6. Yes, yes and yes. I’ve been very privileged and fortunate to experience the ripple effect. I’ve made many cancer quilts and quilts of valor for wounded veterans and it is amazing the impact it makes. Whenever you receive the unexpected phone call or note of thanks puts my problems in perspective. So I encourage anyone that may hesitate in creating something, don’t hesitate, just do it.

    Best Regards,

    Cindy Henneke >

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss, Lisa! I’ve never had occasion so far to make a similar quilt, but you’ve inspired me to do so in future, if the need arises.

  8. I am so very sorry you lost such a wonderful, special friend. Your gift will continue to have ripples by inspiring those of us who love to make quilts but don’t always have enough places to keep them or people to give them to…now I can make quilts to contain memories for friends to sign, loved ones to keep. I’ll make them ahead of time so they will be ready to gift when the need arises. Ripple on!

  9. Sorry you had to experience this very painful emotion but look what he left you, memories and they also ripple. Again you never know what effect a gif,t as small as a simple smile and or as big as a quilt, will have on someone. Both are very important and so we must continue to cause good rippling effects. Yes I have had the ripple effects. In fact this weekend a 2 women showed me quilts I made their husbands a number of years ago and they use them all the time but they tell me this with smiles. They are comforted as were all of you.

  10. I had a best friend pass away last week from evil cancer. She was so loved by everyone. I miss her so. I can sympathize with your heart break at losing Paul. His quilt is beautiful. My friend was surrounded by family and quilts.

  11. I made a quilt as a silent auction item for Combined Federal Campaign in our office one year. The people in one of our branches had banned together to support a young man who had been paralyzed in an accident on icy roads. They grouped their money together so they could be high bidder & give the quilt to him. When I heard what they were doing, I offered to make a large label for the back. Everyone signed the label & the quilt was taken to him in the care facility.
    It was humbling to have been a part of such a warm & caring effort. And a win-win as CFC got a sizeable donation & Mark got the quilt.

  12. Lisa – I am so very sorry for your loss.

    Shortly after you started making your quilt for Paul we also received some devastating news about a family member diagnosed with cancer. In that moment you feel absolutely helpless. There is nothing that you can do to change the situation. However, because of the inspiration from you and Paul, I did say to myself “I can make her a quilt.” I sewed this quilt in record time and embroidered sentiments from her children and her husband onto the quilt. It was beautiful and she loved it. Like you, I wanted her to take it with her to her treatments to keep her warm.

    Paul’s quilt was such an inspiration to me so thank you for sharing. That Ripple Effect you talk about truly works! Paul’s quilt in my opinion was the most beautiful quilt you ever made because of the love and meaning behind it.

    Love to you and your family


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