Monday, February 8, 2010

The rippling effect of love

2-8-10 serendipity brain
Last week I had dinner with my “Peace Sisters", neighbor friends Carolyn and Sue. We were celebrating Carolyn’s 5th Anniversary of being cancer free. Sue and I brought her wine, and Carolyn showed us all her saved “get well cards” which she had been affectionately re-reading .

January 2005 Carolyn was diagnosed with breast cancer, due to her discovery of something which felt abnormal during her monthly self breast exam.... this, after having a normal mammogram just 3 months prior. So believe me, Carolyn is a strong advocate for self breast exams. Luckily her cancer was an early stage.

After her surgery in February 2005, I and some neighbor gals had a plan to welcome her home. We had cut out pink paper ribbons, and I spent an evening stringing them together. Then with the help of Sue’s daughter Paige, 10 years old at that time, we hung them around Carolyn’s house.

(Notice: no snow on the ground that year!)

We thought it looked pretty cool, and Carolyn was moved to tears when she and husband Steve arrived home. However, the real impact of our decorating came later that day.

A lady driving by, a total stranger, upon seeing all the pink ribbons and understanding first hand their symbolism, was moved to stop and knock on Carolyn’s front door. Turns out this gal, named Penny, also had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and both her and Carolyn had gone through similar surgeries.

From that day on, Carolyn and Penny became great friends and have created a strong support system together, due to this shared experience of breast cancer. I find this ribbon story very inspiring- by illustrating the rippling effect of love…. that with one small gesture of friendship on the part of some neighborhood women, the gift of friendship and love was passed on to another person. Our ribbons had brought Penny into Carolyn’s life…..and Carolyn’s into Penny’s life. A blessing for all!


  1. what a wonderful story :)
    sorry, but it is effect.

  2. Love this story. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow, what a great story, Think what a beacon of hope those ribbons must have been to Penny as she drove by. She must have thought a greater power put the there to lead her to Carolyn's door.

    Carolyn - if you are reading this, congrats on your 5 years of being free of cancer!

  4. They were a beacon of hope for Penny, Molly. Penny's family live overseas so were unable to be there for her at a time when she really could have done with our support but the amazing network of friends she had kept her strong in the face of terrible adversity. I am delighted to say she is still going strong and I wish her another 40 years of health and happiness!

    Bless you all for being there for our dear Penny when she needed you.

    Noreen xx (UK)

  5. Noreen- thanks for adding to the story. Although I have met Penny a few times, I guess I didn't know that about her. Wow... Carolyn was a blessing for her too.