Monday, March 2, 2009
Resilience Triumphes Tragedy
“I couldn’t have imagined that when I got out of the car that day, it would be the last time I would stand alone on my own two feet.”
Rosemarie Rossetti was talking about the day in 1998 that changed her life. It happened the weekend of Rosemarie and Mark’s 3rd wedding anniversary, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in mid-June. Rosemarie and Mark decided the early summer weather was perfect for a bike ride. The couple mounted their bikes on the car and drove to their favorite bike path, a former railroad track that was part of Ohio’s “rails to trails” system. They rode side by side for a while, and then Rosemarie got a little bit ahead of Mark.
All of a sudden, there was a sound like a gunshot. Looking around, Rosemarie heard Mark shouting at her. She heard the panic in Mark's voice, took it as a warning, and sped up. It wasn’t what Mark was screaming for Rosemarie to do. What Mark saw when he looked around wasn’t someone with a gun. Instead, Mark saw was a 3.5 ton tree, laced with live electric power lines, falling toward Rosemarie. Mark watched helplessly as the tree crashed down, right on top of her. Rosemarie never knew what hit her.
Rosemarie's journey of resilience is a model for all of us - especially now, when all we seem to hear are the "ain't it awful" stories. As I said in my Fall'08 newsletter, "Though there’s no shortage of fear-laced, ominous messages about our economy, if you look at our history, DOWNTURNS – whether they are worldwide or personal – NEVER LAST FOREVER. Unless you let them." Rosemarie could have given up but as you'll read in her story, she took back her life. You will too!
Read Rosemarie's story and tell us your thoughts - including how you are being resilient and taking back your life. Also, learn more about Rosemarie Rossetti and about her Universal Design Living Laboratory.