By Lavern Nissley
Co-director of Encompass Connection Center
Our promotions coordinator, Hollie, suggested that our posts in October reflect some connection to "fall" or "falling into . . ."
I love the fall season, especially when temperatures during the day have shifted from hot, muggy summer norms to refreshing, sunny perfection.
But there are several other dimensions to the word "fall" that have just the opposite effect on me.
In May, 2019 we moved my parents from their longtime home in central Illinois to Springfield, Ohio where we live. The decision included input from my two siblings, Ken and Karen, as we sought to provide closer family support during my parents' journey in their mid to late 80's.
Within several weeks Mom fell and broke 3 ribs when the exit doors to a local business closed on her, knocking her to the ground. She recovered from that fall, but not without a great deal of pain and discomfort.
On April 1 of this year (I'm not making this up!) Mom fell in her condo shower and broke 4 ribs. Recovery was more extensive for her this time as she needed more physical therapy to wean from external oxygen. Needless to say, Mom doesn't want to fall again, and she faithfully uses a rollator walker with a seat. She feels much more secure when using it.
Physical falling often doesn't end well. My Dad's fall and breaking of his hip in August 2021 led to surgery and decline to his death within several months.
But there is another dimension to the word "fall" that usually leaves those affected disappointed, grieved, and betrayed. It is "falling" in a moral or ethical lapse of judgment. From well-known leaders that I had respected to close friends who confide in me of their failure, the feeling is the same: a deep sorrow and sadness for irreversible consequences.
My takeaway? I don't want to fall in this way. Nor do you. Most physical falls are not premeditated. "OK, I think I'm going to take a stumble today and break my ankle." I mean, if you knew that you had a high probability of falling today, wouldn't you exercise caution at every turn?
That's the point. I'm challenged to exercise personal precaution and protection to avoid moral and ethical lapses of judgment. Being transparent with Ronda as well as several accountability groups I'm part of is as important as Mom faithfully using her rollator walker!
Whether you're looking for a new start or just some guidance and growth in your relationship or parenting abilities, you can get in touch with a knowledgeable and sincere advocate or coach at Encompass Connection Center by following the links below.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.