The story he wanted to tell was several decades in the making, so it’s easy to see why David Rippy took two-and-a-half years to compose his memoir.
That it centered on the impact that a one-car crash which left him paralyzed from the shoulders down had on his life – both for good and for bad – makes that accomplishment amazing, though.
“I took two summers off to write. It’s hard to stay indoors and work when it’s nice out,” said Rippy of the process that brought about “Captain of My Soul: Mastering a Destiny Altered.”
Recently I was at my desk writing to Tommy, a 17-year-old boy who just broke his neck body surfing off the Jersey shore. He’s now a quadriplegic. He will live the rest of his life in a wheelchair without use of his hands or legs. When it comes to life-altering injuries, quadriplegia is catastrophic.
Halfway through my letter describing several hurdles Tommy should expect in rehab, I stopped. I felt utterly overwhelmed, thinking of all that lies ahead for him. I’ve been there. And even though half a century has passed, I can still taste the anguish. Hot, silent tears began streaming, and I choked out a prayer, Oh God, how will Tommy do it? How will he ever make it? Have mercy; help him find you!