“I think Ralph fell in love with the uphillness in me. I could keep up with him on windy passes and minor climbing peaks. But I never stayed with him on the downhill. He was always too fast. He’d wait patiently for me at the bottom of a black diamond run, at the end of a long, winding mountain road, or at the foot of a crag. He was happy when I could get to the bottom of anything. I wasn’t with him the day he had the accident that left him a C-4 quadriplegic. Perhaps it’s the uphillness in me that is keeping me with him now. It’s all uphill from here. No more downhills to carve through gracefully or sail down safely; only up, up, up.” —from the Introduction
Suzy Parker and her husband, Ralph Hager, spent every free moment together biking, skiing, and hiking. All that changed in a split second when a freak cycling accident left Ralph permanently paralyzed below the shoulders. In that moment, Suzy’s old life fell away and her new one began. In Tumbling After, Suzy chronicles her transformation from carefree outdoorswoman to full-time caregiver, and paints a loving portrait of the impromptu, oddball family of concerned neighbors and friends who become her new lifeline. With Jerry, the tender ex-con; Momma Scott, a guardian angel and force of nature in a feather boa; and Harka, the culture-shocked Nepalese, at their side, Suzy and Ralph weather the loss of old friends and learn to embrace a new way of life with hope and a healing dose of the absurd.
This astonishing memoir, devoid of self-pity and told with breathtaking candor and a wry sense of humor, is an inspiring journey that is ultimately a story of survival and second chances—and the unexpected joy and love that can grow out of grief if given the slightest encouragement.
About Susan Parker
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Published April 16, 2002
Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference.