This is a true story. It happened November 25, 1854 on the shores of Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes on the US-Canadian border.

The Lake Erie Quadrangle is a 2,500-square-mile area in the central part of the lake. The Quadrangle has seen over 400 shipwrecks. Compare that to the infamous Bermuda Triangle with 14,000 square miles and about 110 shipwrecks.

The Lake Erie Quadrangle is a dark, dangerous place where brutal storms can rear up in the blink of an eye. I know — I grew up on the shores of the Quadrangle, and lived there many years.

On the stormy night of November 24, 1854 the ship “Conductor” ran aground in a remote part of the Quadrangle. The captain and crew spent the night desperately clinging to their ship in the midst of a raging blizzard.

Abigail Becker was spending a few days with her husband and children at their hunting cabin near the water. With her husband away the morning of November 25, Abigail went for a walk along the shore. She spotted the Conductor’s crew out in the boiling surf.

Though she urged them to swim to shore and safety, the men were too cold and exhausted. So Abigail swam out and brought each man back to shore. She took the grateful crew to her cabin for warmth and food.

One woman saved the entire crew. Without Abigail, they would surely have become nameless numbers on the list of the many hundreds who died in the Quadrangle.

Abigail became a legend in her own lifetime. She was a shining example of the power of one.

Spirit has often reminded us of how powerful each of us is. Here are some of their words:

“You, one person standing alone in the steadfastness of your own truth, can ultimately touch your whole world. You may never know the results. But you can be sure your life has mattered.

“That’s how powerful each of you is. Standing alone, your influence is powerful beyond what most of you could ever imagine.”

Certainly, Abigail’s courageous feat touched far more lives than only those of the men she saved.

Do you believe you, standing alone, are that powerful? What lessons can you draw from Abigail’s courageous feat? Please comment below.

Copyright © 2011 by John Cali, Revised 2020
Edited by Berna Copray


This inspiring short video is a great reminder of what every one of us can do if we never give up.