While studying for the Florida Life, Health and Variable Annuity State Exam (punctuated by many naps and detours into the blogging world) I found the blog already made famous by the adorable Stephanie Nielson…and her family. This young mom had been blogging about her marriage, kids, extended family, and all its nuances when one day back in August she and her adorable husband with whom she seemingly has an adorable marriage and family, went down in a private plane crash. Their pilot/friend was killed. Stephanie and Christian sustained very bad burns. He was burned in about 30 percent of his body; she in over 80 % of hers. I found her sister’s blog, in which she and her other sister, indeed, the whole, large, extended family are keeping the ball rolling. Their kids are now living with two of Steph’s sisters and the blogging community has raised in excess of $100,000 for this couple’s recovery! It is utterly amazing.
So in between studying, I’ve been getting to know Steph and her hubby; her sisters and the kids; and a bit about their great faith in Our Lord through their Latter Day Saints religion.
I cannot, literally cannot stop thinking about her. Her darling freckled face with its impish smile that one of her daughters wears like she’s her little sister. Of her marriage and all that she has seemingly put into it. The kind of faith her family members have, and have proclaimed, some of them on blogs of their own. I love this family. I love their commitment. To each other, to the Lord, to living life to its fullest.
I cannot stop thinking of her. Of her, with her arms wrapped around her husband, adoringly. Of her arms full of her children, or draped across her sisters’ shoulders, their own adorable faces clustered together for an impossibly cute photo. And oh! The photos! Nie Nie’s blog is filled with photos like the crafty scrapbooker that she obviously is. I love this young woman.
I cannot stop thinking of her. My eyes fill with tears knowing she will never look the same, wondering about what is really happening to her body, there in the Maricopa County Hospital’s Burn Unit. Her hubby is progressing and her sister writes that he spoke to his little boy on the phone the other night! These are people who are blessed with both physical beauty and inner beauty. I know their beauty will endure. But I do cringe, just cringe, knowing that someone who has been so extensively burned, will never look the same. She’s been in a chemically induced coma for nearly two months now. Will that affect her cognitively? Will she recover and be able to have a normal existence? Am I naive to hope that she will?
Oh Stephanie. Oh Courtney, and Lucy and Page. The four sisters. And your brothers, whose names I haven’t yet memorized. Oh Christian. But I know, I know you will pull through one way or another. Your collective faith is now a testimony to a wider world that desperately needs to see how family values can be intertwined through tragedy, and how life and smiles can go on amidst the tears. How beautiful and stylish girls can save themselves for their handsome husbands and celebrate married sexuality in a way that God intends for us to! Joyfully! So much, Stephanie, have you shared with the world in your 27 years…and now your family is carrying on your tradition wonderfully and it is through them that I am getting to know you all.