Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Stephanie's story

I am sure many of you read Stephanie Nielsons' blog. For those that do not I will give a brief introduction to it:

Stephanie is a young mother of 4, married to a handsome husband named Christian and, until recently, living in Arizona. She is beautiful, creative and shares pictures, recipes and craft tips with her large readership. Her little home was so sweetly decorated that Cookie magazine featured a tour.

Stephanie's husband loved to fly planes. For his birthday she bought him flying lessons and in August '08 the two of them flew off together to pick up boots she had spotted and decided to buy. They were joined by Christians' flight instructor, Doug. 

The small plane crashed on take off and tragically Doug did not survive. Christian and Stephanie both suffered extremely severe burns, with Stephanie's injuries covering 80% of her body.

For a while her readers, myself included, did not know if she would survive. Her sister, Courtney Jane (CJane to those that love her), took in 3 of her children (the youngest went into the care of another sister, Lucy, who lived nearby) and wrote daily about the unfolding tragedy that had shattered her family. CJanes' writing was tender and honest, and thousands of bloggers and blog readers flocked to her site every day. It was a phenomenal response from a world of people who had never met this couple. People from around the world held fundraisers, balloon releases, wrote long and personal comments of support and took Stephanie and her family into their hearts.

Stephanie is now in recovery and has moved to Utah, where her family - including CJane and Lucy - live. She has also started blogging again though the tone and subject matter on the blog has changed. I can tell from her writing that she desperately wants to be the woman she was, the mother she was and to share the same simple stories of a day spent with her children cooking, laughing, smiling and singing.

But for now she cannot, and today she posted the most touching post about the struggles she faces with who she has become. Is she a different person because she looks different? People used to stare at her because she was so beautiful, now they stare at her for other reasons entirely. She reveals for the first time that one of her beloved sons won't go near her.

I wanted to share her post with you because I think it is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have come across on this cyber space we inhabit. Perhaps it is because I have followed Stephanies' story for so long, but I think some of you may agree. For me this came as a much needed reminder to appreciate the little gifts we get everyday.

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