Wednesday, August 20, 2008

please pardon the indulgence...

...but I need to write. I know I'm not the only one (even among all of us who aren't even in the family!) who is having trouble sleeping, or who bursts into tears sporadically throughout the day, or who is checking Courtney's blog every fifteen minutes for an update. My arms ache from not being able to do MORE. So I pace. And now I type.

While at Seven Peaks the other evening, Viva La Vida came over the speakers. Who doesn't love that song? I thought about it: Viva La Vida: Livin' the Life. And then I looked up at the Y and tears started to fall. Who lives life more than Stephanie? She takes the time. She loves. She does. She cries because of the love she has for these mountains that I get to see every day. She ran - not walked - up to that Y on a daily basis. (She led the way on my first Y hike, with the words, "I'm not going to talk -- just keep going." So Courtney and I walked and made it to the top after Stephanie had already been up there for about an hour.) Walking out of the park, I actually had the thought: I've spent too much of my 31 years not smiling enough, not ignoring the crap like I should, not seeing the beauty. And then it hit me: HOW DID SHE GET SUCH A PERSPECTIVE AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE?

Again, sorry for the indulgence. Just a few thoughts for the day. We're all praying for you and your family, Nielsons. Thank you for continuing to inspire us. We love you!

13 comments:

Geo said...

That wasn't an indulgence. It was an investment. You're not alone in these thoughts, not at all. The phrase that keeps going through my mind again and again and AGAIN in regard to Stephanie and her family, their outlook and . . . their mission, in my opinion . . . is LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. It's been with me, along with the tears and prayers, this whole time.

I'm glad you wrote what you did. I think I'll go and hike the Y today. Not run, but walk it at my own pace.

Gerb said...

Very beautifully said. Here's my inner torment: I don't even know Stephanie (in person) but I am still affected by this whole thing. And because I don't know her personally I feel like I don't have a right to be affected somehow. But I still feel compelled to do something... so I pray. And I read updates. And I wish I could figure out a way to do something more.

It's a crazy thing, this whole blog family I have created for myself - especially since there are so many who I read about often and feel like I know well.

Anyway. That's a long comment. I really can't pin down the right way to say what I am feeling.

La Yen said...

I am with you. Sending a care package doesn't seem like enough, and sending money doesn't seem like enough. And temple roll prayers and family prayers and personal prayers aren't enough. But they have to be enough, I guess.

compulsive writer said...

I appreciate your post and the comments. I only met Stephanie once but I did write a blog post in defense of the way she looks for, finds and surrounds herself with beauty. The world needs more of that you know.

I still can't wrap my head around all this.

ash said...

I met Nie once in real life, and she was just as amazing as her little blog leads you to believe. I (like Gerb) don't really know her either, but I am so worried and sad.

We're going to do the balloon launch here in Washington-all by ourselves, send a care package, keep checking for updates, cry, and pray.

Thanks ~j for saying it just right.

sue-donym said...

Exactly. If we all had a little more "Nie" in us, we would be able to see the world a little more as our Heavenly Father wants us to see it.

I feel that ache as well.

Shelly said...

When we are faced with a traumatic experience it opens our eyes. Everyday should be something we look forward to. Live life to the fullest and be happy. I love the song that the kids are learning in primary right now "I am like a star shining brightly". I do not know Stephanie but if she is anything like what everyone says than she is a star shining brightly for the whole world to see.

i i eee said...

I think whether or not she knows it, by reading her blog faithfully she is our friend, even if to her we remain a stranger.

Recently I wrote a paper for one of my classes asking if a relationship could be "real" if feelings weren't being reciprocated. If you love someone, but they are completely unaware of your love for them, does that make the love you feel any less "real?" My answer is no, it does not.

Thank you for posting this ~j. I had blogged privately about how this has affected me. I didn't feel like I deserved to indulge on expressing my own reaction to this tragedy, because there I would go again, making it all about me. And what am I to that family? Practically a stranger. But I think anyone who has ever stumbled across her blog, or even met her just that one time in real life, would have to have a heart of stone to not be affected deeply in some way by this situation. Stephanie is an artist, and like all great artists, she has done more than create beauty: she has changed lives.

AzĂșcar said...

I don't know if she has all that much perspective: she won't share her food.

Iann said...

I'm with you ~j. I somewhat grew up with Stephanie and her family, but have not been involved in thier lives at all for 11 years. Somehow that time means nothing and I have to constantly check on what's going on read the words that are shared. I almost feel silly that it is affecting me, but if all I get out of this is that there is something greater and more powerful out there that can help this family find peace.. then I know it's worth it.
Thanks for your words.
~iann

L. Mo said...

Thanks for the perspective. I really needed it today. You may be younger than me, but much more mature. I glad to call you friend.

~j. said...

I seriously was not expecting to get any comments on this. Thanks to everyone for your support -- of my writing this, but most especially towards Stephanie, Christian, their kids, their family, their goals, their lives, and their healing.

Julie said...

Amen, my friend. I've hesitated to write anything, but I finally caved. I just had to write something, even if it was just to help me sort my thoughts. I'm glad you indulged us. I'm guessing Stephanie wouldn't mind at all.