As a reader of my blog you may have noticed that I have a cute little button on the side that states “I read NieNie.” If you have yet to follow the trail to the Nie Nie Dialogues, take a moment to travel there. It is Stephanie “NieNie” Nielson’s wonderful blog documenting her life as a 20-something, Mesa, AZ mother of 4 under 8, wife, homemaker, artist, and friend. NieNenie makes the little moments of life true treasures, from a beginning-of-the-school-year-feast, to playing in the first monsoon of the season. Her true essence can be found in her post “Breast Milk For Life” at http://www.graciejbrunswick.blogspot.com/
By reading her blog I feel as though I have gotten to know her so much, yet I have yet to meet her. She is inspiring and creative, passionate and joyous, humble and graceful. But to say that she is simply inspiring is an understatement. She is the type of person who makes you want to be a better person. Stephanie has made me want to enjoy my life a little more, worry little less; love more deeply; speak words of kindness rather than just think them; and be thankful above all else.
One week ago Stephanie and her husband Christian were in a private plan crash, in which the other person on board passed away. Both she and her husband are suffering from severe burns over much of their bodies and will be facing long recoveries, which will include surgeries and grafts. When I read Stephanie’s sister’s post on her blog the day after it happened my stomach dropped and my heart ached. It didn’t feel as though this tragedy happened to a woman I have never met; it felt like it happened to a dear friend. Bad things don’t happen to good people was my first reaction, this must be some sort of dream, or more aptly, nightmare. Yet, my belief that all things happen for a reason, though often unknown, kept peeking through my sadness.
Over the past week it has been absolutely amazing to see the responses of everyone who has come into contact with Stephanie, either in person or through the world of blogging. Just as she has given so much, we all want to give back to her; to give her what we can so that she and her Mr. Nielson can return home to their children soon. So maybe, this day in age, when it feels like we live in our own insular worlds, we really don’t. When one woman touches the lives of so many others, and balloons of well-wishes and prayers soar up into the skies around the world, we realize just how much we need each other, and how much we can influence the lives of others. And how much we just need to stop, say “I love you,” “thank you,” and enjoy the present.
Please keep Stephanie and Christian in your prayers and thoughts so that they may heal quickly and return home to their family. To keep updated on their conditions, go to Stephanie’s sister’s blog, http://cjanerun.com/