I am starting to believe that there is no such thing as tragedy. There is only opportunity for growth, and should you accept it, the reward overcomes the sailing of the hardship.
I got off the phone with my brave parents in Mesa this evening. They gave me the daily update, Steph had another skin scraping surgery (this time in the facial area mostly) and Christian keeps looking better and better for a burn patient (keeping things in perspective). We have been told that Steph will likely look much different after her healing. That prospect is difficult for me to fully accept. It brings up so many questions I can only solve in due time. But something in my depths knows that it will be beautiful. She will be beautiful because she is beautiful.
I am left to wonder, what sacrifice would you go through personally to personally affect thousands of lives? Your beauty?
The heros of this story have been my rallying family. Each sister (blood and law) have assigned themselves days of the week to take over the children, laundry or meals. Niece and nephews are volunteering one of their weekend nights so that Lucy and Ric, Chup and I can go out on dates. Cousins show up every morning to walk Claire and Jane to school together and arrive after school to drop them (safely) home. Of course, these are all done with immense compassion, linking us all together and giving our relationships renewed purpose.
Neighbors have showed up with food, cereal and treats (never turned away). My friends greeted me first at the Balloon Launch and cried with me amongst the crowd. Steph and Christian's friends have created websites, sent packages to the kids and stepped up efforts for donations. I have decided to turn no one away, because I want to give anyone the opportunity to feel the good that comes from the serving. It's a story of begatting love.
And then there is this blogging world which has overwhelmed me and my family. Strangers who e-mail the most inspiring words (forgive me, I am a couple days behind on e-mails). Your comments on this blog have made Chup cry on several occasions. When I feel my heart starting to despair I have online access to inspiration. I love hearing about how you love my sister. (How could you not?) Family members feel the same way about your responses. Thank you for praying for someone you know through a blogspot. Please know, it does make a difference. Huge.
This Thursday has been declared by Design Mom as Nie Nie Day. There are many ways to celebrate, including hosting a silent auction via your blog comments. I saw tonight that there has been a massive response by bloggers and crafters to join in and raise money for the Recovery Fund. We love you and then we take a deep breath and love you some more. Same goes for all the wonderful fundraising going on all over the globe.
But most of all, as part of our LDS doctrine, we are fully aware of the sacredness of the soul. And we believe in a Father in Heaven who has a plan for our souls. There is something about walking through the valley of the shadow of death that reminds us how glorious it is to have a body and a spirit. And we look forward to the day when both will be inseparable.
Where is the tragedy here?
(Thanks to my oldest brother Coach Steve I will be auctioning off something in tribute to Christian's love of BYU Football on Thursday. They are not items that Nie would want really, but they are items that Nie would want Mr. Nielson to have!)