Nie with Jane on the "Y" last year

Seven years ago yesterday my sister had her first baby.

A girl.

Round face, big eyes and an adorably-shaped nose.

We were all in love.

A week later Stephanie wrote down her birth experience and asked me to edit. She left out no detail in the delivery, and started with contractions she endured at her downtown Provo home. Painful, throbbing contractions which she breathed through using Christian as a prop to lean on. Her sensations were intense and it didn't take long--hospital bound--to bear the baby. Here it was, the answer to her body's divine purpose.

Yesterday my sister's first born had a birthday.

Insisted that we hike the Y.

A hike so unbearable that some have wished for death (me) on the first switchback.

Surrounded with cousins, a few brave uncles, and one grumbling aunt (me) Claire trooped her way up the steep terrain without any assistance. At one point she left us in the dust and climbed her way without me. I was left to grunt my way to the top with Jane in one hand and a tightly clutched water bottle in the other.

Oh sweet misery!

On the most vertical of spots I would think about Stephanie who would run . . .


Run up the trail while nine months pregnant. Jimmy her companion. She would time herself with goals to make it shorter the next day. And the next day she's shave off a few seconds. Any day in Provo was not complete without her looping the old familiar trail to the white, bumpy rocks forming the second-to-last letter in the alphabet.

As for me, I made it to the top.

A modern-day miracle.

Yesterday my sister, with the help of physical therapists, sat up in her bed.

Leaning again on her husband. While still in a light haze, not talking, just sitting.

A goal, we've been waiting for her to accomplish.

A small benchmark that represents how far she's come.

Yesterday we celebrated physical feats.

A birth, a hike, a new movement for our girl. The resiliency of a body with a willing spirit. A mother, a daughter and possibly a sister/aunt who didn't think she could make it to the top.

(Who is so sore today.)

October 29th, thank you.

(Thanks again to the wonderful Burn Center team at Maricopa!)

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