August 20, 2008

Some Thoughts

*I spent most of the day at the hospital yesterday. (Thank you for keeping Jack all day Teresa! And for bringing dinner!) I was able to talk to the doctor before and after Christian's surgery yesterday and he said that things went well. It was the first of many surgeries to come.

*I spent the afternoon at the hospital again today. (Thank you Jenni, for helping with my kids!) Stephanie was in surgery when I arrived, but I got to "talk to" Christian for a while.

When I spent some time in the hospital after a bad car accident about 9 years ago, my father sat at my side and read to me from the Book of Mormon during a particularly difficult time... I had just come out of surgery and was in a lot of pain. He read for over 2 hours, and while he did so I was calm and peaceful. He said that whenever he paused to clear his throat or take a sip of water I would begin writhing in pain again. It is a wonderful testimony to the power of scripture.

So, today I took a copy of the Book of Mormon with me and read to Christian... until they kicked me out so they could prep him for surgery. I held the book in one hand and kept my other hand on his shoulder where there are no burns or bandages. He seemed to respond a bit while I read... plus it was comforting for me as well. I don't expect him to remember it, but I think a part of him knows.

*I have been so impressed with the doctors and nurses and staff. I have been told a number of times that this burn center where they are is top notch. One of my dear friends emailed me yesterday to tell me how she worked there while in nursing school and what a great place it is. I know that Christian and Stephanie are in good hands (both a great medical staff, and the Lord's hands). Everyone has been really kind. Both yesterday and today there were "cookie packages" delivered from friends. Obviously, Christian and Stephanie can't eat them, so after removing the cards I invited the staff to eat the cookies, which they were more than happy to do. :)

*My sister-in-law Darin had the wonderful idea of putting photos of Christian and Stephanie in their rooms. My sister Liz followed through today and put up a bunch of wonderful photos. It was fun to look at them with all the nurses as they "ooh-ed" and "awed" and asked me about each one. They said they felt like they were getting to know them through their photos... and that was the whole point.

*Liz also hung a few quotes from Stephanie's blog, one of which mentioned the Family Proclamation. The nurses asked me what that was and I had the opportunity to tell them a little about it. Combine that with them hearing me read the Book of Mormon to Christian, and I think I did a little bit of missionary work today. :) Which reminds me....

My brother-in-law said the other night that this is what would be referred to as a "hard blessing." I think that is right. It is certainly difficult, but has changed lives forever.... for the better. So many people have been touched by this event, and I have no doubt that there will be many more.

Christian and Stephanie are wonderful examples and have been bold about sharing the gospel with their neighbors.... who love them for it! At the prayer service the other night, there were tons of people who are not member of our faith (particularly many of the close neighbors), but know and love Christian and Stephanie and have been touched by their testimonies and their exemplary lives. Even their mailman was there!

*C & S's bishop happens to be the brother of my brother-in-law. He came in this afternoon while I was there. We talked for a few minutes about all of the tender mercies that have been evident in all of this. I don't have time to list them all now, but in my prayer last night I thanked Heavenly Father for such things as the fact that my aunt and uncle were able to be on the scene of the crash with them, that my dad was able to meet them as they arrived at the hospital, that the plane didn't crash into a home or the propane tank that was only feet away, that they didn't take the children with them on this flight.... you get the idea.

Thank you to everyone for all of your well wishes, offers of help, words or comfort, and especially prayers. Please don't stop.


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  2. What a beautiful post Alice. You and your family have been so heavy on my mind. Especially remembering your accident. It seems that the anniversary of that event is very close? I think about what a privilege it was for me to come and sit with you and listen to your stories and just love you. (That's so easy to do)

    The other night when I saw Stephenie's mom on the news, I felt strongly that this is going to be a huge missionary event for these 2. What a powerful couple. You're right... a hard blessing.

    Just know that I love you and your family and am praying for you. Thanks for sharing this with us and keeping us posted. What would we do without each other?

    Take good care of yourself so you can keep loving them through this.

    Love you forever!

  3. This was nice to read, Alice. Thank you. And I echo the take care of yourself advice.

    Your family has been through this hospital thing a few times, now, hasn't it?

  4. Also, I've had the same feelings about this being a huge missionary op. I'm fiercely proud of Stephanie and Christian, as well as their families, for sharing the love of our Savior with so many.

  5. Thank you for your wonderful words. You and your entire family have been on my mind over the last 4 days. Ryan I are praying for Christian and Stephanie and your family. I have no doubt the Lord has a bigger picture in mind and has and will definately continue to bless all of you! I love you all!

  6. Alice I too am heavy in thought in regards to your family. I love hearing the sweet words you write. Your thoughts about the tender mercies of the Lord definitely help me to reflect on what is truly important in my life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! I check for updates daily. Thank you for sharing such a hard, private time in your families life.
    (Cassie LaRue)

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Since reading the news early Monday Stephanie and Christian have not been far from my heart and mind. I have been so incredibly SAD. Reading this has liften my heavy little spirit and made me feel good. It's nice to see through your eyes the little miricles that are happening surrounding this difficult situation. What a gem you are.

  8. This was a beautiful post Alice. Thank you so much for sharing. You are such a sweet sister to take the time to read the scriptures to him. I've thought a lot of the same small miracles that have taken place. I feel bad that we are not closer and cannot help out even a little, but please know that we have fasted and are praying fervently in their behalf. (even the kids pray for them every prayer said - including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.)

    We love you all. Hang in there and keep sharing the gospel through this experience. What a "hard blessing".


  9. Such a tender post. I enjoyed reading about the time you were able to spend with them.

    Miracles do happen, and I know that the faith of all involved will pull them through. Even now your families are an example of faith and the Lord's love during this time of tragedy. Hang in there.

  10. Alice, this post has really touched me, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. You and your family are such a wonderful example to me. I feel so privileged to count you as a friend and will continue to keep your family in my prayers.

  11. This post brought tears to my eyes and a catch to my throat - hard to hide while at work. I love you and your family and you all are in my prayers.


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