I still haven't gone back and read all of her entries before the crash, but very quickly got to know that she was an amazing Mum to four young kids, she loved her husband 'Mr Nielson' and she loved life. I loved that she was also a member of our church, and could relate to the faith she showed. I waited for each new blog post on her blog from her sister, to update us on how she and 'Mr Nielson' were doing. I was amazed at her strength when she came home from hospital after months of being in a coma.
She has shared how her life has changed since the accident many times including on the Oprah Winfrey show .
I was incredibly shocked and touched that she mentioned what had happened to me and my family on her blog back in January. Since then I couldn't even count how many messages, comments and emails I have received from people saying 'I found your blog through NieNie'.
When she announced that she was writing a book I knew straight away that I would buy it, and it finally arrived a couple of weeks ago and I have spent the last week reading it.
I thought I 'knew' Stephanie a little through reading her blog, but didn't really understand the struggles she went through at all, until I read her book. I cried a few times as I read different things, but especially when I read about her 'happy ending' where she became pregnant with her fifth child, even though I already knew that she recently had her baby Charlotte.
When Noah was with us I often had people say 'you should write a book one day'. Then when he passed away I heard it even more. Now I guess I have even more of a story to tell, but I can't imagine that I will have a 'happy ending' like Stephanie had had, at least not in this life.
I'm sure things will get 'easier' as time passes (I hope!) and I still see there is so much good in life (thank goodness for my three boys), but it's just hard to see how I could ever have been as happy as I was when my family of six was with me on the earth. I just really hope that this quote from Stephanie's book comes true: 'bad days come to an end...faith always triumphs and heavenly promises are always kept'.