Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Little Things

"Goodbye my Little Boo!" I called to Sabrina this morning.  Then I thought, "wait, that is a Camille nickname.  My little peek-a-boo girl."  As parents of multiple children we often call a kid by the wrong name.  Now when I do that it just reminds me of the giant whole in my chest where my heart is supposed to be and the absence of baby clinging to my side or crawling up the stairs.  It is the little things that pierce the deepest.

Here is Lauren finding a program from Camille's funeral and giving it kisses asking me when Camille is coming back to play with us.
I can't open this cupboard without feeling it is too empty without her in it.  I see the chips in the veneer she made with her toes crawling in and out of this so many times.  Now I don't think I ever want to repair that.  Same with her cup drawer.  I wish she were in it every time I see it.
Then there is my ipod.  I loved how happy she get when she would take the earphone and put it up to her ear and bop along to the music.  She would take the earphone away and look at me in amazement then put it back to her ear and smile.  Then she would take the earphone back out and stick it in her mouth to suck on.
Then last night Annie started doing CPR on a bag of marshmallows saying "Breathe!  Come on just Breathe!"  She was joking and playing but it still brought me back to what that day must have been like for my kids seeing their sister limp and blue, seeing their mother pleading with God as she performed CPR, seeing their father crumble in despair trying to keep them out of the way.  I am amazed how well they are dealing with the trauma and the grief.  
I have no doubt the angels in our house are attending to them as they are to me and Jonathan.  If only I had eyes that could see and ears that could hear the workings of the Lord in this house.

Take a minute for me tonight and record the little things your kids do right now.  They don't even need to be cute things.  Someday when your baby is grown you may even miss the food thrown on the ground or the face wiped on the sleeve.  Cherish the little things.  For the little things are the spice in life.


Jenny said...

We love you guys. We are still praying for you and the girls. I hope that the pain will ease more and more with time. Just take it one day at a time. That's all you can do. I wish there were words that could really bring you the comfort you need, but only the Spirit can do that. So, we will continue to pray for you all to receive that comfort.
Jenny (earl) Norton

Anonymous said...


Your words are poignant. This blog brings tears to my eyes, as the pain is still so raw and fresh. I see you trying to go on, and am amazed by your determination. I wish like so many others to be able to take the pain from you and yours. I can't, but He can. You, Jon, and the girls are in my prayers. They are lucky to have amazing parents. We are lucky to have you in Young Women's. Thank you.
Cynthia Bailey

Anonymous said...

It was great to see you at the activity last night! Thanks for being there. You add a great deal to our YW's group, both in spirit and in energy.
P.S.: I enjoy reading your blog...It is beautiful!

Raena Johnson said...

My mother used to tell me that sometimes you have to take things one day at a time - and when that is too hard, take it hour by hour - and when that is too much, as it sometimes is, you have to take it minute by minute. Time can be our best friend and our worst enemy. You'll survive the minutes, then the hours, then the days, and your little one will have been remembered in all of them.

Casey and Brynn said...

I found your blog through a mutual friend. I just want to thank you for continuing to inspire other people, even through your darkest hours. I always check your blog and think of your family often. You are in our prayers. May the Lord continue to inspire you through your tragedy, to bring Camille's death some sort of purpose, as it teaches and touches the lives of many people you will never meet. Thank you and best wishes,
The Turnbaugh Family

Marleen said...

Thank you for your thoughts. Tonight or during this day I will share some of my thoughts on paper so they will be recorded.

Anonymous said...


Reading your blog these past weeks has helped me be a better mother to my little ones (3 and almost 6). Yet another gift from your sweet Camille. I thank you for that.

Today it's my birthday and I'm determined to spend the "second half" of my life by living in the moment and enjoying every single moment of their lives.

Thank you, Stephanie. God bless you and your family,


Anonymous said...

You don't really know me, we've only met once. I am actually new in your ward but I wanted you to know that I find so much strength from your words. I'm finding myself focusing more on the positive and less on the negative things in life. Your faith and testimony are so strong. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings and know that your family is in our prayers.
Melissa Cooley

katia said...

Stephanie -- I've been following your blog now for the past two weeks and just this morning I wrote something that would fit your request for this evening.

My thoughts are with you and your family.


The Morris Fam said...

Thank you for touching my heart and wetting my face....once again. I will cherish the piles crumbs and poop on the toilet seat. I pray you will continue to receive the strength you need. Love, Julie

MomOf3 said...

Wiser words were never said. I keep coming back to your blog to see how you are doing. The pictures from the funeral are both beautiful and heartbreaking. God bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie and family,
We have never met, however I feel as if I know you and your soul. I am a friend of Wendy and Jamel Taylor. I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings. You have no idea the impact you and your wonderful family have had on me and my family (stretching all the way to Northern Kentucky). You have changed the way I look at my own children and taught me to enjoy the "little things" even when I want to pull my hair out. I know your daughter's angel arms are embracing all of you and guiding you each day, as well as touching many other lives. Thank You and God Bless.

Angela Brandon

Sarah Striblen said...

Dear Stephanie,
Thank you for keeping up with your blog- I hope it gives you comfort. I come back to it every day for comfort and inspiration. I have gone back to keeping my journal- it is so important to record the tiny details. I want to always remember how Madeline says yes like "shesh" and Abigail reading books to her sister. Thanks you for inspiring all of us through your words and thoughts. It is amazing that you can do that despite your loss. It is a gift.

Beth said...

I read your blog every day-sometimes I come back to re-read your entry. I don't always have the words to comment, but know that you and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers each and every day.
Your empty cabinet picture brought tears to my eyes-even I can still see the picture of Camille in my minds eye.
I will, most definately, write about my children tonight. At the moment my 9yo DD is bossing her 4yo brother around and he is blissfully ignoring her which is driving her bananas.
Peace be with you all....

MaryClaire said...

thank you! i'm kind of at a loss for words right now, but again...thank you!

MaryClaire said...

just thought you'd like to see another of the millions of ways and people this is affecting for good. this is another friend of ours from our freshman year at byu.

camille really is the little angel that so many of us needed. she's the sweet reminder that we all needed to love our children as they should be loved, to not sweat the small stuff that really doesn't matter, to remember Him, to pray more, to live better, to be more kind, patient, and loving. this list of things she has taught us with her short life could go on and on. i'm just so unbelievably sorry that you had to lose your pecious baby girl in order for all of us to learn those lessons. the sacrifice is more than most could bear, and though you may not feel it at times, you are bearing it beautifully. i love you and i want to put my arms around you and take the pain away, even if just for a moment.

(so, i guess i'm not at a loss for words anymore. i just needed to let that one digest.)

Raena Johnson said...

I'm sorry but I can't stop thinking about you and your family. Your daughter with the marshmallow bag prompted me to finally watch a CPR DVD I ordered 6 months ago TODAY! It was excellent and I've since sent everyone I know including my Relief Society email group the link to order it and learn CPR. Just one more blessing from your sweet Camille that will affect many others.

Anonymous said...

Again, thank you for your honesty and your openness. Please know my family is still praying for you all and that you are present in my thoughts often. How ironic that it seems as though the rest of us are gleening so much from what you are going through right now. I will jot down a few things tonight. It is difficult now, as I have 3 teens and a couple of them at those "awkward" stages, to see the greatness in them sometimes. I am however appreciating so much the opportunity I have to keep trying. thank you again. God Bless!

julesttdmom said...

As always you are in our hearts and prayers!!! There is a saying that I have choosen to live my life with when it comes to Collin.
"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change" I think that you are a great example of this. I want you to know that we love you and are lifting you and your sweet family up in prayer.
Julie Presley

JaNae said...

Stephanie and Jon,
You do not know me, but I continue to have the strongest feelings to leave you a comment. I have been reading your blog for the past two weeks, and I have to tell you that I feel so blessed to have come across your blog on a link from someone else's. I am of your same faith, and I feel of the spirit so strongly every time I read your words. Thank you so much for openly sharing this experience and your feelings with everyone that reads your blog. I am so sorry that you had to experience this loss, but I do know that the Lord will help you through, if you continue to let him do so. My family is coming upon the six year anniversary of the loss of my dear brother in a motorcycle accident. That was a life changing experience for every member of our family. His accident has been one of the hardest things to go through, but at the same time, I had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life along with the rest of my family. I have three boys, my oldest was born the morning after the funeral, and it forced me to go on with life, because I had a newborn that needed me to do everything for him. My youngest is 15 months, and I cannot look at him without thinking of your daughter. Losing my brother was so hard, and now that I am a mother, I cannot even imagine losing a child, especially without the gospel in your life. Another great source of comfort for us has been a drawing that my family had done of my brother with Christ (representing him coming home to Christ). Each member of my family has it hanging in our homes as a reminder where he is at. My mother's friend, named Jean Keaton, did this drawing for us. She is a well known artist in the Salt Lake City area, and she has a lot of her work in book stores. You maybe have seen some of her drawings at Deseret Book. Anyway, I thought it might be a comfort to you and your family to have something like this done. I have personally seen several other drawings she has done for families that have lost a loved one, and each and everyone has looked exactly like the person that passed away, and has brought so much comfort to the family. She has a website if you would to check it out someday. It is, and if you go to, that has some of her comfort drawings along with stories from the family. I will continue to pray for your family.

Kathryn said...

I know there are so many little things about my kids that I need to value more. I think that is one of the challenges in really enjoy the small things. I was thinking about you today and thinking about how fragile life is and I thought, you know what, I need to focus more on every day with my husband and children. I now see every single day I get to spend with them as a blessing. All the other things that take up so much space in my life are a distant second. Thank you for helping me see that. Kathryn

kamibeck said...

Thank you for your words of wisdom. I want to see the world as you see it. I'm working on that. You inspire me. I will start writing again. Justin and I were richly blessed to be with you and your sweet family for the funeral. Your greatness touched our hearts. No wonder a perfect angel named Camille was sent to your home. You do have your anchor in the Kingdom.
Lots of love, hugs, and prayers,

MoziEsmé said...

Thanks for the reminder that when it comes down to what matters, it is the little things - the little things that create memories and show the love.

You and your beautiful girls are in our prayers.

McGinnis Family said...

Again, you don't know me but through your blog I can feel and sense your strength! What an amazing woman you are to look at things the way you have! Your blog is beautiful and amazing! I feel strength as I read it.

s & g said...

Sometimes when my kids are driving me crazy, it is hard to look for the 'little things', but I kept your post in my mind all day and we really had a good day. My Char even broke a plate in the dishwasher tonight and I thought about your previous post with the girls and the Lladro. Thank you for your words which are helping so many Steph.

We continue to pray for your family every night. Sending love...

karen said...

Oh Stephanie and Jonathon, my heart just breaks for you and you family. Your words just bring tears to my eyes.Rading your blog entries have helped me, they truly have inspired me to be better in so many ways. I think a lot of people feel that way. We are all praying for you and just mourn with you. Karen Stewart

Hoskins Family said...

Steph, I believe that your eloquent thoughts here these past few weeks have led many to re-commit to Do and BE Better! I know we all wish you could help ease the pain and despair that you both feel. Just know how much many of us are praying for you daily. Love from all of us!

The White Clan said...

Once again I thank you for sharing your life with us. I am setting a personal goal of not being so hard on my three boys. They are so full of energy and craziness, and I find myself yelling way more than I should. You have made me open my eyes, to see that they are precious even when they are beating the tar out of each other. Thank you so very much. You are an inspiration to many mothers out there.
Kacey White

The Wilson's said...

I don't know how you have so much strength to get out of bed everyday and do what you do - I guess it is one of the great miracles from our Heavenly Father. I found your blog like many others through a friend and took your advice and wrote out a few things I would have forgotten that my little 13 month old did yesterday. Thank you for your inspiration and for strengthening my own testimony. I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts and I'll make sure I give my own baby a few extra hugs and kisses.

Dukefamily5 said...

I don't know your family, but I am a family friend of Elizabeth's and I heard your story. I have read some of your blog and I am so touched and inspired by your family. I have twins that are 18 months and an almost 4 year old daughter. As a mother of several young children, I am inspired by your strength. I can not even begin to imagine what you are going through and I pray for you and your family through this difficult time.
Love, MaryAnn Duke from Bountiful, Utah

Amanda said...

i am a friend of elizabeth's and have been following your journey...your words bring me to tears, and they bring me peace. your family has touched my life and i have resolved to love my children better, you are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

LaRae said...

Stephanie - this one inspired me! I have been observing the little things more than ever. I have gotten so much from your blog. I can feel the pain in your writing, which brings me to tears, but I feel your strength, and it makes me resolve to be stronger, better. Thank you for sharing. love - LaRae

Nancy said...

Hi Stephanie (and family),
I'm a friend of Aaron & Carolyn.
I wrote a blog post in memory of Camille and did as you asked and wrote about the "little things" that my children do:

Thanks for your testimony, your strength and for sharing your pain and joy along the way. You are a wonderful mother.

Hi I'm Amy, said...

I am here reading your blog, i just stumbled upon it. (God thing for sure) your words touch me. I cry tears as I read. You are strong. GOd Bless you and your family. You made me see something tonight as I read. Thank you.