Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Sabrina said to me last night that she didn't want things to be normal again.  She doesn't want to do the normal things like going to bed and going to school.  Mostly I think she just didn't want to go to bed and have to go to school when she has cousins still in town.  But in my heart I was agreeing with her for different reasons.  I know it is best for me to get back into a routine.  My head tells me this and I am forcing myself to do it for my children and in an effort not to slip into an unproductive depression.  Still in my heart I feel like it just isn't normal here without Camille.  Actually, it has felt a little bit like Heaven here with all our family surrounding us.  We had more family here this weekend than we did for our wedding. (My twin brothers were on their missions when we got married.)  Now family members are taking their leave one by one and little by little the normal is returning. I know that is good and necessary but it feels like that little bit of Heaven is slipping away with the return of the "normal."  And with this I feel her absence more each day.  It just shouldn't be normal without her here.

I guess the Lord gives us the chores of the everyday to help us navigate the stormy seas of the life.  The normal keeps us from sinking our ships in a sea of endless sorrow. 

Never thought I would thank the Lord for the blessing of living only by the sweat of your brow.  Speaking of which, I guess I should go make my brow start sweating.


Anonymous said...

Getting back to the new normal may be hard. But hopefully to cheer you all up ~~ the double-stuffed 'O''s are on their way!! Much love, Artie & DeEtte

Alisa said...

Gorgeous picture. Your girls are all so beautiful...inside and out. I'm glad so many of your family members were with you this weekend. I'm sure that made the whole experience bitter-sweet. Pretty soon "normal" will feel more "normal". You're such a wise mother in the way that you turn everything into a "teaching moment", not only for your girls, but for others of us who have been following your experience on your blog. I admire you. Hang in there!

Alisa Ashby

i said...

If you need a hand while your brow sweats, I'd love to help....I don't much want to clean my own house anyways!

Rach said...

"Normal" is such a relative term. Your old "normal" will never be and a new "normal" will soon settle in its place.

It's so odd once the family and friends leave, almost as if there is a vacuum and you are left trying to figure out what to do to fill the spaces they were when all you really *want* to do is make time go back and make it all go away. (Hm, nice run-on sentence there...).

Just take it one moment, one breath, one instant at a time. Be as "normal" or as "un-normal" as you wish.

Many prayers and continued cyber HUGS and support.


Marleen said...

I don't think you and our family can go back to normal. The thought that even God would want that doesn't seem right. We may go back to doing normal everyday things but life is much different. You are much different. The difference has brought sorrow and pain yet has been to the enrichment of life.

I hope oneday my ways can be like Gods ways or that I could see into what he has planned out for us when such trials come our way. It may be wishful thinking and not be possible but I'm still hoping.

I wonder at times if God allowed us visions of the reasons why, would the sorrow be lessened only to feel like we were missing her for a day or a few hours. I pray that it may feel like that for you and Jonathan and sweet Sabrina someday. That eternity and the reunion with Camille may feel closer in time for all of you.

Anonymous said...

I have thought the same things, too, Steph (though I would never claim in a milllion years to know the depth that you feel). I keep waking up and thinking, how can it be another day? How can it be that we are supposed to wake up and get out of bed and continue "normal" life when something so life-altering has happened? A blessing in disguise, I'm sure, but certainly not the natural instinct. But I guess the same distractions that work for a two-year old work for us as well. Distract, keep busy, and wait until all the memories are more sweet than bitter. Our prayers are still with you.

MaryClaire Brown said...

you've got the right idea. normal seems so wrong, i'm sure, but as you said, so necessary. and what is normal anyway? it's not the normal you knew 2 weeks ago...you and your family are making a new normal for right now.

on that note, as you mentioned making an effort to get back into a routine for the sake of your kids and to avoid falling into a deep depression, i remembered my pregnancy with natalie. i went through several months there where i was depressed...i didn't want to get out of bed, i didn't want to get dressed, do anything, etc. and, if it weren't for parker needing me, i probably wouldn't have. but, once i did i made it through another day. i was so grateful for him needing me, and i think he's responsible for any happiness i felt during that time. now, my crazy pregnancy hormones in no way compare with the emotions you're feeling, but i'm grateful for your other kids and them needing you and you being the amazing mother to realize that and put your own self aside in order to give them what they need. you are an amazing mother...don't forget that.

Darleen said...

Steph--since the last few days of being in Vegas I haven't been blogging or reading blogs so I've catching up on all our posts. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. Thank you for being such a great example to me and sharing your strength of the gospel. Sharing the wisdom you have gained from the whole process. I have been fond of watching you and Jonathan handle everything with your girls so they will not be scarred in the future. I am so grateful that I was able to be there and hold onto the few memories I have of Camille.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, you have been through a hard time, but as you said, you've also been very surrounded and uplifted by family and that is a great gift to have. Also, though, your trial is not over. I don't know if you recall an earlier comment of mine about when my daughter lost her baby too soon. Her hardest time was probably ~6 months after, after the early visible and obvious support seems to be gone and everyone has "gone on with their life." What you are feeling sounds totally "normal", so to speak. Plan to be kind to yourself and Jonathan, to allow yourself to go through the feelings you have and, yes, depression is a "normal" part of grieving. You are allowed to be sad! You might plan to do things at certain times or intervals to allow yourself to grieve or celebrate as you wish to. My daughter took off work each year to do something special. The first couple years it was to stay home and cry for the most part, but she progressed from there. I still keep sleepers in my closet I was holding onto for my granddaughter. Your normal is whatever works for you. You will hard hard times and you guys will work it out in the ways that you have so far and maybe some new ways you find.

That said, if you need any help with "normal" (ha!) activities with mothering, keeping a house, shopping, etc., I gladly help.

I know it doesn't always help when someone is as strong as you are to be reminded of how strong you are, but you are. Even strong people's hearts can ache, though.

Leslie Wiley

Jules said...

I just read in another post that you donated Camille's heart. I am in awe at your presence of mind and generosity! As the mother of a 6 year old girl who is waiting for a donor heart valve, I had to post and tell you THANK YOU. Although I know my daughter did not receive Camille's heart valve, some other waiting family did and you are their hero. My heart goes out to you and your family. Heavenly Father has blessed you with comfort and I pray that he continues. Love and peace to ya'll from Texas.

Craig and Jessica Smith said...

This is Jessie Heaps. Brooke emailed me and informed me of this tragedy. I just want you to know that my heart breaks for you! I think that reading your blog and seeing your strength, has truly strengthened my testimony! You are such a great example to me in such a time of sorrow. Your words are incredible and I am amazed at the incredible mother and woman you are! I want you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful family during this difficut time!


Cairen said...

Every time I read your posts I wish that I could just give you guys a big hug because I don't really know what to say. But I want both of you to know that your family will be in our prayers and that are willing to do what ever you need done, whether it is a friend to go to the temple with or an activity to make the day not so normal or whatever.

Liz's Blog said...

Oh Steph...I have actually read your post a few times today....but wanted to contemplate what to comment. I admire your courage and your faith. Stephanie, it won't be normal...it can't be....it will be ok...and everyday from now on, will be a different type of normal. I agree with Cairen...as you are trying to find what normal is, and everyday might be different, as your girlfriends we are here for you, to hug you, go out to lunch with you, stay home and watch movies, go to the temple with you....ice cream!!!! We love you Steph.

Tiffany said...

You don't know me. I'm a friend of a friend of a friend... and I've just spent a great deal of time reading your recent posts. I feel the need to comment and just say that... I have been touched. Profoundly. Deeply. I have been inspired. I am looking at my own life with different eyes. Even though you don't know me, I am a better person because of you. You and your sweet family are now most definately in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

I think of the pioneers who buried their dead and then proceeded to walk...and walk...and walk. Last night, I was able to talk to Buff about the week. She was crying. I was crying. I'm particularly struck with the amount of love and strength of your immediate family. Buff was saying how all she wanted to be was with her family. You have an AMAZING one. I think of last summer when I came to help with the kids. Darren came over. Rachel called. You IM ed me (the only time I've ever IM ed in my life) and called. Leslie packed the car and came. I honestly was in awe of the support. I hope you feel it often. The words of a friend, who has just gone through a divorce said it best, "It's pretty hard to experience what I have. Many have, some much worse, and one suffered it all."
Love you!

Tricia said...

I have stood back and read without commenting because I am unsure what to say or how to say what I feel I should say. I do not know the pain you feel but I do know the pain I feel for you. You and your family are in my family's thoughts and prayers every night.

My husband who does not normally read blogs has been reading your blog but from a mans point. He read into how your husband is handling things how your husband is dealing with things. The other night we kneeled to pray and my husband asked to go first. That in itself was a first. He began a prayer for your husband Jonathan. He asked the Lord to hold Jonathan tight because Jonathan has so many females to support and hold at this time. It was a very touching moment and I just wanted to let you know that since that night my Husband has prayed for your husband and family.

There is strength in prayer and we just want you to know your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

God bless you today, tomorrow and always!

Tricia said...

I guess I should of signed my name and left my info. the little things you forget. lol.