Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blank Page Day

I am a fan of the Twilight Series of books by Stephenie Meyer.  My favorite of the three books is the second book.  I know for most of my friends this is their least favorite book. But I feel like I lived that book. I was in love with a perfect guy. Our relationship was to the point of getting married or breaking up and even though we were both still in love, we just both knew that we were not meant to be together. So suddenly we broke up.

Perhaps my favorite part of that book is right after Bella and Edward break up.  There are several blank pages. Reading that book for the first time I thought "brilliant!" That is exactly what it feels like to break up with someone with whom you are in love. She went on to so accurately describe the ensuing emotions. 

Sometimes life feels like that -- turning blank pages. Today it feels like that. 

I know the recipe for getting out of this pit. Do something mental, spiritual, social, and physical everyday. I am working on those.  I have done all but the last and am headed for pilates in 10 minutes.  Still, it is still like blank pages today, going through the motions- "pretending to be normal" as another grieving mom put it.  Bella did that too - pretend to be normal.

Back after that break up so many years ago, I remember praying to at least meet the man I would marry, even if it wasn't time for us to marry yet, so that I would really know him when we did marry. That summer I met my Jacob -- Jonathan. We became great friends and he helped me through those dark days of blank turning pages. He became the main character in the story of my life as my best friend. 

Here is where my story differs from Bella's. When I had the opportunity to get back together with the old boyfriend, I realized that my feelings for Jonathan were stronger than I thought.  I preferred to be with Jonathan.  Jon didn't even like me as more than a friend, but still I preferred to be with him. Needless to say, the old flame and I did not get back together.  We both knew it still was not right and he ended up getting engaged about 6 weeks later to another lovely girl. I had them over for dinner and met her. She was perfect for him-far better for him than I ever would have been. I was happy for him to have found her.

My story took more patience.  The Lord answered my prayer and let me meet Jon that summer but the time was not right for me to marry yet.  A couple of years of friendship later, the Lord turned Jonathan's heart to me.  Eight long distance months later, we were married.

It is now Jonathan who is again wading through these blank pages with me. He knows my pain and feels it with me, but he still can make me smile.  I still prefer to be with him to anyone else. He is still my best friend and so much more. He is the only one who can reach me in these pages of silence and draw me out of the blank and into the light. How grateful I am to have been led to love the perfect man for me. 


Jonathan Waite said...

I think this post is great! This guy MUST be absolutely incredible.

Amanda said...

So sweet! Our family is praying for you! You don't know us but I feel like I know you because I GET to read your blog everyday! HANG IN THERE!

Stephanie said...

Incredible indeed! True love does help heal the heavy heart. My wonderful husband has pulled me along through the thick dark blank pages as well. You write so eloquently and from the heart. We pray continually that you will all be comforted. It may not help but I can only tell you of my experience. I did not lose a child I gave birth to a daughter with spina bifida. It sent me on a spin of many many blank pages. I too am LDS. Not of pioneer heritage a convert at age 16. My aching heart just didn't understand. One day in an interview with Scott Hendricks a member of the stake presidency he grabbed my arm and said Stephanie someday you will have a spiritual understanding of Elisabeth's birth. From that moment on my heart was healed. Yes there were many more challenges and tears but the truly deep pain was removed. I too hope you will be allowed to be at peace.

Torrie said...

I was directed to your blog from another and just wanted to leave a comment even though you don't know me. I am struck by your incredible faith and testimony. You express yourself so beautifully. I wanted you to know that when I read your "Little Things" post, it was exactly what I needed. I struggle with patience with my children sometimes and your reminder to see them through Heavenly Father's eyes was perfect. I hope your faith continues to sustain you during this difficult time. You have a beautiful family and I appreciate your willingness to share your sorrow with the rest of us. Your faith is uplifting and inspiring.

Shanan said...

Jon - you crack me up! I had a good laugh when I read your comment!

Steph - wonderful post. I'm so glad you and Jon have each other to get through these 'blank pages.

Becky said...

Okay, I've really gotta read those books now! I couldn't finish reading the post because of the spoilers! I know, I'm one of the only women between the ages of 15 and 45 who haven't read the series!

I'm a friend of Carolyn's. I've been reading your blog off and on for the past few weeks. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experiences and feelings. I'm definitely holding my kids a little tighter and trying not to feel sorry for myself when I face disappointments, large or small.

www.adorn-jewelry.blogspot.com said...

Your relationship with Jon is one of the miracles of your life Steph. Funny, I was just thinking about your "Edward" today!

Carolyn said...

That Jonathan really is absolutely incredible!!! I like him and you.

...and I really like Jacob too.

The Seeley Family said...

I love reading your blog everyday. It's so funny, I feel like I have known you forever, although I have never met you. You words are so inspiring I can't help but turn back to your blog. It is almost like I need to read your words. I have loved my children so much more since I first read your posts. I have prayed for you and your family. I have mourned with you and I have felt your testimony. Thank You! You are an amazing woman. I'm so glad that you have such an amazing husband to support you.

Anonymous said...

You don't say how old you were at the time of the break-up, Stephanie but I think you showed great wisdom in realizing that it is preferable to be unmarried than in an ill-advised one. You exercised great patience too :-)

All good things are worth the wait.

Megan Dougherty said...

Stephanie -
You are such an amazing writer!!! Your talent for expressing your feelings and experiences in such beautiful lyrical words is so inspiring. I probably sound like a broken record (because I have said this in several of my previous posts), but your strength is such an inspiration to me. I look forward to reading your blogs each day. Thank you for sharing your life during such a trying time!!

kdskids said...

Ha Ha! Jonathan...it is nice to hear from you! Quite the clever comment! It is so wonderful that we are able to have our best friends who love us "no matter what" by our sides. This will make your connection so much stronger and the friendship and love that much deeper.

Hugs - Kathy

Marleen said...

Great comment Jonathan. I think you're incredible too. You two complement each other well.

Elise said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now. Similar to many of your readers, I was led to your blog through another friend, also in the LV area. I'm not sure how to say this, but I hesitated for some time leaving a comment, because you always had so many...what more could I add? But this post about blank pages touched me too deeply to not leave something. On July 29, 2007 the day my husband blessed our baby, (we are lds too) my husband left for Iraq. We only had 5 days notice. When he left our son was 3 months old, our daughter one month shy of 2 years. (I am not so gifted in writing as you...I struggle to express myself gracefully - as you do so well.) Anyway, the point is, when I hit a low spot in the past, I have been able to pull myself out one way or another. Well for the past few weeks I have been pretty low, but unable to get myself out of the pit. I've been unable to figure it out. I don't want to digress. What I'm trying to say is...you nailed it. Blank pages. That's where I am right now. Blank pages. I know I have nothing to complain about. I know I am blessed beyond measure. But I'm not taking pictures, not videoing my kids (even with how cute they are). I'm in denial each morning. I don't want to open my eyes, let alone smile. I'm right in the middle of those blank pages. Thank you for helping me understand. Thank you for your words and your perspective. Thank you for writing so well. It is a gift I benefit from every day. Thank you.

Lloyd & Leslie said...

Haha! I love that Jonathan's comment was the very FIRST one!

When we meet the one meant to be our partner, I don't think we ever realize at the time all the whys of it, our vision is very limited. I know I nitpick my husband more than he would like to try to teach him some things (spare me, I know), but he was placed in my life to bring me to the gospel when others placed in my life before me didn't do it (when they had had it for themselves, but didn't stick with it). He's a gift to me. I don't know what else life holds and why he was "the one", but life is far deeper and richer and holds a lot in store for us and being equally yoked is so important. I also know that being equally yoked does not mean being clones of each other. After Sis. Haddock's gospel doctrine lesson last Sunday I realized all those qualities that make a good priesthood holder were in my husband (well, OK, most of them!) and if he has those things, he's got his end of the yoke. I was impressed when my husband said (the standard) "Hi, how are you doing" to Jonathan while walking up the aisle after Sacrament Meeting -- which made me cringe a little inside, how do you THINK he feels? -- but Jonathan answered back in the same kinda pat answer that guys do and the two of them actually joked and laughed about something. I had been watching Jonathan earlier and feeling some extra pain for him because it seems sometimes men don't get the same support women do in their grief and had a random thought wondering if Jonathan needed a hug, but then he was able to have a hearty laugh in the midst of his pain and I was impressed by him all over again (as I was with his talk at Camille's funeral and also when bearing his testimony).

You're both strong, at the same time, at different times. You are equals, you lean on each other, you pull each other up. You will get through this life and the life to come together both because of your individual choices and strengths and because of what you are together.

Anyway, glad you were able to have a "blank page day". There is a purpose in no particular purpose sometimes, too.

julie said...

Stephanie, I stumbled acrossed your blog and I am so grateful that I did. (you don't know me, I live in Texas) but I am truly amazed at what a wonderful women you are! we lossed our little son twelve years ago, and so I can recognize your heartache and pain, but even being L.D.S. you are so much more on a spiriual realm than I was. You and your family will be fine and I can promise time really does help heal, you won't forget your little sweet Camille, it just won't be so painful. Keep doing everything your doing, especially allowing yourself to cry in your closet. I hope I haven't said too much. I am just truly impressed with your testimony, how it has strenghtens me!(a complete stranger.) thank you.

kamibeck said...

I come to your blog daily for my uplift. Amazing what your experience has done for me and so many others! Your expressions of deep emotion touch my heart. The tears fall freely and I feel like I can persist in what is required of me because you are persisting in what is required of you. Thanks for your example! Love You! P.S. I am one who preferred "Jacob"--can't wait to see what happens next!

Paul said...

It was two weeks ago Sunday that Allyson and I first heard about Camille's death from Kathryn. We have been following you blog since. Bless you for your great faith and willingness to share. You inspire us. A few thoughts have come to mind over the past few weeks that have inspired me and so I share them with you.
First, just a few days after, I read a scripture which struck me in an entirely new way in light of Camille's death: Alma 14:10 "and when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames. But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory..."

I know you so wanted to stretch forth your hand and exercise the power of God to save Camille; and yet the Lord has received Camille unto himself, in glory.

Also, from Joseph Smith Manual lesson 14:
At the funeral of two-year-old Marian Lyon, the Prophet said: “We have again the warning voice sounded in our midst, which shows the uncertainty of human life; and in my leisure moments I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it … grows more wicked and corrupt. … The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again. …

“… The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable, wicked world. Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss, but we do not mourn as those without hope.”5

“A question may be asked—‘Will mothers have their children in eternity?’ Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life, for their debt is paid.”6

“Children … must rise just as they died; we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory—the same loveliness in the celestial glory.”

Stephanie you and your husband Jonathan join the ranks of Joseph and Emma and Abraham and Mary Lincoln who lost their young children. That you have been thus chosen is an evidence of Heavenly Father's confidence in your great faith.

All our best,
Paul & Allyson
p.s. keep writing

Darren and Nikki said...

I laughed out loud when I saw Jon's comment. Almost as beautiful as your words. Almost :) Love you and hang in there with your blank pages....

Krista said...

You are an amazing writer. I just found this blog yesterday and my heart ached for you. I admire your strength and testimony. It has inspired me and made me want to be a better mom and appreciate them more!! Thank you;)

LL said...

you are absolutely amazing. i am touched by your strength and incredible testimony. thank you for sharing your heart with us.
Your family is beautiful-

Rach said...

What a wonderful tribute to Jon. You are both blessed to have each other in your lives, especially as you travel this road together.

Blank pages--what a great metaphor.


sam's mom said...

I read your blog for the first time yesterday. I was moved to tears. My heart aches for your loss. My husband lost his brother at age 19, watching my in-laws grieve for the past 15 years has been truly heart-wrenching. Your grace and faith and divine clarity are inspiration to us all. I slept with my 15 month old last night and whispered my love to him over and over.
It is easy to forget to savour each everyday moment. . .thank you for reminding me.

cmhl said...

another one here from a link somewhere else, I'm not even sure where!!

and may I apologize in advance that I was prompted to comment because you referenced Bella and Edward? haha. shallow.

But when I read that book, I had the same thought you did--- perfect. That is absolutely perfect. A time that is so keenly and bittersweetly painful, too personal and painful even to put onto pages.

I, too, could so relate to that.

I feel intrusive even saying this, but I am so sorry about your precious Camille. She is gorgeous. That photo where she is in the high chair is beautiful!!

I'm praying for you and your family; I hope today is a good day.


Mollie--- another mom in TN.

Kristin Baldwin said...

I was on the Stephenie Meyer website yesterday to preorder Breaking Dawn and came across something interesting. Maybe you've already seen this but Meyer is now writing "Midnight Sun" which is the Twilight book from Edward's perspective. When I saw it I thought okay that is just a little too much!! Even for me and I love these books. But I'd just put my daughter down for a nap and thought what the hay I'll check it out. I couldn't believe how much I loved it even though it is the same story. Maybe I'm a freak but if you want to check it out here is the link. Have a great day!!


Melissa Everett said...

You dont know me... At least I dont think so. you look very familiar to me. Maybe our paths have crossed before. Anyway, I have been reading you blog. Hope you dont mind. You are an amazing person. You are my new hero! I have never had to go through what you have. you are a stronger person then I think I ever will be. At first I thought... oh how sad for you and your family in your loss... and I cry at every one of your post... but in some way, you are comforting me! Strange becasue you are the one who should be comforted at this time! I feel greedy that you have given me so much just by me reading your blog. I wish I could give you something in return. I am forever a changed because of you! You have turned such a tragedy into such a beautiful thing! How easy would it have been for you to turn it the other way?! I have a question and you dont have to answer... but, did you ever blame yourself? Me being way too human and not always so christ like, I as a mom blame myself for everything. I am a little too hard on myself. and my first reaction would have been to blame myself. Did that every cross your mind? And how do you keep your mind from going to that? I am so sorry if this is non of my business because I really dont know you but I feel as I do.
I just wanted to leave a message letting you know that your blog has forever changed my life! And I thank you for that!

Also, Blank pages I think are in everyones books... How lucky you are to have such a wonderful support system! I love the twilight series!! You have a beautiful family and keep the post coming... you have an incredible way of putting words together!! Thank you again!

cmomof2 said...

Well, well, well- Are you a Jacob fan!?!? Personally I am a Edward, but yet, I cant let go of Jacob. I had heard your story the 1st time we came to your house, and I see it, I see the comparison. And I agree. Your Jacob was such a good choice. You have an husband that is standing through this with you, and I think that he was meant for you because, having heard the story straight from you, there was some divine intervention! I agree, when the blank pages came I was very impressed, having been through some life trials myself... I thought it was a perfectly accurate description.

I know I have told you before, but Camille has changed me also. I'm a new mother, a new wife, sister, daughter. I have gained a more heavenly angle on life. And I get people coming to me asking if I am reading your blog. And I tell them I am, we share how spiritually uplifting it is to read your posts. I have spoken to several women who say that it is their everyday pick-me-up. And you are surely that for me. love you stephanie. hopefully I will see you tonight! SYTYCD!

Kathryn said...

I remember discussing this series with you and complaining to you about book 2 BUT you are right...the blank pages were some of the best pages in the series because you KNOW when you see them how much Bella aches. And thinking of you losing Camille is another time when the "blank pages" really speak volumes.
I'm so moved by your ability to express yourself and bring all of your readers closer to the important things in life.
Also, of course, hearing the story of you and Jonathan again brought a smile to my face. I'm so glad you two have each other! His comment is so funny! Looking back I think he fell in love with you sooner than you (or he) realized...remember the mantra "pref with steph!?" How many times did he have to say that before you finally asked? You are meant for each other and are a wonderful couple!

Julie said...

I just wanted to let you know that I look forward to your posts everyday. You are a very eloquent writer and can say things in just the right way. You give me hope, inspiration and the desire to do better every day. Thank you for sharing your struggles with complete strangers. You are blessing more people than you realize. Camille is truly blessed to have such a wonderful mom that loves her so very much and I know that you will be with her again and be able to raise her in the eternities. I am so glad that you have such a good husband that completes you and that can help you through the "blank pages". Referring to the second book in the Twilight Series was a perfect way to describe how you are feeling even though there is no way anyone can even imagine it. I continue to pray for you and your family.

Coleman family said...

I So know what you mean, i thought i would never love again after a man i loved crushed my heart, and then my returned missionary comes home and shows me what true love is all about, it isn't just about good times, it is being there when a loved one passes, or dragging you to church when you don't feel like going, he holds his priesthood to the highest value, and will not turn down the opportunity to give you or your child a blessing.
He loves you for you and even when you are huge and pregnant still says you are as beautiful as ever, i am grateful for your words and the reminders of what we need to be grateful everyday, even when our child doesn't go to bed on time we have to learn to count to 10 sometimes, more like 40 somedays!
but i will continue to read, you really lift me up in your time of struggle.
thank you

Heather S said...

So true...that blank page days occur...So glad that you married a great man that helps you through those days...or.... if he is like my great man who has supported me as a wallow and then knows when to look me in the eye and let me know that it is my choice as to how things affect me.....It is my choice to get up and create a better situation....this is still a lesson I keep re-learning...it is very true....and I can't stand it when he is right! :)

Thank you for all your posts...they have affected me deeply...love (though not perfect) has been more abundant from me to my children and spouse....appreciation, thoughts of gratitude...enjoying simple daily activities...

Allred Fam said...

I have wanted to comment on your blog too and say much, there are too many emotions and things to say to know what to say. Your baby is such a sweetheart, I love to see such a beautiful and innocent face! I feel close to you and think about and pray for you. I have also lost a child, it has been more than 8 years. I have 3 other children now that we're in the thick of raising (6 yrs, 4 yrs., and the baby just turned 1 on July 10). I think around the same age as your baby. So it makes me want to love my baby so much more. I am so impressed with your insight and love and the things you write about on your blog. Many of the things you write about are very similar feelings and experiences that I have gone through, and you really must be wonderful and blessed to be able to have gained such insights after only such a short period of time. Long story short, I wanted to say that I have felt many times that had I married another person who I "thought" was the one, that who knows where we would have been as a couple after an experience such as yours and mine. I know HF knows us and the trials that we can withstand in this life, and i've felt thankful many times for the wonderful husband I married who suited me better and who I can't help but think was one chosen to bear this burden with me. I would love to talk to you someday... you must be a wonderful mother and child of HF to have been asked to go through this experience that will probably be the hardest thing you will ever go through in your life. i know that the spirit is with you and is uplifting you right now even on days when you don't even realize it- Beth

Mindy said...

Hi, you don't know me. :) I rarely go to blogs I don't know, and I don't know exactly how I got to yours, but I am very grateful I did. :) I began at your most recent blog and unanswered questions led me back to your June 14th post.

There are no words that I can write to tell you how incredible sorrowful I am for your loss, a loss that no one can comprehend unless they also have lost a child. My prayers will be with you and your family as your continue onward without little Camille physically with you in this life.

I want you to know how grateful I am for the this particular post. It was an answer to prayers. I received a blessing the other day that said, "Look for answers in unusual places" ... And a blog of a stranger is definitely and unusual place! Something you wrote on this day has given me hope to hold out a little longer with something I face that is similar to something you mentioned this day. So thank you so much, it means more to me than you will ever know.