Saturday, June 21, 2008

Blessings, Blessings, Blessings

I am counting my blessings today.  We just got home.  Walking into the church for the funeral I was taken back by who was there.  Beyond members of our ward and our old ward, there were neighbors, old family friends from my childhood, old roommates from college, my daughters former school teachers, friends from our days in California, and a friend who lived with us for a couple of years that flew up from Texas.  I looked over the audience and thought, "Gee, this is like attending your own funeral.  Well, yes, in a way this is my own funeral.  Babies are so much a part of their mothers.  Their identity is indelibly linked to their mother.  We were one once and even after birth my food was her food.  She was still a part of me.  Now she is gone and she has taken a part of me with her. 

Thank you for all your prayers today.  The funeral proved to be a good experience.  Jon's talk, which he wrote out, was wonderful.  The music was simple and uplifting.  With Annie on my hip "helping me" I was able to deliver my talk about Camille's mission on this earth (to learn, to love, and to inspire) without crying so much I couldn't talk.  My favorite part of the funeral was the feelings I felt when I bore my testimony.  One of the greatest ways for me to know truth is to speak it.  I can feel as soon as something comes out of my mouth whether it is true or not.  I know when what I am saying is wishful thinking and when it is a deep truth.  As I stood today and bore my testimony that God lives, and the Jesus is the Christ and that through His Atonement we can be made whole, spiritually, emotionally, and physically, I knew -- and I mean KNEW -- that it was Truth.  I also knew as I spoke that truly that it was only through her early death that Camille could fulfill her mission here on earth.  She has changed every member of my family and inspired so many others.  I am a changed woman.  I am personally invested in returning home to my Father in Heaven because Camille is with Him.  She is the unbreakable tie that will align my life with His will and keep me seeking His mercy so I will be able to raise her to maturity in the day of the coming of the Lord.  This was ultimately her purpose and her beauty and charm were tools she was given to make us all fall so in love with her that she could accomplish her it.  So in counting my blessings today, I count the greatest as my testimony of the gospel which teaches me that I will be with her again and I will have the privilege of raising her in a far more enjoyable setting than I would have had here.

I am also thankful for the blessing of so many wonderful family and extended family and friends.  We have been showered with love and service and I have to again say thank you.  Thank you for the comments on the blog.  I read them whenever I feel lonely and feel of the love from all those I know and the friends of friends and the strangers who know me from my posts.  Thank you for the card sent in the mail that bring tears to my eyes and comfort to my heart.  Thank you to all who have made donations to charity in Camille's name and for the flowers, the books, and the stories shared of understanding the loss of a child and how you coped.  (I feel I have joined a club of extraordinary human beings, purified through this painful trial.)  And a special thank you to so many who have thought of my children and sent gifts for them.  Helping them through their pain is my top priority now.  It has been so helpful to have a fun activity available to pull out to help dry the tears after they let the sorrow flow onto my shoulder.  My camera battery is nearly dead but I managed to get a couple photos of some of the wonderful treasures given to us. 
I had not started Camille's baby book yet.  I had saved all the stuff and done some journaling but just hadn't put it in a book.  My sister in law Nikki's sister Buffy (I LOVE YOU BUFFY) got some friends together and did a scrapbooking marathon.  I don't think I could have done this myself and it is perhaps my greatest non living treasure right now.   
I wish I could show you all the whole thing.  But here is a look at one of the pages.
Thank you thank you thank you to Buffy and all her friends who helped put this together for me.
The next photo is of a really soft "magic" blanket another friend gave us.  (Thanks LaRae!)  In her card she said the magic blanket is to wrap around us when we need a hug from those who love us.  I told the girls it was a special blanket to wrap up in when the miss Camille and wish they could get a hug from her.  
Thanks again to everyone who has brought us food, read our blog, said a prayer for us, or just hugged their kids a little more for us.  You are all blessings in our lives.

47 comments:

MaryClaire said...

i am so glad that you have been so open about sharing your feelings here. i know it is mostly for you, as it should be, but i find that i am anxious to see how you're doing each day. i mentioned this morning to brian that it was camille's funeral today, and he noted that i really haven't been able to get you all from my mind. it's true. i'm so glad so many loved ones were there. i wish i was too. continue to count your blessings as you are. i put a "happy" package in the mail for sabrina anne marie, and lauren today. it should be there soon.
love you,
maryclaire

Anonymous said...

Dearest Stephanie:

Your characterization of Camille's purpose in this life brought a lump to my throat, a tear to my eye and such warmth to my heart.

May Heavenly Father continue to bless, comfort and enrich your family.

"Blessed at those who mourn for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4

scrap chair potato said...

What a beautiful post... as always!
"One of the greatest ways for me to know truth is to speak it."--I love that! I feel the same way, I just never thought of it that way before.
I love the magic blanket, it is such a great idea.

Jori said...

I am so glad you were uplifted today. Your family has been in my thoughts. I just ordered "Making Sense of Suffering" by Wayne Brickey from amazon for you. I just went through some serious health problems and it brought me such comfort. During this time I was also given 21 days closer to Christ by Emily Freeman. It was completely wonderful and brought me such comfort.

Kathryn said...

Dear Steph,
Just got back home to CA after seeing you. Love your post about today. Camille's funeral was so beautiful. You and Jonathan were so strong. It was clear that you felt an underlying peace. Thank you for your amazing example. Thank you for letting all of us see into your emotions through your posts. I miss you already. It brought me comfort to see you and know that you are doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. Your black dress with the white flowers was beautiful...you're beautiful!
I love you, Kathryn

Rebecca Morton said...

I just wanted to say how beautiful the service was today the pictures, the videos, and the programs....I was truly moved by your testimony and that of your husband's as well as the other speakers. The songs were beautiful and I found my self singing Cami, Camille on the way home. Give a big hug to Sabrina for me. I would like to stop by and see her sometime over the summer when you're up for visitors! My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family.

Rebecca Morton
rmorty@cox.net

Catherine said...

that was so wonderful and uplifting. i am so grateful for the gospel! it is true! it is an understatement to say how immensely grateful we are that your family will be reunited with camille.

the noordas

robin said...

I'm a member of the McCullough Hills ward but I don't think you know who I am. I am so very sorry for your hurt right now. I know it must be huge but you are amazing and your blog is definitely an inspiration to many. Your example of strength and faithfullness is going to touch many of us as you take us with you on your journey to healing. I wanted to tell you that often times my husband and I have sat a few rows behind your sweet little family during sacrament meeting. I used to watch Camille and I remember telling my husband how beautiful she was. I remember thinking one Sunday that there was something special about her - I was so drawn to watching her. She just seemed so angelic to me. Well, she is an angel and you are right - she will always be a part of you. I wanted to share with you the words President Hinckly's father said to him as he sent him off on his mission. He said, "Be not afraid, only believe" It is easy to see that you are believing. Thank you for being such a special example.
robin

Sleepless In St. George said...

It was a beautiful service and I felt so blessed to be there. You both did a wonderful job and inspired me to be a better mom! I pray you will continue to have the comforter with you. Thanks for sharing your beautiful testimony.

Shelley

Brent & Janice Ririe Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
s & g said...

Wow, it sounds like it was a beautiful service. Thank you for sharing your testimony with us and sharing your feelings through the blog, you have inspired me in so many ways. I love what you said about TRUTH and I couldn't agree with you more.

My little Char is just 2 months older than Camille and I think of your sweet girl every time I look at Char. I think you should write a book...seriously, you are so eloquent with your posts. That scrapbook looks absolutely incredible. I am sure it will be cherished for years to come.

Your girls are so lucky to have you. Sending comfort and love...
Sara Gillespie

The Gray Family said...

I have been thinking about your family and the funeral all day today...I'm glad that it went well. What a beautiful way to remember Camille, and what motivation she will continue to be as you strive to better yourselves (not that you need much bettering...I always thought you guys were pretty darn close to perfect!). Now that the funeral is over all the attention will probably start to die down some, but know that we will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers! If you ever need to just talk or vent, know that I am here ANYTIME!

Kobold Toys said...

I learned about Camille at 5 Minutes for mom. I must say I was scared of reading the post but I did anyways. I felt I had to find a way to be with you and your family in this tragic time, even if I never saw you before.

My heart and thoughts go to you, your husband, your little girls and Camille.

Liz's Blog said...

Hi Steph!
Today was Amazing. The memorial service in honor of your sweet Camille was beautiful and perfect...just like her. I felt the spirit so strong, especially when you spoke. Your courage, strength, faith and testimony teaches me. Thank you. I feel an honor to be your Visiting Teacher. I am so grateful for our friendship. You looked beautiful today in your new dress! I hope I see you this week for So You Think You can Dance =)
Love,
Liz Smith

Michelle said...

Steph,
You and Jon did such an amazing job today. I was so touched by your words and your spirits. I know Camille was there helping you both. I felt such peace today. Hope you did too. I want you to know that Camille and YOU have inspired me to be a better mother. Love you.

Michelle Grant

Lloyd & Leslie said...

Stephanie, you and Jonathan gave such wonderful talks today, as did Bishop Gibson. I made a point of really listening and putting into place what was being said (I have a tendency to listen and learn for the instant, but forget what was literally said when too many things are on my mind which is most of the time). Bishop Gibson said this life is the time for wondering "why" because there is so much we don't know. I hadn't thought about that before, that we had such great knowledge before we came to mortality, but since we are walking in faith here, there's a lot we don't know first hand, a lot of wondering "why", a lot of looking to our father in heaven for answers, comfort, guidance. And, putting into perspective how Heavenly Father gave his son, his sacrifice, etc. as you and Jonathan reminded everyone. The poignant message you gave everyone that whether we lose a family member so early as you did or later, we will lose all our family members at some point in mortality and there will always be a desire to be reunited with our family and made possible through the sealing ordinances in the temple.

I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye so soon, it must be so difficult to adjust your thinking about your hopes and dreams. The memory you shared of people coming up to you and telling you how beautiful she was ... I shared the same thing with you and I see someone else has in the comments here today, too. That just amazes me how much that baby touched others and the sweetness seen in her eyes. No one had any idea at the time how special she was and why she was having such an impact, but now you know.

In his constant care, we are truly blessed. In your pain, you have also had the veiled pulled back and felt more of Heavenly Father's hand in your life. I pray that you find comfort when you need it, having been so blessed in the first place to know where to find it (when so many others do not).

Love,
Leslie Wiley

Sarah said...

Dear Stephanie,
Thanks for sharing with us here on your blog. Your insight, strength, and faith are so admirable. Your family has been on my mind so much... your posts have caused me hold my children a little longer, hug them a little closer, tell them I love them more. Thank you for that. I know things will settle down for you somewhat now, as everyone tries to find their "new" daily routine. Let me know what I can do to help- I can take Sabrina to school, help her with her homework, entertain the kids for awhile. Abigail and Madeline would love the company. Just let me know, I am ready and willing!

Sarah (across the street)

Karsen said...

From the moment I woke up today until now I have been thinking of and praying for you and your wonderful family. I wish with all of my heart that I could have been there today. Steph, you are truly an inspiration to me, and I am deeply moved by your testimony. Your eloquent image of Camille as the link forever tying you to your celestial goals is powerful beyond words, and it has already helped cement my own convictions of where I am going and why. I love you for doing this and being this for me and for the many others who are changed by this experience. I know it is true, too. I know it. What joyful reunions we have to look forward to!
karsen
p.s. letters to your girls from my girls went in the mail today. Hope they bring a smile.

Tara L. said...

The service was beautiful today. Your testimony has inspired me. Thank you for sharing it. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love, Pete and Tara Lemos

LaRae said...

Your family has been on my mind today. I appreciated reading about your feelings and experiences from the day . . . and that scrapbook - wow Buffy - what an amazing & priceless gift of love!

Jaime said...

I just have to comment here and tell you that I think you are absolutely amazing. You are obviously such a wonderful mom and a giving person. You write beautifully and your testimony so, so strong.
I am so glad things went well for you today.

karsen (again) said...

OK, OK, I know I already posted, but since posting last (about 21 minutes, I think) I have had some personally profound insights that I thought I would share. There have been times in my life (very weak times, I admit) when I have wondered if it was all worth it. If all that was promised by exaltation and eternal lives was really worth all that it was going to take to get there (a very self-centered, selfish attitude once again...will be working on that one for a lifetime). Today, hearing your words, Stephanie, I have had an answer to those prayers of searching: The reason why we do what we do, the reason why it is all worth it has nothing to do with mansions or wealth untold or heralding angels, etc,. The reason why we are trying so desperately to get where we want to go is because it is the only place where we can be made whole by being with the loved ones that have filled our hearts and lives in this lifetime. It is because of little Camille! Like you said, Steph, they are a part of us...literally! Never before has this been more clear to me. I want to be where she is, and where my own precious daughters will be, and where we can be with each other forever. A separation from those so dear and so integral to our very being would truly be a hell indeed. So thank you, Camille, for teaching me this profound truth. Your beautiful face will always remind me of why I do what I do and why it is all worth it. See you soon, sister!

Hoskins Family said...

Jon and Steph,
Camille's memorial service was a true inspiration. You both did such a beautiful job sharing your love for Camille and the Gospel. Your family is truly amazing...it's such a wonderful thing from the outside looking in. I'm sure it's even more precious to you, to have all that love surrounding you.
I'm grateful we could come and hug you and share our love for your family.
I am grateful to you for sharing your loss with us...it truly does inspire us to be better, live better and do better.
The whole service was a powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and a testament of "Forever Families"
Love Always,
Daleen

Danielle said...

Although I don't know you personally, I have been praying for your dear family all day. Your testimony was amazing and I felt the Spirit as I read it. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Your experience has helped me to be a better mother to my 4 little ones. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I just read about you on 5minutesformom and headed over to tell you I will be praying for your family.

Sisterlisa said...

(((hugs))) I came here because Janice and Susan posted on 5M4Mom. I have never come across your blog before, but my heart aches for you and your family during this time. Praying for you all!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Waite Family,
I've teared up often reading your posts this week. We are very sorry for your loss. Camille is very special.
Thank you for allowing our family to get to know yours through your blog. My boys have seen your beautiful pictures & recognized your girls from primary.

Ines Patterson

s & g said...

Pardon the randomness...but I heard this song tonight and thought of your situation. My sister's husband was paralyzed last year in a snowmobile accident, we did a slideshow for him to this song by Avril Lavigne...'Keep Holding On.' The words are so inspirational and just give you a serious LIFT when you need it...as it is directed towards any and all trials. Check it out on itunes...if you're interested...:)
Sara

Marleen said...

Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us. I love you, Jonathan and your girls. I think it is amazing how wonderful everyone has been to your family. I love the blanket. Comfort can come in many ways and that seems so perfect for your girls.

Stephanie said...

The funeral was beautiful! All of the photos of Camille were priceless. I was uplifted by all of the talks at the funeral. I could feel the strong testimonies you both have. You were so insightful.

Stephanie, I especially remember how you related Camille's life on earth to sending your child on a mission. I thought that was such a great and inspired perspective. I also KNEW it to be true when you said we can be made whole through Christ. It is amazing how powerfully truths can penetrate us at times.

I am impressed by what a great mother you are. I know how important it is for you to stay strong for your three other girls and to help them through their pain. You can do it... I think the most important part of that will be seeing how mommy copes with the pain and loss--and you have set a great pattern for them to follow.

When rough days and moments come, please know we are still thinking of you and praying for you. We will continue to be here for you. We aren't waiting for you to "move on." We will continue to mourn with you and hope to help lighten your load in any way we can.

Stephanie Morris & family

Beth said...

What a beautiful way to greet Sunday morning. Thank you for sharing the quiet whispers of your heart and testifying to the Glory of the Lord! God's peace...

Rhonda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Morris Fam said...

What a sweet uplifting funeral. I really felt the spirit there and was thankful for the inspiring words. I was especially in awe of all of the wonderful pictures of her and your cute family and your cherished memory book. I'm so glad you have that! We pray you'll have continued blessings. :)

wendy said...

Steph,
I was asked to speak in church today about living the gospel when no one is watching. I read your blog this morning before church and (I hope it's okay with you) shared part of your testimony in my talk. There were many many tears in the congregation and I had MANY people come up afterwards and tell me how your story and testimony touched them so deeply. Your testimony and strength is impacting more people than you can imagine! We love you and are praying for your family each day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so openly with all of us, it's strengthened my own testimony and my husband's as I've shared your blog with him.

Wendy Lewis Reni

careymc said...

Dearest Waite Family, you don't know me but I grew up in Vegas and know many of your friends. Reading your testimony has truly strengthened my own. Your beautiful family has been in my thoughts and prayers. How blessed these little girls are to have you as their parents. Thank you for sharing all that you have. You'll continue to be in my prayers, Carey Christensen

Kacey & Chris said...

You don't knoe me but I am a friend of Marleens from high school. I just wanted to let you know, that as a mother myself, my heart goes out to you. Your faith in the gospel is insipring. You have shown me and so many others that even in a trial, as long as you have faith, you can overcome it. Not saying that there isn't sorrow, but you have shown me that throuh trial you can become stronger, and even more valient a servant, to our Father in Heaven. Thank you for your words. My family is praying for you in his difficult time. Thank you for sharing your life, and your testimony with me.

Anonymous said...

We've been following the updates since the Jorgensens informed us of the accident. It can be consuming, but it leads to further enlightenment with the Truths which give so much comfort. I pause and look deep into my own sons and daughters eyes now. And well up when embrasing them. I picture your family embracing each other and know that the Savior is there holding you too. One of my favorite pictures is of Christ embracing a young girl. How awesome is it that he is now holding Camille and the comfort that comes with that. We miss having you guys here in California and will miss sweet Camille. We love you guys so much and are so blessed to have you in our lives.
Love Ed, Megeann, Katelyn and Lucas

Farnsworth Family said...

Stephanie,

It has been a long week for you and I want to let you know I have been thinking about you. My mom (Sheila) just told me what had happened and my heart aches for you and your family. You are an amazing woman and I remember when you first moved back to town having a great chat with you. My testimony has grown from reading your blog and I will keep you and your dear family in my prayers. My condolences for your loss.
Love,
Megan (Moulton) Farnsworth

Rach said...

I'm glad the service went well and you were surrounded by love and support.

My prayers continue for you and your family.

Big HUGS.

mbarker said...

I found your blog through my Aunt Rhonda who lives in Connecticut. She recommended we read, learn, be inspired, and gain strength. I am so thankful for your words of love and to hear a testimony so strong in the Lord. How blessed your family is to have you! I lost someone close to me suddenly and I can say that I did not handle it as well as you but have come to understand the power of prayer not only to my Heavenly Father but to the one I lost as well. I pray that one day I can have your strength and faith and hope that this time in your lives brings your family closer together and closer to our Heavenly Father. He truly does understand our grief and pain but our love and compassion just as much. Thank you again.

Adam and Megan's Mom said...

that was beautiful. thank you for sharing.

Miss Molly said...

This was beautiful. I thought of you yesterday during the funeral. We had dinner tonight with a great family here in Salt Lake very similar to yours. Their youngest daughter, Joy, died of the croup while they were on vacation in Disneyland and Joy was in Idaho with her grandparents.
tamigweaver.blogspot.com

It is just like you said, we are part of a very sacred club now. The price of admission is too high, but somehow we are here together. I think of you daily. I understand your pain and admire your strength and testimony. It is powerful.

Ryan and Amanda said...

I am grateful for your ability to count your blessings at this time. This is the second time you have written a blog all about blessings since your great trial, and I think that is especially amazing. At a time when most people are blaming you are looking for gifts and that teaches us all so much and helps me to want to look for my blessings even more in my daily life amidst my much smaller trials. Thanks for your fantastic example!
Love,
Amanda

Adam and Megan's Mom said...

your faith astounds me. I don't know if my faith would be as strong. May you continue to feel God's love at this time.

leisa said...

Thank you for your testimony. I felt it today just as you felt it weeks ago, and I'm sure many many people have and will continue to feel it. May the Lord continue to be with you and your family.

leisa tapia
mesa, az

Jocelyn said...

I just found your blog thru nienie"s You are an amazing strong woman who I gain strength thru. I feel so greatful for you that you have the gospel. It truly is such a blessing knowing we will see our loved ones again. May the Lord continue to bless you in your life journey and keep your little one in the palm of his hand until you meet again.

Liz said...

I stumbled on your blog today and want to say thank you for your strength and inspiration. Thank you for blogging. Your sweet angel must be watching and caring for you from the other side.