Friday, July 11, 2008

A Hard Days Night

I just needed a sweet picture of my baby girl at the top of my blog today. Yesterday was a hard day. We had what I hope will be our final interview with officials about Camille's death.  This time it was Child Protection Services.  I had to walk the guy through the last hour before I found Camille and the hour just after. I made it through the interview alright but reliving that experience again for him stirred the storm of sorrow within.

When the night came, the winds picked up.  I heard them howling loudly outside as they whipped mercilessly around our house. I felt their fury in my soul as I struggled to find a shelter within. In the darkness of the night with the humidity swelling the doors and sticking them to their frames, I felt the swelling of my sorrow as the tears fell lifeless on my pillow. 

Sometimes, it is best to put off the sorrow and give in the exhaustion it brings. Sleep is sometimes our greatest inner shelter. In it we can find healing. I wish I were gifted with the ability to fall asleep quickly and easily. The storms kept me up last night. Irrational fears flashed like lightening in my mind waking me just before I could fully embrace the safety of unconsciousness. 

I considered taking a sleeping pill to aid me in my quest for relief, but then, in my next attempt, the exhaustion overcame the storm within and I slept, soundly. 

The winds are lighter this morning but the damage they caused is present and there is cleaning up to do. There are memories to put back in their place. There are questions to sweep away. There are concerns to rationalize into their proper order. There is work to be done.

God's house is a house of order and I must put order back in mine.

29 comments:

Marleen said...

I am so glad the nightmare the officials tried to stir up is over. When the Adversary clouds the mind you are so strong to withstand and know what is necessary. I love you and pray for you, Jonathan and the girls daily.

Lloyd & Leslie said...

Stephanie, I'm just so sorry. Interesting analogy with the weather. It does seem the weather was mourning with you, if that's even possible.

Hugs, Leslie

Shanan said...

Steph - your strength and devotion to do the Lord's will is amazing. May happy days fill the upcoming days!

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

i am so sorry you and jon had to go through that all again. i pray that that will be the end of the investigation. that is not what you all need now.

you are amazing! we love you!
emily

Six-Pack Momma said...

I, too, hope that is the end so you can move forward. I am so sorry. I do not know you personally, but I wish I could hug you and help lift you through this.

I have a little something I'd like to send your girls. I'm not sure how to do that, but you can e-mail me at christie@bootha.com

..Sending Cyber-hugs your way.....
Christie

Carolyn said...

I'm really sorry Stephanie you had to go through all that yesterday and last night. I'm just really sorry. It brakes my heart. Love you.

Catherine said...

Stephanie, I'm just a stranger in Washington, DC who was led to your blog about a week ago. I do inner city work, and I am committed to pray for all kinds of families who suffer grief and pain. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and knew you were suffering. I lay sleepless in my bed and offered intercession for you.

You are doing a remarkably beautiful job of praising Him in the midst of ... Be comforted to know that the Holy Spirit is writing your name on the hearts of people you don't even know.

Jenny Ham said...

I found your blog through prizzfam. I will be praying for your family. Your strength is astounding. And you show great courage by sharing.

Danielle said...

Still thinking and praying for you every day. You have an amazing way with words- very touching.

Sarah Striblen said...

Thank you for another adorable picture of Camille. I love all the pictures you post. You know, every time I sit down to post a comment for you, one of my girls interrupts and wants my attention. It is as if they know... So, rather than feeling frustrated, or pushing them away, I hold them close. I come back to the computer later. Camille's death has had such an impact on me and my family. Every moment with our children is just precious. I thank Camille for reminding me of that. I also thank you for sharing with all of us online. I love to read your blog and I read all of the comments, too. What a wonderful online community you have created here. Thinking of you and wishing your family well....

Oby and Tara Bennett said...

You are a beautiful thinker and writer. Thank you for your insight. Perhaps on a sleepless night you could read 'The Year of Magical Thinking' by Joan Didion. It gives clarity to raw grief. I wish you well and know that your closeness to the spirit will allow the refiner's fire to purify your soul. What an astounding mother you will be to precious Camille because of that purity.

Stephanie said...

Bless your heart. Our prayers are continually for your family .

Anonymous said...

Just heard this quote, not sure the source, just know it's not mine. When you Learn, Teach. When you get, give. Thank you for teaching us all your learning and giving all of us so much inspiration every day. May the lord continue to bless you. I read your blog everyday. Thank you for writing. Lori

Beckstrand7 said...

I was brought here by a friend of a friend of a...I don't know, but I need to write and thank you for your willingness to be so open on your blog and share with us this experience you are going through. I just finished reading your last month's experiences. Thank you for your expressions of faith, your perspective of eternity. I'm so glad we have the Lord to turn to for the endurance through the hard times and the blessing of eternity with Him and our loved ones too. Enduring to the end, especially through the pain is so hard, but thank God we don't have to carry it ourselves! Thank Heaven for temple blessings!

Rach said...

Oh, Steph, I'm SOOOOO sorry you all had to deal with CPS. My heart is aching for you as I can only imagine the horror of reliving those moments.

I'm glad you were able to find some peace.

HUGS to you and Jon.

Tracy said...

Hi Stephanie,
I found your blog from friend and read it daily. We to suffered loss of family members, a young brother and 6 weeks later our father. your strength is amazing and I pray for you and your family daily. Time does heal, I am glad you found peace. Stay strong. People in Iowa are praying for you.

queenieweenie said...

Elizabeth is one of my dearest friends and I have been reading your blog since she posted about your family tragedy.

I want you to know you have been in my thoughts and prayers and I have been truly inspired by how you have handled this situation...with great faith, love, dignity, and realism.

Although I feel a bit voyeuristic when I read your blog, I know that what you write has inspired me to be a softer, kinder mother. To hold onto those little moments I have daily with my four children. I a truly grateful for your willingness to share this episode in your life with others. Your testimony is beautiful and strong and it has inspired me.

I put your family's name on the prayer roll in the San Diego temple today while I was there working. I know I don't know you, but I know our Heavenly Father does and I felt prompted to write your family's name down. I'm sure you are on many prayer rolls in many temples and I know that this most sacred form of prayer can truly heal and bless.

Thank you for sharing yourself.

Momza said...

Hello Sister, fellow-traveller...
I happpened upon your blog thru the suggestion of another sister just last night. The way our blogs are set up, we read the newest blog first and read chronologically backwards; so it was incredibly touching to witness your profound wisdom in such a short amount of time. As we all must go through the "valley of the shadow of death", your 'light-filled' guidance has left an impression on my heart that I KNOW will last.
Thank you for shining your light so brightly that the whole house, indeed the whole city, can see better by it.
You are in my thoughts, dear Sister.
~Dawn, Meridian, ID

MaryClaire said...

i'm so sorry that you had to go through yet another interview about it all, but i am so glad it was the last one. you're amazing, and it seems that you've had some "better" (i won't say good) days lately. it's ok to have a bad day and let those tears fall as they want to. i sure hope tomorrow is better.

stephielou said...

Stephanie,
I am drawn daily to your blog and find strength in your wisdom. We love your family very much and have prayed for you over that couple of weeks. We wish you many happy days filled with laughter. Do you have a web cam? We would love to "see" you.

Stephanie Lee

Seth and Natalie said...

A friend of mine posted a link to your blog, and wrote a post about what an inspiring person and family you are. I have a little girl that has been showing her independence and spirit in ways that were really wearing on me, and I've been praying and praying for guidance and help. So I just came to your blog without knowing what has happened in your life, and it has changed mine and my little girls. This past week has been the most peaceful in my home because I keep remembering your story and your inspiring words. I know my prayer was answered through you, that I needed to make the change in being a mother, and your ability to lean on and listen to the Lord opened my eyes and heart. Your little testimony has affected so many people, just as your little Camille has, all for good.

Lori said...

I have sometimes felt that on some days when God knew of my pain, that on those days he made my tears the rain

Brittney said...

i have just finished reading your blog from beginning to end... what a wonderful and powerful woman you are. Your story has inspired me to be invested... and although i have not experienced what you have to go through, but i feel your pain and i wish i could help you bare your burdens. Thank you for writing this and sharing your feelings and personal life and stories with us. It has truly made me a better person already. Thank you... wishing you well.
-brittney

Heather said...

Stephanie,
You have wisdom beyond your years and such a beautiful way of expressing yourself. I can't help but think how these entries are benefiting many now but that they will be priceless treasures to many in your family. I admire your strength and ability to see in an eternal perspective. To make such profound analogies.

I know the Lord loves you and is mindful of you and is giving you the courage and strength that you need. Thank you for being an example to me.

I think of your family often and pray for healing and understanding and continued strength to make it through your many hard days.

vicki said...

with the way you can put your feelings and thoughts into words you should really consider writing a book so everyone out there could maybe find comfort and be uplifted by reading your words. my prayers are with your family and thank you for your special spirit.

Jamie said...

I am only a stranger, but feel like you're an answer to prayer. Reading your posts, I don't think I've cried that hard since the loss of my own infant child. Thank you for your honesty and your testimony. Thankyou for the reminder of how lucky we are for this Gospel. I will hug my little boy a little longer tonight.

Pg. said...

Thank you for reminding me to show my little girls the depth of my love for them every second of every day.

Jodie said...

Stephanie,

So, so sorry to hear about your day.

I enjoy all of your pictures of Camille...I love seeing her cute little face!

Amy and Chad Larson Family said...

Hi Stephanie,

I think you have connected with my sister, Molly, who lost her little Lucy just a little over a month ago. I have wept with you as I've read your blog. Molly and I have both commented numerous times on the wonderful and peaceful spirit we feel when we read your entries. This entry reminded me of a talk that was given in Molly's ward just a few days after Lucy's funeral. Maybe you have heard this little story, but I hadn't.

The speaker told of a farmer looking for a farmhand. As the farmer interviewed a young man he kept asking him, "Can you do ____" (feed the pigs, build a barn, etc.). The young man answered "no" to each question. "Well, what CAN you do?" the farmer finally asked. "I can sleep when the wind blows," was his reply. The farmer didn't know what to make of that, but he really needed the help, so he hired him. The young man was a quick learner and diligent in his work. A few weeks later a huge storm hit the farm. The farmer awoke with a start and dashed to the young farm hand's room to ask him if the barn was shut tight, the animals were all inside, the tools were protected, etc. He saw the young man asleep and decided not to wake him. As the farmer checked on the barn, etc., he found that everything was in order. He now understood why they young man said he could sleep when the wind blows.

I know that you, like Molly, may have a difficult time sleeping (literally) but because of the gospel and your diligence in living it your heart can find rest when terrible winds like the loss of your daughter blow all around you. I admire your strength and continually pray for you.

Amy Larson