Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Don't Be Shy

I have always loved meeting new people. My husband teases me that I can hold a better conversation with a new person that I do with him. I love getting to know people. In college I moved 8 times in 4 years with new roommates each time. My whole goal in this was to meet and really get to know as many people as possible. And I collected a lot of really great friends along the way.

Meeting new people now, however, is a bit daunting. I am fine meeting someone for 5 minutes that I will never see again. But meeting someone I know I will see again and again gets a bit tricky. I never know if or what they know about Camille and it is almost always hard to tell someone about her.

It isn't so much that I have a hard time getting the words out. It is their reaction and often their follow up questions that make it so difficult. It is kind of a pretty big and devastating bomb to drop on to someone. They are often shocked and almost always want to know how she died. When I say she drowned they want to know more about exactly how that happened. The first time someone asked this I was unprepared and started to answer.

That little conversation set me back to day one for about two weeks. Just telling her about that day made me live it all over again. It was awful. The next time I was more prepared. I told the person I don't like to talk about it and if she wanted to know more she could go read my blog. That worked out much better. I still worry in the back of my mind that people will think I am at fault because I do not discuss the exact "how" that led to Camille being in the spa. But that is just the way it will have to be. It was nobody's fault. It was just a tragic and fatal and unforeseen cumulation of circumstances mixed with a bit of unbelievable determination and terrible luck on Camille's part. Sometimes I think there had to be an army of angels in our house that day making sure all these circumstances would fall into place and helping her get to the spa because it was her time to go.

Here I go again, reliving that day. This is why I don't discuss it. It is too hard to keep my mind off the events.

But I digress... The point is that it is really a sticky point of meeting new people now. So can you imagine how relieving and wonderful it is when I meet someone and they tell me, "Yes, I know who you are. I read your blog." Instantly I feel like I have a new friend. They not only know lots about me personally, they know the hardest part of my life and I don't have to tell them.

I had this happen a couple of times in the last few weeks and it made me so happy to meet new friends. With the ward boundary changes we had last year at church I don't see many of my friends each week anymore. I feel I hardly know anyone at church anymore except for the young women (they rock!) When I meet someone at church I never know if they know anything about Camille or not. So it is just such a nice thing when someone comes up to me and "outs" themselves as a blog reader. I feel like we have an instant connection.

So if you are a reader and you see me in real life, don't be shy. Come on over and say "HI! I read your blog." I always LOVE to meet a new friend.

17 comments:

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

You are so kind hearted Stephanie... I wish I could meet you in person, but I must confess, I feel like you are a friend to me already! Have a good day today!

Laurie said...

I was going to say the same thing. Your blog is one thing I look forward to as a start my day at work... wait I should be working at work... shhh don't tell anyone!

The Heizzys said...

Stephanie, I have seen you numerous times because we actually have some pretty good friends who are in your ward (Travis and Kim Keys) I was there the Sunday after you blessed Noble and you bore your testimony.I loved it and I thought about coming and saying hi, but didn't. I didn't want to seem like an obsessed blog fan or something...:) I think every time I see you that I am not sure what to say and that I might make things awkward. I am an avid reader of you blog, I love your strength, your testimony, and your example. So next time I see you be prepared for a hello. Thanks for the invitation.

Anonymous said...

I'm in another state, but I feel like I already know you and we could be great friends. I'm LDS also. I have your blog address on my blog too. I love reading your blog, you are a very strong woman!

My mother died almost 30 years ago. I've always said she died in a car accident from a drunk driver because I didn't want the questions to follow after either. And only my closest dearest friends really knew what happened. But in the past 2 years I've been up front about my mother's death. That she was murdered right in front of me when I was 2. It does help me to just be honest from the start and if someone judges me on how my mother died, well that's on them. Living in a dark lie all those years just seemed to put more stress on me. I guess what I'm trying to say is it will take lots of time for you to really feel comfortable to speak about Camille's passing. It took me over 25 years to finally feel comfortable. And even to this day I still get emotional talking about the circumstance.

Take care.

Christina said...

It's a small world, and if our paths ever cross, I will definitely want to chat!!! :)

Jess said...

When my nephew died it changed my family's life forever. At first I found myself telling everyone I met. Six months after he died, I remember my parents getting into a fight because someone asked my Dad how many grandchildren he had and he didn't include Caleb in the answer. He said that he would then have to tell what happened to him and he didn't want to relive it. My Mom said it was like telling people he didn't exist at all when he did.
My standard answer now is "I have eight nieces and nephews and seven are living." If the person wants to know more then I tell them how he died and how long ago.
By the way, this is actually my first trip to your blog. I found a link to it on my brother and sister-in-laws page.

Samantha said...

I think these types of things often. With the blogging as big as it's getting and the world as small as it sometimes seems you could bump into anyone anywhere. I might have a little bit of a freak out moment should I run into any of my favorite blog authors, they have become such a part of my life even when it's only for a few moments of the day:) have a great one.

Heather said...

I was talking with my Aunt who lives in Utah the other day and we were talking about blogs that we "stalk". I was talking about your blog and how I love to read it and how we were in the same ward back in Long Beach and she knew who I was talking about! She stalks your blog too. I just thought...what a small world we live in. Thanks for all the inspirational posts you write. You really do have a talent for blogging.

Plain Jame said...

That is pretty tricky. I wonder if any of it comes with having your blog and getting it all out here, and in some ways its made it easier for you when you meet someone new and they already know so much about you - even sweet Camille. Then you dont have to get the hard part out of the way first - the internet is a funny thing that way. We can make relationships easier.
Had I been down there I would've gone over to your house for the SYTYCD finale this week - I'm shreiking out like a tween!

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie - I came across your blog quite by accident several months ago and now check your site almost daily. I live in another state, but want to tell you how much your writings have meant to me. I hope you don't mind if I continue to read and comment. You are obviously a very special person.

Anonymous said...

Love to you Stephanie.

Jane

Chelsea said...

well i was in vegas a week ago but just driving through. i thought about you and mostly wondered how on earth do you stand the heat?!! and i wondered too how you shield your kids' eyes from the billboards on the freeway. :)

Jenny M said...

I know what you mean about those first few minutes of meeting someone. It would be so nice if it were simpler!

James and Sarah Narramore said...

You are such an amazing women! There are very few women that I know or know of that I consider to be a rock. They go through some of the hardest things I could ever think of and they still manage to go on. You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

"HI! I read your blog." I'm not someone you will meet, but I just thought I would introduce myself and let you know that I love your blog and you and Camille inspire me daily! I am going through some hard times right now and no matter the trial I know that people are learning so much from your strength and wisdom and your little angel's spirit :)

Thank you!

-Di from Utah

Anonymous said...

I also think we should be supportive of mom's when a death results from their "fault." Accidents do happen and we are not perfect and it could happen to any of us, you know? Sure there are cases of abuse and severe negligence, but sometimes accidents just happen and we don't have to point fingers or judge.

Jessica said...

Hi,
My name is Jessica, and I just wanted to comment on how great I find your insights in the Gospel, and life. I like meeting new people too, and some the them are overwhelmingly strong in the trials they are handed. I find you to be one of these people, as I cannot imagine being faced with the loss you have endured. It is good to read about the journey you are on! By the way, I love your new baby boy's name.