One thing I did that helped me keep my composure was to have the audience silently read a "post" I wrote specifically for the workshop that gave a summary of the life of my blog. I figured that reading silently gave them a true view of how it feels to know me from my blog. They could feel what my readers feel by reading. Plus it saved me from having to tell them about Camille's accident while trying to maintain my composure.
I thought maybe some of you may be interested in reading the post I wrote for the workshop. So here it is. Thanks again for the prayers!
The story of Stephanie Waite’s blog “A Daily Scoop” in Summary
I began my blog in April of 2008. In the first weeks of my blogging I wrote a post about each of my four little girls. My life was happy and my future looked bright. I had just moved into a new, permanent home big enough for us to grow into. I was in the midst of home decorating and backyard designing.
My youngest daughter Camille was about to turn one and her sisters were 2, 5 and 6. It had been a hard year having essentially two babies to look after. But I was finally starting to see some of the benefits and joy of having kids close in age as my two youngest were beginning to play together more. My girls were all beautiful, happy and healthy. Life was just wonderful and I was ready to write all about it.
Little did I know how drastically a Friday afternoon in June would change my life and my blog forever….
It was his face that told me. Walking down that long third floor corridor, adrenaline still coursing through my veins, I saw him at the far end. He was pacing, helplessly. Then he turned my direction. And I saw his face.
Until that point, the only news I had heard from my husband was in a quick phone call, “They got her heart beating and she is taking spontaneous breaths on her own!” He had phoned from the ambulance carrying our youngest daughter to the hospital. I was still at home. I was the one who had found her in the brand new spa. I was not allowed to go with her, the police said. I had to stay and answer questions.
But I had found hope in this one report my husband Jonathan had found time to phone in to me. Breathing on her own was good. A beating heart was good. That meant she was still with us. She was alive. There was still hope. She would be okay.
Jonathan’s face told me a different story. His was not a face of hope or faith. His was the face of loss, great, unendurable loss. His was a face of agony.
Family quickly gathered around us as we waited and watched and prayed. I had recently started a blog and my sister logged on and put up a post requesting prayers on behalf of my 14 month old Camille. We needed a miracle. We needed prayers of faith.
The prognosis was very poor for our little girl. Doctors told us the best-case scenario was a long term vegetative state. As the hours passed, even that seemed unlikely. Camille’s organs were failing.
Through a grueling process of time and pleading and acceptance and prayer, Jonathan and I came to understand the Lord’s will for our daughter. We saw the miracle that we would be seeing would not be one to improve our daughter’s health. We shifted out prayers to plead for a miracle in our hearts. We pleaded for strength to accept this heavy heartache.
Meanwhile, word of our plight spread and hundreds of people went to our blog to leave comments of support and prayers. I updated our blog to indicate our decision to remove life support and ask people to pray for us: that we might have the strength to keep breathing when our daughter stopped.
The hundreds of people reading along with our plight and praying and supporting us turned to thousands. I felt a great strength come from the thousands of prayers being lifted up to heaven on our behalf. They were prayers from friends old and new, family near and far, and strangers of all different faiths from many varied countries.
Our daughter passed away on June 15, 2008, 48 hours after I found her. And my blog became a tool for me to update those concerned about me, to process my pain and keep a grip on eternal perspective. And so I wrote. I wrote everyday. I wrote the words I could not say. I put my heart, broken, humbled, and yet still believing out onto the Internet. I wrote my pain, the lessons I was learning, and my testimony.
And people read what I wrote. Some found their own pain reflected in my writing. My words expressed what they couldn’t. Some learned right along with me. They came to read the inspiration I had gleaned from my trial. And they read my testimony and beliefs along the way. And the miracles we all prayed for eventually came.
I have seen and felt the miraculous healing of broken and shattered hearts, hopes, and spirits. I have seen the miracle of repentance and growth of testimony. I have seen the miracle of one little angel spreading her influence across the world through the simple writings of her grieving mother.
The tides of grief still ebb and flow but the good days far out number the bad. I am grateful for that. I am grateful for the peace the truths of the gospel bring. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and his redeeming sacrifice. In Him there is hope. I am grateful for temple covenants that bind me to my family forever. I am grateful that I will never have to worry about Camille staying true to the Faith. I am grateful to have one child sealed up in heaven and guaranteed to be mine as long as I live worthy of her.
I am grateful for the miracle that I can still be grateful.