Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Heaven Is Here - memoir by Stephanie Nielson

It's been rough around here the last couple of days.  Three out of four of us have gotten the same stomach "flu" bug.  No fun!  But it is a quick way to lose 2-4 lbs in only 24 hours.  Ha!

Amidst the sickness I started and finished the newly released Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielson.  I couldn't put it down.  I first learned about Stephanie Nielsen when her story was featured in the AZ Republic, a local Phoenix paper.  Stephanie, her husband and a friend had been involved in a horrible plane crash in 2008 and she was burned over 80% of her body.  She spent 4 months in a coma at the Arizona Burn Center here in Phoenix, and continues to have surgeries and recovery to this day.

After reading the article I found her popular blog Nie Nie Dialogues.  She was a blogger prior to the accident and her following has only increased with the nationwide publicity of her journey.  She's been on Oprah and continues to be featured in many newspaper publications and television news shows.

The Nielson family before the crash.

In her book Heaven Is Here she writes so beautifully about her life before the crash.  About her marriage, children and family.  What is so attractive about Stephanie both then and now is her complete and total passion for her family and for homemaking.  She clearly articulates how being a wife and mother is all she has wanted to do.  And she does it so well!  She is creative and loving, artistic and fun.  She is the kind of mother I'd want to hang out with at the park while our children play.

The Nielson family 2 years after the crash.

After the accident her world was turned upside down is every way possible.  She writes openly and honestly about the difficulty of recovery both physically and emotionally.  It has absolutely given me a better understanding and empathy for burn recovery victims and their families.

And of course reading about these trials while dealing with the stomach flu really put things into perspective for me.  I have so much to be thankful for!  I highly recommend reading this memoir, it is both beautiful, poignant, humorous and uplifting.  Also check out her blog, it is one of my favorites.

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