I discovered the Nie Nie Dialogues in 2008 shortly after the plane crash that left Stephanie with burns over 80% of her body. At the time, Stephanie’s sisters were writing updates about her condition and the blogosphere was abuzz with talk and ways to help.
Somehow, as blogs will tend to do, Stephanie’s fell off my favorites list. I haven’t read her writing in years but as soon as I saw the cover of this week’s Parade Magazine, I remembered the feelings that I had while reading her story and later her writing.
I am in awe of the Stephanie’s strength and love. Her story is one of true inspiration. If you haven’t read this Sunday’s article or her blog, do follow the links above. It will be time well spent.
But first, let me highlight my favorite part of this weekend’s article.
Stephanie’s young children were understandably overwhelmed by the physical changes in their mom following her accident. And what finally brought them together was reading aloud. I have told countless stories here at the blog, in seminars, classes and at cocktail parties (yes, I’m that one!) about the power of reading aloud but I have never heard or told one like Stephanie’s.
“Claire, let’s read Stuart Little,” I suggested. Claire ran to her backpack and pulled out the book.
“You’re going to read, Mom?” Ollie asked as he climbed onto the couch next to me.
Jane wandered in, too. “What are you reading? she asked Claire.
“Stuart Little,” I answered.
“It’s about a cute little mouse, Jane. I think you’d like it.”
She shrugged and sat down on the floor by Nicholas.
“Nicholas, you want to read with us?” Nicholas shook his head and looked back at his toys.
“When Mrs. Frederick C. Little’s second son arrived, everyone noticed he was not much bigger than a mouse,” I began, and Jane looked up.
“The truth of the matter was, the baby looked very much like a mouse in every way.”
Claire giggled. “Look how cute he is with a little hat and shoes.” It was more than Jane could resist. She climbed up on the couch next to Claire. When Jane said something about the doctor examining Stuart Little, even Nicholas climbed on the couch, next to Oliver, so he could see the illustrations, too.
I was sharing the couch with all four of my children. I wanted this moment to last forever. Hoping nothing would break the spell, I read one chapter after another. When we finished chapter four and Jane said, “Oh, Mom, one more chapter. Pleeeease,” I was thrilled.
“Another chapter. I’d like nothing better.”
Another chapter, indeed…