Thursday, June 18, 2009

How Mr Nielson got his name...

It was about 18 months ago that I discovered the and found myself inspired by the life of Stephanie and Christian Nielson and their growing family.

It was a site of sweet nostalgia.

In fact, I am sorry it wasn't available to me when I was raising four small children of my very own. Stephanie's creative and loving style of mothering would have been a welcome balm to my frayed motherly nerves.

Every now and then I would check in on Stephanie and co online, sometimes sharing a few postings with Mr Nielson better known as Sid.

Nienie ( StephaNie Nielson) shares a gloriously adoring relationship with her husband Christian, who she refers to in her blog, as Mr Nielson. Enchanted by her romantic odes to Christian I read one out loud to my husband, then known only as Sid.

Sid has always for reasons unbeknownst to any of us, called anything or anyone he deems adorable, 'nienie'. When I hear him calling 'nienie' he could be referring to our dog Baxter, one of the children or me.

And so it wasn't long, before I began to receive sms texts on my cellphone from Sid, assuring me that he 'loved the way Mrs Nielson's fragrance lingers in my office when she is gone' or some other lovely nonsense. Soon I was calling him Mr Nielson!

In this way Stephanie and Christian became part of our daily life. They represented someting beautiful and good in the world.

Then August came and with it the terrifying news that Stephanie and Christian ( who had been training to earn a pilots license) had suffered terrible burns in a plane crash and were in induced comas in a hospital in Provo.

I cannot begin to tell you how anxious I was for their well-being. For some time I could think of nothing else.

My daughter Skye who is a medical student advised therapy suggesting that it was unnatural to be so concerned about complete strangers!

But of course, over the many months I had come to adore this gorgeous family living their life out with such faith and delight across the globe. Had come to care deeply about their happiness.

Through Stephanie I came to know a whole bevy of lovely Mormon folk. We don't get many Mormon this side of Utah! Actually, I'd only ever seen them on television documentaries! So based on this exposure, I had always thought of them as polygomists married to groups of young sisters, with countless wan-looking off-spring. Not these Mormons! They are so completely wonderful that it seems horribly unfair now that they are not at the very least my long-lost distant cousins!

But alas, I am a Jewish girl of Lithuanian descent with not a Mormon bone in my body!

When my daughter Tiffany died in a car accident I never imagined that my happiness would ever be restored. Worse still I resented that others saw my loss as a benchmark for suffering that made their own lot more bearable.

It took time for me to recognise the way in which all of life is interconnected and I am grateful for the way in which we are able so exquisitely to serve one another.

In this way, beautiful Nienie who has been awakened like a princess from a long, hard slumber can inspire and heal those lucky enough to find her.

The new Nienie is very different from the young woman who boarded that fateful flight, all those many months ago. Her body continues everyday to struggle with the terrible damage wrought by the crash. What has not changed is her essential beauty, the blessing of her enormous spirit and generous, faithful heart.

And her love for Mr Nielson...

Go to and find out about this extraordinary treasure for yourselves.....