Stephanie

If you have read my blog from the beginning or even last spring/summer then you would know that my posts have become far and fewer between over the past few months.  At first life got really busy, then life got complicated with new experiences that I wasn't sure how to share and then life got very sad...too sad to talk about.

I have only mentioned my sister (by law, however in spirit every bit My Sister) and her fight against cancer a couple times on my blog.  This is for a couple reasons; first I didn't want to invade her privacy and second I felt completely inadequate in my writing to give any justice to the experience.

But, Stephanie was a huge part of my life in 2011.  I got to know her better in 2011 then I knew her in all the seven years prior.  I helped care for her, tried to help lift her spirits with laughter and went to most all her chemo appointments with her.  During those drives to chemo and during the appointments we would talk and play games and developed a closeness that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

In December, Stephanie passed away.  The loss I feel sometimes feels like a heavy weight on my chest.  Sometimes I still can't believe she is gone, sometimes I am angry that she was taken from our family, from my brother and from her sweet children, and sometimes I feel guilty...that I could have done more to make her time with us even better.  But most often I feel so very sad as I realize again and again that she is never coming back, I cannot call her up to see how she's doing, I can't have her over for dinner, I can't hug her anymore and I will forever miss her.  

I am a person of action.  I have a hard time sitting still and waiting for things to happen, so naturally I start to think about what I can do to get through this difficult time.  My mind keeps going back to 'How can I honor Stephanie?'  The answer is clear, Stephanie was a woman who was a walking example of God's love, compassion, grace and kindness.  She did not hide her love for her Savior, she was not afraid to speak about her faith...so I will follow suit.

I hope I will make her proud.  I hope that one day, when we see each other again in heaven, she will look upon me and smile her beautiful smile and tell me I made her proud.

I love you Stephanie.

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