Stephenson Family Ties The Barn Burnt Down
And Now I See The Moon
"I have a theory," she replied. "I remember thinking long ago,
'were loved infinitely for however little bit of time we have.' 
And its not ultimately tragic to die at any age. Whether we're
talking about being blown into little pieces or, what is ultimate
tragedy. (I just think there isn't ultimate tragedy except for 
evil, and God doesnt will any evil.) And we're surrounded by-
I tell little kids about the Good Shepherd, I think its a great image
for them, but the vine and the branches is great too-) but whether
we feel it or not, we are surrounded by this tremendously loving
presence, and that covers every second of every day. Of everybody.
from: Strength in What Remains
by: Tracy Kidder

Dearest Lexi...
All my scrapbooks are packed away for safe keeping...but if they werent in boxes I would have littered this post with all the darling pics I have of you as a chubby baby girl!! ( dodged that bullet from your crazy aunt didnt you!!!??)
I miss you Lexi!! Truly I do.
Your dad says its been nearly 2 years since you went North. It seems longer than that. Much longer.
I grew accustomed to seeing your darling face at the Bloomington Subway, sporting those timeless fashion accessories- the black visor and black golf shirt. I bet you were sorry to hang those up for the last time!! I should have taken better advantage of your working  only a few blocks away. I have regrets. Dang our regrets!!!
I wish we were better friends. There is no such thing as too many friends...especially when you're an old lady like me...and even more so when those friends are family.  It should be easier that way...but sometimes it just isnt. Dang it again.
You are a special young lady my wanna- be-your- friend friend. Special in a good way-not special in an awkward way....  Im just  wondering...were you EVER awkward??!!

(this is a sophomore in high that's AWKWARD!!!!)
Never have you been this awkward..or this "special"...Im sure of it.

But you are indeed  special, because some of us who have known you the longest, know things and remember things that are very tender and sacred about you. You were too young at the time and cant possibly  remember them  now...but Im sure you've heard the story that  Im about to relate...probably more than once or twice.  Im willing to wager though, that your spirit remembers these events...even though you have no recollection now. Oh how the world messes with our heads...but our spirits can remember and be "above it all" thank heavens....if we let them.
Im risking once again of sounding like the spiritual hippy freak that I am...and receiving permission from your good share again with you something remarkable and sacred that happened to you...and your dad...the night that your beautiful mom left this world years ago.
A tragic accident brought  so much sorrow, pain and heartache to so many people that loved your mother. And now that you are so much older, Im sure that you can picture it all in your mind...and Im sure you have times where with no difficulty you can feel it for yourself even now.  Imagine the pain and brokenness your dad felt when he received the terrible news of her death in that treacherous canyon. It is from this point that I please ask that  cut me some slack and remember that I unfortunately  dont hang on to details very well. This is what I remember your dad telling me about what happened that very night.  I do remember the phone call I had from your dad that morning to tell me what happened. I remember dropping every thing and heading south to be with you and your dad.  I remember just a few days before Leah's funeral, your dad relating to me...and others Im sure...what he experienced the night of the accident. You were in your room, sleeping in your crib. You're dad was shocked, dazed and brokenhearted. Then suddenly you woke up and started to fuss.  (I guess this was unusual for were a dozer baby, a good sleeper, like most of my kids were.) Your dad headed down the hall to your room, to check on you, but before he could open the door, you stopped crying and just babbled and cooed for a bit.  It was at that moment that  your dad just knew...had the very distinct impression that your mom was there in the room with calm you and to say good-bye.  This rang true to me then...and as I write this still rings true to my heart. What mother wouldnt choose to do this last thing...before moving on??!!
I pray my dear niece, that this reminder will only bring you peace and comfort. It is a hard knock world out there and these reminders of tender, miraculous things do indeed  help us  ease our way sometimes. And in your case I think they happen more frequently than we know. All of us need to open our hearts and minds and seek out these gifts.
Believe that you are special Lexi. Many of us know it, and your mom of course does as do your family here.
I understand that you have had another experience with a very thin veil. With your wild and crazy and adoring Grandpa Chad. Cherish these experiences Lexi. Keep them in the forefront of your thoughts. For they are gifts, and many, many of us are not as blessed with such faith building gifts.
Faith is a gift.
Faith that there's something better on the 'other side.'
Faith that there is only goodness and love through the veil.
Faith in something worth striving for, and making those on the other side proud of us.

I think we are all guilty of forgetting or not realizing just how many people love us Lexi.  I think its easy to not understand how important each and every member of our families are to each of us.

 Do you recall the movie Its A Wonderful Life...that classic Christmas story?? George believed that the world would not miss him or notice if he had never existed. Oh how wrong he was...
It took a heavenly angel to help George learn this about himself. Clarence was his angel earning his wings.  You have had angel experiences my love. You know that there are folks that love you very, very much..both here and in heaven. There is a whole team of people cheering you on Lexi. They pray for you, and miss you at our less than frequent family gatherings.  Seeing you again would bring so many so much joy!!
We love you Lexi!! And we always will!!!

1 comment:

Jared + Carly Reid said...

this was so special and sacred to read, aunt cindy. thank you for sharing it! we love you lexi!