So there I was today at Target with my 3-year-old, pulling out my Kashi coupons that the "free-example" (Smart-children lingo for "free sample") ladies had just given me, when I looked at the aisle next to me and saw Nie and Mr. Nielsen (with their boys.)
If you are new to Nie (pronounced 'nee') let me give you some background. Stephanie Nielsen and her husband Christian were in a small-plane that crashed at the end of summer 2008. Both of them were severely burned and Nie was in a coma for months. Her story as a woman who simply loved the joys of being a wife and mother have become deeply poignant as she has struggled to overcome her drastic burns and injuries. Her strength in adversity has inspired me profoundly.
Just this past weekend I told Allison how her story of accosting the Nielsens at Costco cracked me up! but also made me wonder what I would do in the same situation. And here I was.
once again I have no photographic proof of this encounter
For a split second I thought about not bothering them, but then I knew I would always regret not telling this woman in person how much her life has inspired me. Inspired me to be a more patient mother, a more loving wife, a more faithful woman, and to stop whining ever.
So I approached her - and of course I couldn't say any of the things I was really thinking because by then I was trying so hard not to cry. So I just told her that I think she is amazing.
And she was beyond gracious. Not to mention stylish, glowing, and beautiful. She's the real deal.
I was totally teary as I headed to my car and started loading my groceries when I realized in all my excitement, I had left behind the microwave I'd just paid for. So we high-tailed it back into Target where the employees were looking at me like I was a bit daft.
But I was actually glad I had to go back because I got to say Hello again. I had realized as I walked to the car the first time that I wished I had told Mr. Nielsen how impressed I am with him as a father and husband. What a better place this world with be if more men treated women and their families as he does. So I accosted them again and they were equally gracious the second time.
If you haven't read Nie for sometime, you need to visit. I bawled the day she posted the first picture of herself post-crash. This post moved me too.
Quite an amazing past couple of days. So what if a crazy loan-officer drew our file? It has been so wonderful to meet in real life many people I have admired from afar. Report on Heather Bailey tomorrow!
And just in case it buys me any credibility, Andrea Boccelli was in Utah this weekend recording for his Christmas album with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and I did NOT run into him. Even though that would have been really nice too.