How is Christian doing emotionally, especially when it comes to Stephanie's injuries? "His emotions are a lot like the rest of the family's," Courtney explains. "He still feels the shock of what has happened, and it's understandably difficult for him. But at the same time, he is a man of faith and a man who believes in a higher power. He also has the drive to fight, and to turn this into something hopeful."
Hopeful is a word that resonates so much more with Courtney now, as she marvels over the outpouring of support her family has received from the blogging community. "Before, when Stephanie and I would blog, we would get emails here and there from women who thanked us for what we wrote," she says. "We both felt like blogging was a service that we provided for people ... that there might be that one person out there who needed to hear something we had to say."
"But now, that situation is really reversed," she continues. "People are giving back so much to me and to Stephanie now. To get up every day and read the sweet comments that people have left us is just incredible. Now we are the ones receiving the inspiration and support from others when we need it the most."
The blogging community has been vigilant in spreading the word about fundraising efforts for the Nielsons. "Stephanie will need life-long physical therapy, so her medical costs will be in the millions," Courtney explains. "My sister did so much for the blogging community, and they've seen this as an opportunity to give back. There have been so many auctions, concerts, and fundraisers. It's been absolutely overwhelming."
Perhaps the most important gift Stephanie gave the mom-blogging community was the inspiration and motivation to be better mothers. In over three years of Nie Nie's blog posts, she hardly uttered one negative word about her children. How is this possible? "She was tired, and she had her days, but she figured that was a given," Courtney explains. "What Stephanie wanted to get across most was how enchanting motherhood was, and how magical it can all be. Sometimes people interpreted this as her wanting to portray herself as a perfect mother, but that wasn't it at all. She just wanted to give motherhood a good public relations makeover ... to show how beautiful children can be."
Courtney gets reflective for a moment. "Maybe on a deeper level, she
knew this was going to happen, and she wanted to introduce everyone to
her family so they could be there for her now," she says.
One positive thing to come out of this tragedy, according to
Courtney, is how many women are now inspired by Stephanie and her blog.
Before the accident, 1,000 people a day read the Nie Nie Dialogues. Now the number of daily visitors is at
least 30 times that and growing.
Courtney concludes, "I know if God came down and said to Stephanie that either you can stay exactly the same -- young and beautiful -- or you can have this happen to you but be able to inspire thousands and thousands of women, she would choose her current situation every time."
For updates on Stephanie's progress, click here. To donate, send contributions to the Christian & Stephanie Nielson Rehab Fund, P.O. Box 8850, Mesa, AZ 85214.