Note from Anne 12-18-09. The Internet continues to bring Stephanie Nielson into my life. Whenever she’s on Oprah or other TV show, she’s rockets to the top of my ratings. Well done, Stephanie.
In this original post, followed by an update from last Jan. 2009 and an Oprah moment last Sept, I write about total strangers who become part of our lives. This is my psychological relationship with Stephanie Nielson. Merry Christmas, Stephanie.
Tragedy in Phoenix
My good fortune of life on the Internet isn’t shared by the followers of Stephanie Nielson’s blog, the NieNieDialogues. Tragedy as struck a group of bloggers and a wonderful woman at the center of a fiery airplane crash.
According to the NY Times:
“The site, a diary of home life that she started in 2005 for close friends and family, had attracted a small but ardent following, thanks to its upbeat dispatches about marriage, home décor, entertaining and the art of raising four children ages 6 and younger. To her admirers, she was Supermom.”
Tragically, Stephanie Nielson suffered catastrophic burn injuries in a private plane crash, and people around the world feel her loss. They have gathered in a cyber handholding circle, to support her healing and recovery.
It is true that much of our daily human contact is in decline. The beauty of the Carversville General Store is that people stop in and share a bit of themselves each day.
This intimate, human hello is vanishing from our lives. In Europe, people continue to greet each other in the elevators, but NYC is in its own world most mornings. Headphones on, fingers on digital communication devices, we don’t acknowledge each other at all.
Young Euro and Asian wunderkinds adopt the Manhattan mindset all too quickly. Me? Well, we all know I’m stubborn. I’m “old school” enough to smile and say “good morning.”
There is more to our 21st century lifestyle, however, and it lives in cyberspace. The NYTimes considers this idea:
“Sociologists may talk about “weak ties” that bind people on the Internet. But Stephanie Nielson’s story is evolving into one about how the Web can forge powerful friendships. Unlike much of the blogosphere, which is ruled by sniping and snark and where commenters might coldly question the judgment of a mother of four who chose to get in a small private plane, these women inhabit a feel-good corner of the Internet.”
“And when one member of the community suffers, everyone feels it.”
This is the case with Stephanie Nielson and her global network of friends, now consumed with worry.
I can relate well. Last winter I was reading some very sexy blogs for a client project. There’s no need to mention the purient details. Let’s just say that I was investigating what’s called “power sharing” in the BDSM community.
Admittedly, I’ve never fully understood the psychology of extreme BDSM, one person verbally and physically demeaning another, in a sexual act. I understand the top-level psychology of “power sharing”, but not the down and dirty side, and the potentially dangerous result, when a “game” goes too far.
In reading one of these blogs … a mom with kids in Australia … I became increasingly concerned about her wellbeing. .. concerned for her safety, as well as her spirit. Her “love beatings” were frequent and seemed to go closer and closer to the edge of no return. I sensed that she was writing as a call for help, although she professed great love for her husband and their lifestyle.
One night I awoke at 3am, out of a sound sleep, shaking and terribly concerned about this woman. I felt that I should do something to help her … and yet I had no right to intervene in her life. I’m a complete stranger, and she’s a grown woman.
I sat up in bed, totally agitated in the darkness, wondering what to do. Call the authorities in Australia? And say what? This woman is engaged in dangerous behavior? I’m concerned that she may die. Who sounds like the crazy party in this conversation?
Still shaking with concern and my knowledge that I have a “sixth sense” about life matters (hence, I’m great at identifying trends), I grabbed my laptop from under my bed and logged on to her blog. Yes, in the middle of the night.
She was gone … leaving only a note that her husband had discovered her blog and insisted that she take it down.
That was the end of her story in cyberspace. She remains gone, because I’ve returned to her blog, hoping to see signs of life. I think about this woman … a total stranger to me … and I continue to worry about her safety, physically as well as psychologically, nine months later.
Stephanie Nielson’s global, cyberspace friends have rallied at her bedside.
The NYTimes reports: “When one of Ms. Nielson’s sisters called on readers to release helium balloons carrying get-well messages as an inspirational gesture, readers from as far away as Australia and Guam joined in. And bloggers have spread the word on their sites. Since the accident, readership of Ms. Nielson’s blog, which a sister has been updating, has spiked from about 1,000 visitors a day to as many as 20,000.”
The fact is that we do care about each other, even in cyberspace. Emotion, devotion, support … all the manifestations of love and friendship can exist in digital communities. On my list of books to write, one of them concerns the nature of love on the Internet.
Genuine Digital Reality
My own life is now grounded in “real-life” dating and human interaction. But I freely admit that the man who has had the most positive influence on my self-development is someone I’ve never met. We communicate little now, because he ultimately refused to bring our friendship into the light of day. This suggests, of course, that his story wasn’t totally honest.
I feel no anger towards him, and I will never dispute or negate his positive influence on my own evolution to the Anne, writing to you now. W is lodged deep in my heart, and nothing will unseat him. His devotion to communicating with me lasted five years.
Stephanie’s tragedy will bring people like me — and now you — to her website. I was about to write: “Some of us enjoy watching a train wreck”, but I don’t believe this is why we go — not you, my readers. You are caring types, and you visit NieNieDialogues for a life lesson, to feel this tragic experience in some way. This urge makes us human.
Let us all pray for Stephanie Nielson and her husband, also severely burned in the plane crash. We pray for her four children, who have only a dim recollection of the accident. I assume they weren’t onboard, although the reporting is fuzzy on these details.
Grace in the Future
If Stephanie Nielson lives, she will be a dramatically different woman, inside and out. She will be severely scarred in a world that pursues beauty and perfection.
Reading the details and comments about Stephanie Nielsen and her Nie Nie Dialogues blog, readers expressed admiration and envy, that “Ms. Nielson found the energy to make marriage sexy while raising four small children. Ms. Brubaker recalled a post in which Ms. Nielson told her husband to take off his shirt while doing the chores on her honey-do list, just so she could watch. “This is coming from a mother of four,” she added.”
Through her writing on Nie Nie Dialogues , Stephanie Nielson celebrates beauty. That makes her my kindred spirit … no, our kindred spirit.
“People don’t understand that of course Stephanie had days where she was crazy and wanted to pull her hair out,” Ms. Kendrick said. “Her relationship with her husband wasn’t perfect. But she chose to focus on the beauty.
We must celebrate life, as Stephanie did. Truly, each breath we take is delicate, and we never know when it will be our last one, or when the reality of our lives will be turned inside out.
I found Feanne and this morning she is very close to me, my Inbox filled with her glorious inspiration and young wisdom. And this man, who I wrote about that same weekend, promises to change my career in ways I never thought possible. If you told me that I’d be dining with “Earth, Wind and Fire” and working on new music projects … well, I’d ask you if you had too many martinis before dinner.
Patrick ends his phone messages with “Have a blessed day. ” His MySpace page says “Love my blessed life”.
I know the details of Patrick’s life — past and present — and I assure you that he has been tested severely … more than I have … not that my walk down the runway has been easy. I don’t consider his life “blessed” , but who am I to disagree?
To be so positive with his life menu, well my goodness, he makes me totally self-indulgent. Patrick inspires me, in the way that Stephanie Nielson inspires her readers. We aspire to weave their best qualities into our own behavior and values.
Love Comes In Time
There’s a song that I just adore, “Love Comes in Time” on Audio Caviar: Transoceanic, Q (Patrick) as Executive Producer.
We have a rather feisty relationship — Q and I — (you know Anne), leaving us in a serious debate over “Love Comes in Time”, which I hear as a spiritual love song. Indeed, our dialogue over the lyrics and intended meaning of “Love Comes in Time” nearly ignited dinner one night.
Ah ha!!! I am in good company. I just read this review of Audio Caviar, where the reviewer describes the song from my point of view (ball back in your court, Patrick. LOL)
“Howard Hewett joins the cast with lead and background vocals, along with Bailey, Pam Johnston and Ralph Johnson on “Love Comes in Times.” A sensual, grabbing love song, “Love Comes in Time” takes the listener deep into that space within. We’ve all been there, waiting for the love of our life to show. It’s a slow groove backed by a commanding horn section.”
The Beauty Bearers
My writing message, dear readers, is actually about Patrick Talev-Karanfilovic and Stephanie Nielson — and all the truly fabulous people who bring beauty to our lives. We want to think that they are uniquely blessed, wonderfully problem-free, and have gotten some kind of “free pass” out of heartache and severe life challenges.
This is rarely the case, especially with Stephanie Nielson, who now fights desperately for life and some semblance of known reality.
In closing, let us toast beauty, the sensual beauty of everyday life. It surrounds us; we breath it without thinking. Without warning, it’s often lost before we understand just how precious it is … before we savour beauty with all our senses.
To living consciously, and to the apparently wonderful woman named Stephanie Nielson.
A Toast to Life, Stephanie Nielson Style
Stephanie is alive under her disfigurement, as she fights for another sunrise. Attached to her now in spirit and sensitivity, we are responsible to welcome her return back to the world. She will be changed beyond recognition. Yet, I sense that this inspiring mother or four, and sexy, loving wife, will find wisdom and unbelievable life insights on her journey through tragedy and unbelievable suffering.
We pray that Stephanie Nielson will smile again — and we with her — in a tight embrace of her values, ideals and actions.
To Stephanie. And to my friend Patrick, who teaches me far more about living, than I will ever admit to him. (But about that love song “Love Comes InTime” , Q… just kidding!)
With great love and appreciation of you all,
Second article: I returned to Stephanie Nielson on January 7, 2009. Much of the blog is about Stephanie and her suffering in the hospital, but also her wonderful marriage to Mr. Nielson.
Today’s update 9-7-09 and how I saw Stephanie on Oprah in a moment of total coincidence follows next.
How amazing! I have just come back from the gym and this is now our top story. I, too, had my own ‘experience’ with the Nielsons today.
With about 12 minutes left — for an inexplicable reason — I hit the treadmill today. Not once in six months have I done cardio at the front end and the back end of my exercise routine.
My music was playing and I looked up at Oprah’s screen — and I saw her. OMG! I was pretty sure that the woman was Stephanie, but I did recognize Mr. Nielson. Her sister was speaking for her, as you know, and I really only heard the last few minutes.
There are barely words to describe the spirit and courage and self-love of Stephanie Nielson. For all of us who say “poor me”, her story is unforgettable.
When I first saw her face photo on NieNie a few weeks ago, I wept. And I cry today, so happy that this marvelous woman has lived to spend more time with the people she loves and now with all of us, too.
If you read deeply into Stephanie’s original blog, you will discover not only a fabulous woman and mother, but an absolutely terrific marriage — the stories about the great marriages that seem to be so few and far between.
Stephanie Nielson is a Smart Sensuality woman — a sexy lover, mother and wife.
I’m so glad that you’re searching for more information about this entire story. Mrs. Nielson is a truly gorgeous American treasure. Anne
July 8, 2011
Stephanie’s story came alive again yesterday, although all seems quiet on the Arizona front. In her honor I wrote: