Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stevie's Impact

Dear Friends, Family, Acquaintances, Internet Buddies, Friends of Friends, Blog Followers, and Anyone Else Who Happens to be Reading This and/or Following Our Story,

A friend of mine (actually, more like a friend of a friend of mine) sent me a message last night and she probably has no idea how much what she said means to me. Basically, she wanted me to know that reading about Stevie with her mom, who she's never been very close to, allowed them to share a rare emotional mother-daughter moment; in a small way, Stevie brought the two of them closer together.

Hearing that my daughter's brief life made an impact on this girl and her mother, even in a small way, means the world to me. It's easy to get angry and bitter and think "what was all this for?" Why would God create this little life, only to take it away 6 months later? I mean really, what was the point?

I guess I need so badly to believe that her life was not without purpose. That although she never took a breath, she made and will continue to make an impact in this world.

So I'm asking for your help. Many of you have told me that you've been touched by Stevie's life. How? Maybe her story simply made you hug your children extra tight on night. Maybe reading her story made you think about what's really important in life. Maybe hearing about her inspired you to make peace with someone in our life. I don't know. But I want to.

I want to compile a list of the ways my little girl's life has made a difference. And then I want to read the stories over and over again, whenever I need a reminder that her life (and death) was not in vain.

Please, let me know how Stevie's story has touched you. Leave a comment, send me a facebook message, write me an email (kristin.cook23@gmail.com), or mail me a letter (let me know if you need the address). I would love to publish these stories here, so make sure to let me know if you'd rather I didn't make yours public.

If you can't put into words how Stevie has touched you, consider just doing something nice for someone else in Stevie's honor--a "random act of kindness" if you will. Give someone an extra smile. Pay for a stranger's coffee at Starbucks. Whatever. And then tell me about it.

Thanks guys, for helping me remember that a life is a life no matter how short.

Love,
Kristin (and Andy too)

Update: Thanks for all the responses so far! Please check out the page linked at the top of the page to read about Stevie's impact. Love you all, K

14 comments:

Kerri said...

Kristin, Without Stevie, I would have never found you as a friend. What a wonderful gift she gave us. I feel very lucky to know you. And I can thank Stevie for that.

Dassupdate said...

Stevie has reminded me to not sweat the small stuff with Logan. Stevie has been able to let me remember tell to Logan I love him all the time and laugh at the times when he wants to make me scream. Stevie taught me love the moment and cherish everyday.

huckleberrymoo said...

Stevie made me realize how delicate and precious life is. She made me love a little more deeply and openly. She made me hug my daughter longer than before.

Jillian said...

Kristin, I'm so sorry for your pain and that you have had to go through this. There are not words to adequately express to you how I feel when I hear Stevie's story. You should know that her precious life has made me realize that the day to day challenges of raising my daughters are really not challenges after all... They're blessings. I'm sure you would love to hear Stevie crying at 3 A.M. to eat or pick up that same pile of blocks for the 20Th time. I need to enjoy those moments with my girls because they are not granted to me.

Andrea said...

Kristin,

Hello, I'm Andrea from persuitofourfairytale.blogspot.com and I want to say thank you for visiting my blog.

More than anything, I want to share my love and prayers. Each time I see a new blog follower I cringe, as I know the heart break that comes with losing a child. I only wish this did not have to be.

Your daughter, Stevie Joy, has great purpose and through her legacy many lives will be touched. Her life was not in vain, I can promise you that. Her story is touching me in this very moment and reminds me once again how very precious life is, how we need to show and tell those we love just how much we love them and most of all how we should "do unto others". It's through our precious children who were much too beautiful for this Earth that we find strength, resilience and the will to move forward. "Stevie" is giving us all just that...the will to keep walking :)

Feel your sweet little girl when the sun shines on your face, the wind graces your back and her presence lives in your heart.

Much Love and many prayers...HUGS too, as you journey on.

Andrea

shari said...

Stevie Joy's life was a blessing even though it was such a short one. I'm glad to call her my Great Niece and to know what an impact her life has made on others. I will miss her and will remember her as my first just like I did her Mom. I will miss holding her as I did her Mom. I will miss giving her the girlie and animal gifts just like I did for her Mom. Her Mom is strong, brave and oh so courageous to share her inner most feelings. Be strong Andy. You two will make a difference in other's lives. You two are the Blessing. We will see her again in Heaven. That is a promise that is given to us. Thank you Dad (Great Grandpa) for holding her until we get there.
Love,
Great Aunt Shari

Nora and Matt! In China... said...

Kristin,

This has been such a hard time--I want you to know that Matt and I pray for you and Andy every night. When I first heard I was in shock, then when I read your blog about Stevie I cried and cried. You are so strong, and I want you to know that she will never be forgotten.
Always, much love,

Nora

ps: I miss you too!! Looking forward to seeing you again very soon :)

Sara said...

I'm reminded not to take a kick to the bladder, raging heartburn or other (gross) bodily functions for granted, and to be thankful for each day. This is my second pregnancy and I had felt all of this before, but now it means something more to me than it did. Stevie has made me appreciate this pregnancy and baby so much more. Thank you, little angel.

Jersa said...

When I first heard the news it was early in the 1st tri and I was very excited. I had a hard time not telling anybody yet. Even Adam had a hard time, he told a few people at work and his parents. :) I remember picking out little orange slippers with animal rattles on the toes. They were so perfect. It was fun to count the months and dream about what Stevie would do as a kid and how her mom would overreact. Like I know you would have. I also wanted to be "auntie Jersa" and make a little cousin for Stevie to direct in plays and play house with. Like I'm sure she would have. Kinda like her mom. Because of Stevie I will take each day of my pregnancies with more than saltines and 7up like my mom did. But, with an appreciation I didn't have before for the miracle inside me. I will remember Stevie when I am so dizzy I am sitting on the floor or wearing sweats at the grocery store for lime popsicles. Foremost, I will remember how happy Stevie made my friends, Andy and you. The joy you two shared whenever the baby preparations were mentioned, which was a lot, and I will be even more excited when the next baby receives the gift of you as its parents.

-Auntie Jersa

Amber said...

Hey There,

I'm from the August Birth Club on babycenter. AmberNicoleP (friends call me Nic). I thought I'd share how Stevie and you touched my life.

The day I found out what had happened to Stevie, we had another ultrasound. I was scared to death after hearing your news. Our baby had been dealing with growth issues for at least a month now at this time. I expected the worst, and up until that point hadn't been able to really enjoy and cherish our baby girl.

We found out that she had incredibly jumped up growth and was out of the danger zone. It was a miracle. I hadn't ever cried tears of joy like that before.

Every since then I've been following your blog and reading your stories. You loved Stevie so much, and it's inspired me to appreciate what we have so much more. I was more afraid to really embrace this pregnancy, afraid something might happent to her. Your inspiration has been, that I have to cherish every little bit that we have and appreciate it all. So I've been going all out on her nursery now, and feeling so much more excited for her arrival. Every little kick is special to me, and every time she has the hiccups I feel so happy, and when her big brother hugs her or tickles my tummy I feel able to daydream about when they'll be together.

Thank you Stevie and Kristin for helping me move past my fear, and embrace and cherish the gift that we have.

Holding you two in king thoughts,
Nic

Meagan said...

I will go home and hugs my kids extra long, and try to be less rushed in day to day life, and less stressed with them. I just read all of your blogs, and with tears, I know I am blessed. I wish peace for you as Aug is right around the corner. Thank you for sharing your daughter with us. She is beautiful, you have a very precious angel in heaven. I will ask my mom tonight in my prayers (she passed) to maybe pay a visit to Stevie and let her know how special she is to everyone, including strangers down here.

Anonymous said...

This wll sound really strange, I'm kind of embarrassed to write it.

Growing up, I had a dad but he had a job. Do you get what I mean? I mean my parents were married, I had a father, but what he loved was his work, and we took him away from that. My father says he loves me all the time, and I think he does, but I know I'm not the most important thing to him.

So, I'm married, have been for 10 years. We have 2 young daughters. And my husband and I fight all.the.time. because when he's late at work or whatever, I figure he doesn't want to be around us. He SAYS he loves us all the time, but I never believed him. I never, ever really thought boys could love their families the way girls did.

Then I started reading your blog after the story on WCCO, and I read the post Andy wrote right after Stevie was born. And I saw his footprint tatoos. And I was floored right to my core. OMG. It's a man, who loves - I mean really LOVES - his wife and his baby and who misses his baby. He really does.

I have changed my whole thinking about the possibility that maybe my husband can truly care about us too. Like love us, really love us, the way women can love. It's terrifying, but when I get scared I come back to your blog and read that and think about it. And it gives me strength and peace.

I would have never been able to go here without Stevie. She's teaching me this, even when it's hard for me. I'm really thankful to her and to you for sharing your stories.

Kris said...

Stevie has taught me patience and appreciation. I now remember that every moment with my 2 children Ellie (4) and Cooper (10 months) is a gift I have been given. I am much more aware of myself, my reaction, my behavior, and my attitude towards them in the moments where I've just about had it. I find myself stopping and thinking... is this really that important/that big a deal? Usually the answer is no. In a way your story has grounded me. It's made me realize what really is important. Thank you Stevie.

Emily said...

Kristin, You are an unbelievably strong woman and mother. My boyfriend and I talk constantly about what our future kids will be like, what sports they will play, what we will name them, and if they'll get his big head or my tiny head or miraculously somewhere in between! We're not even married yet and I'm so scared to get pregnant because of everything that can go wrong. But hearing your raw, genuine excitement turn to grief and ultimately hope gives me hope that even when something goes wrong, it may be a beautiful thing and give you purpose in a different way. You're teaching me not to fear the "what if" and just be grateful for each day. Thank you.

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