Thursday, October 23

Nie Dialogues

I read a few blogs pretty regularly, mostly about cooking. Actually, they're all about cooking which is kind of funny since my blog rarely includes recipes. Anyway, a few weeks ago one of my regular reads included a link to a recovery blog for a a young husband and wife who had been badly burned in a plane crash. I don't usually bother to follow links, but the story sounded really sad and I wanted to see how they were doing. I won't give you all the details (you can find them here), but it's a very sad story with not much of a happy ending in site.

Now I find myself checking the Nie recovery blog pretty regularly. I've even gone back to Nie's (Stephanie) original blog and read a lot of her archived posts. I love reading her blog..even though I have almost nothing in common with Stephanie. She's only a few years older than I am, but she's Mormon, married, and the mother of four young children. She's head over heels in love with her husband, and several of her posts reference how she likes to make him take his shirt off while he works so she can watch. I may occasionally cringe at her approach to feminism and family (she's teaching her girls to suffer for fashion), but I have found myself reading old posts well into the night because it's fun to see how much this totally stunning woman loves her life and family.

Now Stephanie has burns over 80% of her body and is fighting for her life. She'll probably never look the same and both she and Mr. Nielson have years of surgery, pain and medical bills in their future. While all of this is's not something I would usually blog about. I decided to write a post,however, after reading some of the comments people left on other blogs and new articles about the fundraisers and money going towards the family. Several people had to the gall to write that people should not bother to send money because they are Mormon and Mormons are all rich. Other people wrote that it was silly to help this couple because they clearly have insurance, or because were hurt while in a private plane, and anyone in a private plan has enough money for medical bills. When I read these comments I wanted to cry. I'm sure Stephanie and Christian have insurance, and it looks as though they're comfortable if not well off. I doubt, however, that they just happened to save the $5 million or so dollars they are likely to need (according to the NY times article) during the next few years after their insurance stops paying for additional surgeries and therapy.

But that's not really the point. Does it really matter that they have insurance? Or that they are Mormon and might or might not have families with money? Of course there are people out there without insurance who need our help. Many of them are not young or beautiful. That does not make it wrong to want to help this family, or any less meaningful. Somehow I doubt that all the people who wrote horrible things about the Nielsens are out their helping those they feel are more deserving of their time and energy. It makes me sad that there are people in this country who see this kind of tragedy and take the time to shame others for offering their support. I guess I shouldn't be surprised..these are probably the same people who think Obama is a terrorist and that the Jews are actually trying to rule the world.

I'm pretty sure Stephanie would be scandalized by my liberal politics and work experience. Heck, she might even want to pray for my soul since I'm a non-believer (in Jesus)..but I'm going to send her a note and donate to her recovery fund anyway. I think she would do the same for someone she read about, because I think she would be equally ashamed that so many people would take time out of their day to be hurtful instead of acknowledging someone else's suffering as worth their time.


SETHER+ONE said...

I happened upon your post because I set up a google alert for all things NieNie (yes, I'm one of those obsessed people who heard about her blog). Anyway, I thought your post was thoughtful and I liked it. Also, I am Mormon and definitely NOT rich, and neither are my Mormon friends. So, that's a funny assumption that people have. I checked out a few of your other posts and I would have to say they are 1) smart, and 2) witty. Thanks!

Saskia Z said...

Thanks for the comment sether! I have yet to set a google alert..but I think it might happen soon!