Stephanie | CaringBridge

Stephanie’s Story
Thank you for visiting. Welcome to my Caring Bridge Website page. This is for my kids, to have a story to tell, and to learn the truth in the days when I'm not around. I'm so grateful for an online platform that allows this kind of updating for FREE. Currently, I'm working on logging the past and my story so I'm dating all the titles of the journal entries. 

Newest Update

Journal entry by Stephanie Smokovich

Last night as I stayed home with my hubby I reflected quite a bit on what 2018 has been. Not just for me, but for my husband and my immediate family too. It has been a year that clearly has tested us in so many ways including faith, life, marriage, finances and business to name a few. We experienced the 
lowest of lows. Yet there were moments of clarity and happiness including the large team of people that signed up for the Strain for the Brain, then the Benefit and all the support, and the softball team for Steve that came together and put my favorite number and color on the backs of all their jerseys and so much more. It's ironic how that in times of trial there are always glimpses of hope and love.

There's something that my doctor said to me earlier this year that I just cannot get out of my head.

"What's worse than dying?" 

I sat there silent, looking for an answer, but I didn't have one. That was his point. Literally, there is nothing else on this Earth that is worse than death/dying. Then he said,

"You almost died Stephanie. What's worse than that?"

It was true. What he said was true. I almost died. Therefore, I should be incredibly thankful to be alive. I've been given a second chance at life! I also believe in God. So, while death on this Earth is terrible in terms of my family and especially my husband and kids, it brings me to the safest most beautiful place in the world: heaven. Where I will also be reunited with those that I have lost and miss the most. 

The doctor's point in saying this was nothing else is worse. Why stress over the "small stuff" when life is what is most important. I understood his message loud and clear. Along with the encouragement of de-stressing my life, taking more time for myself, practicing meditation and working 2 days a week he explained that I will live longer if I reduce stress levels. He continued to explain that someone that has experienced something like I have goes through similar depression states of PTSD and that it can sometimes take up to a year or more to recover mentally from almost dying.

There's something that I always teach my kids. "Almost never counts"
When you think about it's so true: I almost broke my leg....okay, yeah but you didn't. I almost got an A on my test....okay, but what did you get since you didn't get an A? Mommy, Ruby almost hit me....but Ruby didn't hit you!

I almost died. 
But I didn't.

Anyways, I'm rambling now, but the point is that I'm alive. I choose life now and always will. When Cynthea (Doodlebug) and I talked about a business collaboration it organically happened. I know and feel so strongly that this is where Bella Blvd is supposed to be. It will allow me to work 2 days a week and still do my favorite things! It will de-stress my life by taking away all the day-to-day business "stuff". It allows Bella Blvd to still remain alive, yet maybe not as many collections will be designed annually, but I can design at a comfortable pace. Now, however as the business is transitioning I'm burdened with so many stressors. Closing down the offices, packing orders on my own, saying goodbye to my staff, taking on debt as a result, all for my health and my life.

Hunter will start school next fall, and I want to be home as much as I can to enjoy him in this age. Then Ruby too. And all the sports activities and school activities. I want to go to them all. 

I'm hoping to have my home office set-up by February, when life will settle a bit. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

I don't have a single word for 2019. But more a mantra:

Almost never counts.
Enjoy the moment.
Love harder.
Experiences matter.
Less work.
Be present.
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