Mindy Gledhill Music

Archive for September 2008

Admittedly, I am not a blogger. Not until today, that is. I have long avoided the world of blogging, somehow feeling an inexplicable pressure to measure up to my talented blogging friends with their beautiful photos, clever essays, and perfect grammar. However, things change. Today marks the day of my first official blog entry—and believe me, it is LONG. I don’t care. Today I feel no pressure to impress or to highlight my best self. Today I feel compelled to share with you one person’s influence in my life.

Stephanie Clark has had an insanely magnetic personality since I first met her in high school. I moved into her neighborhood my junior year. Having lived abroad in a foreign country for the three previous years, I was rather unsure of myself in a large American high school where many circles had been tightly woven since pre-school. I spent much of that year watching and observing; searching for my place. Stephanie had a beautiful confidence about her with her signature boy-short hair and vintage-inspired clothing. She was the head cheerleader and member of Future Homemakers of America our senior year. I observed that she was very close with her family and Clark cousins that lived across the street and throughout the area. The Clarks are known as a very loving and close family with a humor and language they all speak fluently within their sphere. Such is the way of a large family. I’ve always loved watching them interact.

Allowing my own adolescent insecurities to get in the way of extending myself, it wasn’t until several years later that Stephanie and I became friends. One day, I received an unexpected email from Stephanie. I had just released my first album, “The Sum of All Grace,” an introspective and faith-based collection of songs. Stephanie (now Stephanie Nielson) was living in New Jersey at the time and wrote to tell me that her mom sent her the CD. She recounted how she had been homesick for her family, living so far away, and that from the first track to the last, she wept. I was dumbfounded. Little did she know that her simple gesture of thanks had washed over me like warm water. Stephanie continued to reach out and stay in touch with me, sharing photos and thoughts about her darling family. Soon, she had a blog up which she invited me to read and even be a featured guest on her “Friday Face” posts. Her evident sense of style and love of being a wife and mother made for very entertaining and inspiring reading.

For the last several months Stephanie had been helping me to organize a concert in Mesa, AZ where she currently lives. Several days after she last emailed me about the concert, I got word that Stephanie and her husband Christian were in a plane crash . Stunned, I hopped on my scooter and drove up the hill to her sister, Paige’s house to see if this was true. As Paige explained the gravity of the crash and their burns, my heart felt caught in my throat. I coasted the whole way down the hill, tears stinging my cheeks.

If the news of the crash wasn’t stunning enough, even more stunning is the overwhelming response of support from Stephanie’s admirers and readers of her blog. So overwhelming in fact, that even the Today Show among many other news programs and publications have covered her story. People might ask, “What is it about this person that has made her stand out among others who have suffered life-altering injuries?” You have to read her blog to understand. Stephanie imparts a portion of herself to her readers. She shares the message that being a mother is a blessing and that her husband and children are to be celebrated every day. She treasures living in the moment in order to incur a lifetime of precious memories. Her sphere of influence has encircled the globe by now. For me, it started with something as simple as an unexpected email.

To donate to the recover of Stephanie and Christian Nielson, click here .

P.S. I am still doing the concert Stephanie and I planned in Mesa on Oct. 25th at Mountain View High School. All profits from ticket sales will go towards Stephanie and Christian’s recovery as well as the family of the late pilot, Doug Kinneard who died in the plane crash. See my events page for details.

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Come out for a free concert with Mindy tonight at Southworth Hall and enjoy one of Sammy’s Cafe great milkshakes tonight at 8 pm. Get there early to get a seat!

Southworth Hall

116 W Center St.
Provo, UT