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My mother is extremely compassionate and forgiving of others.  She sacrifices her own wants and desires every day as she reaches out to help all those around her.  My mother would stop by to visit my grandmother (her mother) before going to work so that they could read the scriptures and pray together. She’s an amazing woman.  I want to be like her.

My father is the most hilarious person I've ever met.  No one could make me laugh like my dad could.  He was the spice in our families’ life that turned the dull tasting life experiences into something wonderful and unique.  When my father died, it left a huge hole in my heart.  Every day since the time of his death, I feel like this dish "of life" doesn't taste as good as it could be....it's missing an ingredient - that ingredient is my Father. 

This blog was created for my dad.  I am NOT funny - at all!  When I try to tell people the same jokes dad would tell, the only response I get is a slight fake smile and a look in their eyes as if to say "keep trying dear, but you're not that hilarious".  How did dad do it?  How could he turn regular, ordinary daily life into something that we could laugh and laugh about?  No one on earth was like him.... I miss him so much.

When we get together as a family I try to imagine dad's laughter, the way he looked, the look and feel of his hands, his smell when I hugged him, and the smooth feel of his bald head.  A sister has his worn scriptures, a brother has some of his clothes, I have the weights he used every morning... and the ones he carried around with him in his heart and mind...if I eat a certain way.

Dad was a lot like his father...he was so much like his mother... they ache so much inside at the loss of their Son.  Why oh why did he end his life? It wasn't him....it was the psychotropic side effects of the drugs that did it.  The manic mad man that took my father’s life took a part of all of us with him when he went.

My journey of health and wellness is shared with you on this blog.  When I began my health journey, the very first thing I was diagnosed with was depression.  Something deep inside me told me NOT to take medication, but to keep searching for answers.  It's been almost 18 years since that time and much has been learned with regards to health and nutrition. 

I am a dancer.  I am a singer.  I absolutely LOVE life.  For my trials, I am grateful. I am grateful that I have something very important to share.  To share with who?  With as many people who will listen.  I want to share it with the world.

When I received my mission call to serve in Osorno, Chile, my mother told me that Chile was where my father had been called on his mission.  "Really," I had asked, "So why did he end up serving in Texas?"  Long story short...his parents were NOT of the same faith and they called up the First Presidency of the Church and as a result of that call my father was reassigned to Texas even though through revelation he was originally called to serve in Chile.

Wow, so I was called to Chile!  How amazing is that?!  I felt, many times during my mission, that I was sharing a story with the people in Chile that my Father was supposed to tell.  When I looked into their faces, when I shared the gospel, it felt as if my father should have been there.  I didn't tell the story as well as he could of, but surprisingly many people believed me.  I think my Father was proud that I could do what he didn't have the opportunity to do himself.

What I'm doing here at Celiac Shack, I feel, is a lot like me serving in an area that my father should have served in.  If dad would have hung on for a couple more years, perhaps he would have had answers that would have cured his depression.  If he had only waited a little bit longer it could have been him that was telling you HIS story.

It is me that is telling my story, but I hope in some miraculous way you can hear my dad's love and laughter as I share his story that might have had a similar message.  I hope you hear his voice, feel the gentleness of his hand, see the deep blue tenderness of his eyes, and feel the compassion in his heart.

The message is that food DOES affect us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Look to your food choices to find true health. To heal the brain, you need to begin to heal the gut.

Please take the time to read my blog.

I love you,  (Dad signed his cards simply this way)

-Steffi (As dad always called me)


Dana said...

Steffanie is my best friend in the world and whether she knows it or not she is funny and is a lot of fun to be around. I admire her for all the trials she has been through out out her life. She always manages to hold her head high and influence many people along the way. She has been a great example and special friend to me. I just love her.

Steffi said...

I love you too Dana!