Friday, February 8, 2008

A Tribute

He and I fought like cats and dogs during our growing-up years. A true little brother, he picked on me, intimidated me, and drove me crazy. I’m sure I probably wasn’t too nice in return, though I think I’ve effectively blocked that part out.

I briefly mentioned his cancer diagnosis in a couple of the early posts, but I figured it would be appropriate to introduce Steve to those of you who never knew him.

Steve was a kid who knew how to be trouble. As he struggled through some hard choices and circumstances in life, though, he began to change … into a man who knew how to be trouble. In all seriousness, though, Steve was a great guy. He knew how to live life out loud. He knew how to have fun. He had a great (twisted, yes, but great) sense of humor. He wasn’t afraid of getting maximum mileage out of shock-value. He loved his family. He was an awesome dad who wanted the best for his daughter. He played with his nieces and nephews with obvious affection. From skydiving to helping with a NASCAR pit crew, he dared to live life to the fullest.

When he was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in the spring of 2004, we were all caught off guard. But Steve was a fighter. He lived the next two years trying to love his family and make the best choices he could, not only for himself and the aggressive treatment of his disease, but also regarding care for his wife and kids.

Between Christmas ’05 and New Year ’06, I was able to spend some time with him. He had been off of chemo for a few months at that point, but had begun getting sick again. Shortly after he returned home in early January 2006, he was admitted to the hospital. It was soon evident that the disease was getting worse and his chances of coming home were growing slimmer with each passing day. My other brother and I flew to see him twice: first for a long weekend in late January and then again about three weeks later. God was all over our flight arrangements, as the snow was canceling flights in increasing numbers. Our travel situation was a comedy of errors, but God was definitely the playwright.

Steve was moved to an inpatient hospice facility the day after we arrived. Though we were scheduled to go home that Monday, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to leave. Sure enough, Steve lost his fight with the disease that Friday morning with his wife and our mother by his side.

As much as he pestered me during childhood (and adulthood, for that matter! ha!), I had grown to love him very much. I hope he knew that. Through time and circumstances, God had molded Steve into a person I wish I’d had more time to get to know.

Carpe Diem.

Click here to hear the new song, "How You Live," by Point of Grace.


  1. I'm glad you have such fond memories. He sounds like a really great brother. And, "How You Live" is one of my new favorite songs. Awesome message.

    Wear your red dress...use your best dishes...carpe diem...yes!

  2. "Make a big mess and make lots of wishes." We're really good at the first one, and I am really good at the second. "I wish they would clean up the mess!" haha!!

    Yes, one of my new favorite songs too. Live life to the fullest! :-)

  3. What a nice tribute. Best post yet. :) I, too, wish I had more time to get to know him. He knew that you loved him, btw. He was one of a kind!

  4. Thank you! That is a great tribute. I guess you could say that Steve was a "Nut" - and that would make my moniker, "Thankful for Apples 'n Peas 'n Nuts". Love You!

  5. Ha ha! We're just trying to help you be grateful for all the major food groups! How about "Thankful for Apples 'n Peas 'n Nuts 'n Turkeys?" Give you one guess on who the turkey would be ... :-)

  6. This was a really sweet post. We lost Dan's dad to colon cancer as well in 2006. Hard times but God was so faithful to us.

    Thanks for writing this.


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