Dear Friends and Family,
Thank you so much for the wonderful outpouring of love and support during this time of shock, tragedy and utter disbelief that our lives have changed so dramatically. Your emails and stories are a lifeline to me. I find great comfort in reading them and hearing from you, I love your stories and the memories of Steve being Steve! The nights and early mornings are the toughest and just when I think I can't take the empty pain any longer, I get an email from you and my tears are joined with a smile and sometimes a little chuckle.
I want our children to know all the different aspects of their Dad- his wonderful sense of humor, his love for adventure and life and most of all how he went for what he wanted. As a family we know the hardship that comes with taking risk, but by reading your stories, the kids are able to see that even though we may not get what we want, we sometimes touch other's lives without even knowing it.
Please don't stop sharing your Steve stories with us just because he has gone home. We miss him and want to stay connected to all the people that share his passion and intense desire to make a difference. We don't know what the up coming days have in store for us, but we are committed to making the most of them and through our grief want Steve's legacy to continue. If you have any ideas or request about how we can do this, just share them with us and let's see what God creates.
Thank you again for your love and support. Little did any of us know that it would be our friends from long ago and from just recently that were chosen to create the lifeline and safety net for our family to continue without our Steve.
All my love,
For Steve, From Carlette
To My Husband…
When the invariable waves
of life came crashing in,
Steve never felt they were
too big to handle. And
the small pebbles that the
waves swept to shore were
never too small. Great food.
Great wine. Great family.
Great joy. He embraced
the romance of life and the rigors of life.
It was wine on the beach and battle in
the foxholes. He was fierce in competition, but gentle in nature. Steve was the Keeper of our Castle: the Warrior and the Winner.
Steve was a man of gentle greatness. Greatness is built upon the staples—an unrelenting mastery of the basics and faithfulness in the small things. Steve was never too busy to read Makena a story every night, to faithfully prepare gourmet meals for his family, or to unselfishly volunteer to coach the girl's sports teams in practice after practice.
Greatness is built upon Standards—holding to a strong code of ethics and living them. Steve's standards were high and his expectations of their attainment were just as high. Like the strong oarsman, he spent his life pursuing mastery and skill. Even if he wasn't good at something, he would work at it until he was. If there was a task he didn't know how to do, he simply said, "If that is what is expected of me, I will become great at it." He shrank from nothing, was deterred by nothing, and quit at nothing.
Steve stood tall and he also stood firm. His standards were high and his values were deep. He was a solid man—feet squarely planted on the firm foundation--solid stone--bedrock values--of charitableness, chivalry, and consistency.
And finally, greatness is built upon Stature—the watermark that sets the indelible "reach point." Stature is measured by strength of character and strength of purpose. The stature of a man is not what he has, but what he has given. Steve lived to recognize the tireless harvest worker, to inspire the discouraged athlete, to embrace the meaningful cause. He was a man of his word, a man of wisdom, and a man of watchfulness.
Like the revolving lighthouse beam, he habitually scanned life's terrain, looking for opportunities to illuminate others' contributions. Steve often felt credited for harvests that, in actuality, included the efforts of many, many other people. John 4:35 was one of his favorite scriptures:"Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."
Steve splashed selflessness, kindness and an inherent goodness on every encounter he had with others. He sought to encourage, inspire, and give. Steve left large footprints in the sands of our lives. Steve's stature is measured by his investment in and influence on other people. By conscious design, Steve chose a life whose flow was not inward-bound, but influence-bound—a presence that rippled into many lives for many years.
Steve was a man of gentle greatness. Steve lived excellence. May the Lord say to my husband, to Dad, to our friend, to Coach Patterson "Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant."
With all my love,
Thank you Steve and all of our friends
for making our ordinary life extraordinary…
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand; ‘Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
IN CHRIST ALONE by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
May your New Year be filled with blessings, from our family to yours.
So many times I have written to each one of you in my head. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to write to us, to encourage us, to let us know that you are praying for us. Your timing is magical. Your emails, your letters, your calls appear just when I think I can’t do one more thing. You give me hope. You get me through another day. I just want you to know that your efforts are blessing our lives. Thank you so much!
I marvel at God’s work in our lives. We have grown strong. We have accepted being weak. We understand that we have a role to play for God’s team. We are willing to trust Him to show us His way. We are making it through each day.
We send our love and gratitude for every time you think of us. May the New Year bring comfort for what 2004 brought us and bless us all with health and joy as we embrace God’s blessings.
Carlette and family