Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday was the funeral. It went really, really well. A number of people got up to say some very nice things about Steve, including his old friend Greg, Renee's friend Shannon, and Steve's mom. Then Renee got up and gave "A Tribute to my Matchless Man" which was amazing. I choked up just listening to her, but she didn't... Talk about a tough act to follow for the message!
I spoke of Steve's life, shared a few personal stories, and talked about the importance of reflecting on our own lives as we remember Steve's. I then focused on a few points that really seemed to sum up Steve's life. I will share them here:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” - John 10:10 ESV
Live like there is no tomorrow. Steve never complained about anything. I had no idea he had started life with heart surgery until we went Jet Skiing one time and he took his shirt off to reveal a big scar. I asked him what it was and he began quoting lines from Jaws and claimed it was a shark bite. He broke down laughing and explained that he was born with transposition of the great vessels and that scar was from his surgery.
Steve rode motorcycles, atvs, jet skis, drove his truck in the baja 1000, played baseball, chased his girls around and did all of it without any complaint or excuse. Steve went after life full throttle and never let anything hold him back. When his body began to wear out, Steve didn’t sit home and watch tv, he continued to work and play and laugh and live. Sure, he simply had to scale back some of the physical activity because he had no choice, but he didn’t let it stop him from having fun with his friends and family. Steve’s life was too short, but it was abundant. Live like there is no tomorrow.
Laugh until it hurts, and then laugh again. You all heard story after story of steve, and how much he made us laugh. Renee has said to me probably a hundred times in the last week “He just made me laugh!” When I think of times with Steve & Renee, they were always fun, they were always filled with laughter and joy.
Steve’s sense of humor was never far from any occasion. Patty and I took a trip with Steve and Renee up to the San Francisco area shortly after they got engaged. Somehow while we were driving Steve and I got singing old songs related to whatever we were doing. If we saw a bridge, Steve would launch into bridge over troubled water. If we were driving fast, he was singing a line from Joe Walsh about how fast his maserati drives. All four of us were in stitches with every song. If the lyrics didn’t fit, Steve would change them on the fly. He was creative and imaginative, and always made everyone laugh and feel at ease.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 is a well known and often cited verse, although usually without reference. Do you know what it says? Pray without Ceasing. Pray continually. Does anyone know what verse 16 says? The one right before it? “Be joyful always.” Where there is joy there is laughter. Where there was laughter, if Steve was around, he was right in the middle of it all. Laugh until it hurts, and then laugh again.
In Ephesians it says “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” - Ephesians 5:25 ESV
Love like it’s your last moment on earth. It’s hard to know where even to start. Steve lived these verses every single day. He was really struggling towards the end of his life with health issues, but he continued to work because that was what was best for his family. He loved them and he provided for them and he lived for them. Steve gave himself up for what was best for his family, and they did the same for him. That’s one of the really great things about love. It goes both directions. When we love like the bible commands us to love, the world is a beautiful, marvelous place to be. Steve loved his friends, he cared about us, and he was always there to help when we needed him.
You can view the photo presentation that was shown at the service here.