Steve’s Story

Site created on December 9, 2019

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Journal entry by stephanie lillis

As we surrounded dad in his last hours- I cannot express how beautiful it was and how blessed we feel. We played his favorite songs, Luke sang a gorgeous song to him, we held his hand, kissed his cheeks, cooled him off with a soft breeze and fan, we prayed the Lord's Prayer, and Read the 23rd Psalm to him. We all made our peace with him and told him it was ok to go. I saw three tears delicately come out of his left eye over the time I was there and sat near his side. I am going to be honest, those tears broke my heart, you see dad wasn't ready to go at such a young age (68). We weren't ready to say goodbye either, but alas, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. We are just going to have to trust God , lean in to His strength through this difficult time of extreme sorrow. We know we will see him again someday, and I am So proud of the valiant fight my dad gave through all this. He almost bled out with a nicked  blood vessel/artey(?), he struggled in the hospotal for close to 4 months with a massive MRSA infection in his spine. He just kept fighting.
His illness also brought us back together. Life gets away from us all, we forget to check in on those we love. We forget to spend time with the most important people. This made us all STOP and change the nature of our lives as dad's illness became the sun we all orbited around. I am forever changed through all this, hopefully for the better. If you are reading this, please know you are loved and appreciated from the bottom of my heart. 
Today I will leave you with dad's favorite poem, The Dash and also with Psalm 23. God is Love and He is our anchor of strength through this life!

The Dash Poem (By Linda Ellis)
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
From the the end
He noted that first came the date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
Know what that little line is worth
For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars...the house...the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering this special dash
Might only last a little while
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent YOUR dash?
By: Linda Ellis
The Lord Is My ShepherdA Psalm of David.

23 The LORD is my shepherdI shall not want.

 He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

 He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness

for his name's sake.

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD


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