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Happy Birthday, Steve


Dear Steve,


Happy birthday!  55 is such a cool number – I woke up this morning thinking about how we would celebrate this year if you were here.  I know what you would want: Your family and a few close friends around you, good food –  maybe something Greek – and a good round of golf. Your loves were simple and consistent.


Sometimes I wonder what your life would be like had ALS not interrupted it but my imagination won’t reach very far because it’s impossible to know for sure and because I feel so certain that you completed your mission here on earth so well.   I am confident you would love being a grandpa and that those boys would both have golf clubs by now, but beyond that I’m mostly content to replay our best moments in my head, knowing your life is more amazing today than it ever could be here with us.


These past years without you have been long and strange and wonderful and terrifying and beautiful and difficult.  It’s been a season of contradictions, where I have felt strong and weak, loved and lonely, confused and certain, scared spitless and profoundly brave.  So much of what I knew before, I knew because of you.  Our lives were so intertwined that when you flew away home, I  sometimes felt that half of me had flown with you. You were such a builder for me. Your patience, encouragement and unfailing kindness built the house that I call My Life.  You set the foundation in place for what I know I can do and be.  You tethered me to love and in the most selfless act, as you saw your days ending, handed the hammer over to me and constantly reassured me that I could build without you near; that I would survive and grow and become.


Thank you. For sticking with me when it looked so shaky and uncertain. For loving our kids with such quiet strength. For strengthening your friends with determined faithfulness and grace.  You were a brilliant builder and you completed your part of the work so well.  We promise to keep going.  We are building and becoming and I think you’d like what we’ve done with the place.  In fact, I know you would.


Riley asked the other day, “When does spring really start in Central Oregon?”  I didn’t have a good answer then because this winter has felt endless, but today I think do.  Spring starts whenever we decide that winter is over. For me, on this beautiful anniversary of your birth, spring starts today.


So, happy birthday dearest Steve.  My greatest joy and honor will always be that I was a witness to your beautiful life.


For Always,



April 22, 2017 - 9:01 am

Darleen - Bo…the internet is so strange because I feel like such a part of you and your families lives and yet I am not…I see you and your children every weekend and around town and just want to say something about what has happened or hug someone because life is hard or share joy for a triumph and yet I would look like a fool and strange! But when so much of your lives are exposed on line it only seems right to say something but I don’t cause it would be weird …So, here I am looking at a screen again and wanting you to know how beautiful your tribute to Steve is…Your words as always, perfect! Smiles, tears, hope, so many emotions within the text. Bo….May this be a wonderful Spring 🙂

Thank you for continuing to share

April 22, 2017 - 9:23 am

Laura Jhaveri - What a wonderful tribute to Steve’s life and testimony of faith in your marriage! You are two beautiful, eternal souls.

April 22, 2017 - 11:47 am

Amy Stern - “Spring starts when we decide winter is over” is such a beautiful line in so many ways. It just might be my favorite quote ever now. Aunt Bo you are an inspiring writer and full of life and illustration and beauty. Thank you for sharing your words… Happy Birthday Uncle Steve. Paul says he thinks he’s a lot like you and that makes me feel like I know you well. 🙂 Wish I had had more moments with you.

April 22, 2017 - 2:13 pm

Julie Kennedy - Ack, I just read your new posting and I sit here writing this message in a puddle of tears. I know that your Steve is smiling down on you. My Steve is still in the midst of this battle with ALS. Your words filled my heart with all that has been good, is good and will be good. Though I’m feeling weary, I truly feel blessed by the angels God has walking on earth to remind me of his love. Words matter and yours have lifted me so many times over these last 2 years. Blessings to you and yours. Julie

April 24, 2017 - 1:34 pm

Karla - Bo – Your words, you, your kids, grandkids – you’re all Steve in the now and forever. I’m sorry I didn’t get to know you and the kids better when he was around, but our physical distance made that hard. Aunt Eleanor told me so much about you over the years and I know, without a doubt, that you were perfect for my “kissin” cousin. Thank you for this beautiful anniversary of memories of a life lived to the fullest. (And, without fail, tears at work….) Long distance hugs to you!