Thursday, December 2, 2010
Congratulations to the 2010-2011 Lady Chiefs and their coaches who opened up with a win. You looked good and I know she was proud of ALL of you!!
It was strange to be there without her. It really hit me after the game when the boys were running around shooting baskets. She is supposed to come out of the locker room and they are supposed to run full speed yelling, "MOMMY!!!!!" Obviously, it was different. Last night....it was, "PENDER!!!" I know that made her smile. You know what else I think made her smile? The fact that I looked down AFTER the interview with KY3 and noticed my zipper was undone. Awesome. I can hear her now..."You're such a dork." I miss that.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Last night, Claire and I were in her bedroom putting the finishing touches on her Christmas tree. Our conversation went like this:
Claire-"Oh momma, when my tree is all decorated, my lights are on, my room is clean and I have my Christmas music on...it feels like I'm in Heaven."
Me-"Awww, is that what you think Heaven will be like?"
Claire-"I think Heaven is whatever you want it to be like."
Me-"Do you think Steph will have Christmas lights in Heaven?"
Claire-"Yes I do. And I think she is going to have the BEST Christmas EVER this year!"
Me-"Oh really? Why do you say that?"
Claire-"Because she gets to celebrate Jesus' birthday WITH HIM!"
Through my tears I thanked God for my precious girl, hugged her tight...and gave her a giant bowl of ice cream because how on EARTH do you say no to a child who just said THAT????
Monday, November 15, 2010
Well buddy, this will be the last time I write to you before you are born. I wanted to give this book to your mom at her last shower tomorrow so I have to finish it today. I can't even express how excited I am to see you for the first time. I think about you a lot and I can't wait to hold you. I want you to know that I would do anything for you and I will always be here whenever you need me. I know when you first get here that you really only need your parents. But later in life, you just never know! Good luck on the way out and I will be praying for you and your mom. I will see you very soon!
I love you forever and always,
I read that and was so sad. Later in life, you just never know. When I typed that, I was thinking YEARS down the road...when he had done something naughty and was in trouble with his mom and dad. I NEVER thought THIS is how it would be. I never imagined any of this. This happens to other people, not us. It makes me mad. It makes me sad and for the first time, I am actually asking God WHY? I hate that I am asking that, and I KNOW I will never have an answer in this lifetime. I can hear story after story of people who were impacted by HER story, and I am thankful for those people who have taken the time to share. I am thankful that she brought people closer to each other and more importantly closer to God. I am truly glad about all that...but it doesn't make me miss her less. It doesn't bring her back. It doesn't take the pain away. I can't change our circumstances, but I can keep the promise I made to her in my room that day in early July and the promise I made to Drew in his book. I will be here. I will help take care of these precious babies until they have babies of their own. (If all goes as planned with the arranged marriage, Drew's babies will be my grand babies!)I will tell them about the day they were born because that's what the mom's in my family do and I KNOW that is what she would be doing if she were here. I will also do birthday posts for them...so tune in tomorrow for Drew's!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
As I have mentioned before, our family has a habit of adopting people. One of the very special people we adopted is Steph's mom Edna. Steph LOVED how the kids ALL consider each grandparent their own, even if the bloodlines don't exactly match up! Grandma Edna, we hope you had a wonderful day! You brought a precious gift into this world that changed our lives forever, and we thank you a million times over. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I can picture what her reaction would be because I've seen it...three times. She would be excited. She would be there in March, standing outside the door with us as we listen for her first cries. Just another thing we have to do without her physically here....but another thing we KNOW she is watching and will forever be a part of.
Congratulations Jarad, Ashley and Alivia! We can't wait to meet this sweet baby girl!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
And apparently...the idea is catching on! These were designed by Miss Amanda who was a senior on Steph's team last year!
Personally, I think this is a great idea for Christmas presents. (I am not advertising here, I just LOVE these shoes!) But if you do happen to make your own....send me pics. I would love to have a gallery posted of everyone's Chucks. Here is a link. Follow this link to check out the shoes I just created on Converse.com. You can change them up to make them yours, it's really quite fun!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
|I was nervous about Halloween this year. This would be the first year we have ever trick-or-treated without Steph. For five years, we dressed our babies up in silly costumes and took as many pictures as we could considering our wiggly subjects. Three years we were at our old house, two years we were at Nanny and Papa's and last year we were at our new house. It's another first for us, and let me tell you...they haven't been easy. So the "grownups" decided we would dress up this year. I was SO glad we did. We had a great time and it really took the focus off of what was missing and shifted it towards making more memories. She loved our chaos. She loved that she was always a part of it. She would love that all three of her boys are still a part of it. I can just see her rolling her eyes and telling us all we are "such dorks." So here we are:|
Jarad the Vampire
Ashley the Witch
Brian the Werewolf
Cohen the Cowboy
Me the Queen of Hearts
Claire as Yoshi
Levi as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Scot as Darth Vader
Drew as Luke Skywalker
Livi the Littlest Witch
Chandler as Thomas the Train
Grandma Edna as Grandma Edna holding Chandler because he was terrified of Scot and Brian
Carsten the Elephant
Jackie as Jackie holding Carsten because he was a little freaked out too!
|From Steph Won.|
|From Steph Won.|
We hope you all had a fun time this weekend. We did...and I'm still washing the red spray out of my hair!!!
|From Steph Won.|
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Looking at our situation, you could say that we didn't receive the miracle we were praying for. Sure, so many prayers were answered. God was there....there was never any doubt about that. However, we did not get to witness a miraculous healing. Of course that makes us sad because we miss her so very much here on earth.
Having said that, I still believe in miracles. They happen and I could be bitter about the fact that they happen to OTHER people and we didn't get ours. But, being in a situation where we HAD to have a miracle in order for Steph to live, I understand the urgency. I know the sense of desperation. That is why, when I hear of someone else getting their miracle....I rejoice. I praise the Lord that he spared another family from what we have endured. I trust His plan and His reasons and I am thankful for his mercy.
But man I miss her. We all do.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
2. Over the years, I have seriously underestimated the power of a card or a bouquet of flowers. So send a few.
3. What you sow, so shall you reap. (Okay, I learned that a long time ago but it was proven time and time again this summer) So get to sowin'.
4. People will amaze you. So put yourself out there.
5. People will disappoint you. So put yourself out there anyway.
6. Mostly people will amaze you. See #4.
7. No gesture is too small. I have never been good about stepping up when someone has experienced a loss. I often think "I should take a meal or flowers or send a card," but often I chicken out. I fear the meal delivery like no other. What if they don't like it? What if they already have a meal for that night? What if I give them food poisoning? But I learned that it doesn't matter. As long is it comes from the heart (and is cooked thoroughly) , it doesn't matter. When someone came through the door, it didn't matter what they were bringing...it meant the world. (Especially if it was ANYTHING that Grandma Joyce baked!!!!) So just do it.
8. Kids are still good. In a world filled with negative stories about our youth, kids are still good. So many high school kids were so affected by Steph's story. They also chose to go out and make a difference. Whether it was a fundraiser or a prayer vigil, they were doing something. Kids are still good. Invest time in yours.
9. God will never leave your side. In a time that should have been SOOOO dark, he was there. The devil was and is working overtime to gain control over us, but God is bigger than the devil. God is bigger than us. God is bigger than cancer. Trust in Him.
12. Don't be so quick to judge, the person who just cut you off in traffic may be having the worst day of his or her life. The girl who doesn't return your smile at the grocery store may be waiting for one of her best friends to leave this earth forever. You just don't know. Instead of being mean back....say a prayer for them.
11. Life is fragile. If it's worth saying or doing, don't wait. Call that old friend or relative and make amends. Hug your kids tighter. Read the extra story. Say yes when they ask you to lay with them. Say yes to dessert. Find the joy.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
So many things in life, in my opinion, tend to be geared SO much toward women. I would be willing to bet that the majority of the blogs on the web are aimed straight at women. Stories of triumph in the face of adversity, horribly sad stories of people losing their loved ones and even just simple crafty blogs pepper the blogosphere. Movies, TV, commercials, radio, store front windows....all are desperately reaching out for the attention of women. We are the talkers. We are the sharers of our feelings. We are emotional. So often, the strong silent ones....the men, are overlooked. I wanted to make SURE our men are NOT overlooked.
Scot. I'm not sure I will ever be able to express to anyone how amazing he was. It was just such a sight to behold. I was watching true love in it's finest moments, which also happened to be the darkest days. He was THE picture of devotion. He served his wife until she took her last breaths. He did so with such courage, such grace, such compassion....a true example of Christlike love.
Dad. (a.k.a Kenneth) He opened up his home without a moments hesitation. He offered up his wife, not just for 3 months....but for 3 years. Since the day Steph was diagnosed, my dad planted himself firmly on the back burner and was happy to stay there for as long as he needed to. He knew that her health and her boys were the top priority and he was ready to move mountains to make sure she was as happy and comfortable as possible. He went to doctor's appointments, picked up kids, delivered food, picked up medication and most importantly offered support to my mom when she was dealing with the stress of being a main caregiver.
Brian. My sweet husband. He was here. Here for me when I was so so so sad. He was always up for an impromptu slumber party with the Phillips boys. For a month, he basically flew solo at night while I was helping at my parent's house. He took over the bathing and bedtime ritual with our kids so I could do it for the boys. He even took ALL FIVE kiddos to Jump Mania BY HIMSELF so we could have some quiet time at the house. He was my rock. My big strong shoulder to cry on....and trust me, I did plenty of that....still do. He is my true love....and he's cute too.
Papa Ed. Steph's dad. He was there in the mornings to sit with Steph while mom and Scot got prepared for the day. Whether they were picking up and straightening (a nervous tic for both), getting cleaned up or just being quiet before the hustle and bustle of the day began, they knew Ed would be there to make sure Steph was not alone. He also offered some serious excitement for the kids as he would fly over in his helicopter! They LOVED that!
Papa J.L. Scot's dad. He was there at a moment's notice to bring whatever he needed to bring. He ran errands and brought treats for the kids. He was there for Scot. Like a huddle, he would come and pump him up.
Jim Pendergrass. All I can say about Pender is a direct quote from Steph. "Pender is my most favorite visitor. When he comes and we talk, he makes me forget I'm sick." They had an incredible friendship. He would come, and they would talk sports. That's all. She loved it. So did he. He took over her team without hesitation and did it with complete faith that "she'll be back." He knew she would fight back for her girls and he was ready to step aside when she did.
Jarad. My baby brother. He fielded SO many phone calls and e-mails. He was kind of our "PR guy" if there was such a thing. He started the foundation which funded ALL of Steph's medical procedures, medications and trips as well as offered a little extra when she was missing work without any paid sick leave left. If something needed to be done, we could call on him and KNOW that he would drop EVERYTHING and it would be done. I will never forget sitting at Steph's last game with him. How so very appropriate. He sat in the stands and watched me play for her as she coached her first game...and he sat with me as we watched her coach her very last game on earth.
These men were and are amazing. I feel blessed to have them in my life, and I KNOW without a doubt, Steph felt the same way. I love each and every one of you and thank you for all you have done and continue to do.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This award and six others will be presented at the annual WIN Awards on Oct. 6 at the Doubletree Hotel on North Glenstone Avenue. The evening will begin with hors d’oeuvres at 5:30, followed by the ceremony at 6.
Awards to be presented:
• Stephanie Thurman Phillips Courage Award — the 2009-10 Kickapoo girls’ basketball team
• Bee-Payne Stewart Spirit Award — Marilyn Moore
• Mentor Award — Karen Fielding
• Sportswoman Award — Marilyn Grier
WOW Award — Fetlework (12-year-old girl from Africa who plays basketball and soccer at the Boys & Girls Club)
• Corporate Award — Glenda Bond of Waddell & Reed• President’s Service Award — Betty Ward and Jim and Ivy Wilfong
**Pam Clark-Springfield News-Leader**
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The night before Steph's funeral, my mom was in the pool and she was starting to get stressed about a detail that was not working out like we had thought. She said, "OK, I'm starting to stress." As SOON as the words left her mouth, a butterfly landed on her head then flew away. (a brown and gold butterfly to be exact!) That butterfly just flew around all evening. The next day, as the limo was pulling up to the graveside service, a butterfly flew right up to the window and then fluttered away. Mom and I were looking at a catalogue talking about decor, and a butterfly landed on the corner of the page and just sat for the longest time. Since Steph passed, we have been visited at LEAST once a day by butterflies. Just last week, mom was in the pool with Drew and Levi when they got their daily visit. This butterfly landed on Levi, Drew then my mom. They decided then and there, that Mommy must be sending these butterflies to let us all know that she is watching over us. With all that said, I wanted to share this video that Greta took yesterday. It speaks for itself.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
It was a Friday. Ashley and I had been at the house with Steph while everyone else was at the funeral home making arrangements. The Hospice nurse showed up before they returned. I was nervous about mom and Scot not being there. They were the only people who knew EXACTLY what to do. They were the ones who were there 24/7 so I was slightly terrified that a situation might arise where I wouldn't know what to do. It did. I was faced with a situation that I wasn't prepared for and it upset me...bad. (Let me be clear, it was not anything the nurse did. She was AMAZING. It was just a situation that came up that was out of our control.) Then they told us we only had a few days left, I had a chore to do that I was glad to do but it was very hard and someone threw a Bible verse in my face regarding my tattoo. All the while, I had a heartbreaking image running through my head. I went home and felt completely defeated. There was A LOT of sobbing and ugly crying. I wasn't sure I had the strength I needed. Until the next day.
Saturday. Back at mom and dad's. We were in my old room. Just me and Steph. She looked at home next to the orange walls and homemade art from Claire and Drew as well as the sports sheets I found during a retail therapy trip to Target! It was quiet. I gently stroked her forehead and tried to tame her wispy locks of hair. I prayed over her and told her what the boys were doing outside. I kissed her face and started to cry. I already missed her. She had not been talking much during the previous few days and the week before was filled with a lot of talking...but not much of it made sense. I whispered to her, "Oh Steph. I just love you so much." Much to my surprise, she whispered back, "I love you too." She paused and said, "I am so grateful for you." I couldn't believe it. She was having a lucid moment, and I was blessed enough to be sitting there when it happened. I asked her if it would be okay if I read to her. She nodded. I grabbed my Bible and said, "Okay God....give us something good." (It never fails, I do the "open and point" expecting God to send me this amazing passage and I get a family lineage passage or something equally as confusing!) He heard my cry. I opened to Ecclesiastes 4:9
10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
I cried harder. I grabbed her hand and said, "STEPH! HE sent this for US! WE are going to takecare of you and WE are going to make sure these boys are okay. ALL of us!"
She whispered, "Thank you."
I whispered back..."No, thank YOU."
Those were the last words she spoke to me and I will treasure that moment for as long as I live. God knew I needed that moment. He knew I was torn down. Isn't that amazing? Isn't HE amazing? I think so.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
We are doing okay, really we are. Things are just so weird. Brian and I went with our kids and the Phillips boys to ride go karts and play putt putt. The guy working was watching Drew (of course, not knowing our "situation") and made the comment, "I think that boy is having more fun than anyone else here!! LOOK at that SMILE!!!" It made my heart happy and so sad at the same time. SHE should be here watching this. Then last weekend we all went to White Water. Had a BLAST. We get in the car to head home and Drew starts singing "What's New Pussycat" but thinks the words are "Watch you Pussycat!" Levi takes a sip of his Orange Julius and says, "MMMmmm this tastes like vanilla orange juice!" Pretty impressive for a 3 year old! My mind immediately tells me, "Don't forget to tell Steph that when you talk to her." Only that sucks because...I don't get to. Boo.
Scot is very busy getting ready for the new school year. He is excited about his new job and is looking forward to working with the Kickapoo family again. But he also misses his football guys so we will make sure that he gets some "man nights" with the old crew!! When Steph was nearing the end of her journey, we could sense that Scot was getting worn down. My dad made the decision to rally the troops and have a little guys night for him. So his coaching friends grabbed pizza and headed over. I hope they and their families realize what an important night that was. He was able to escape for just a few hours....even if it was just to the back yard, and recharge. These guys (you know who you are), are a great group of gentlemen...thank you.
Drew told my mom that he was starting to get nervous about school starting. She asked him if he had been praying. He said, "Probably not as much as I should be." So they decided they should pray. He bowed his head and folded his hands and said, "God, please let Cross be in my class this year. If he's not, I know you will help me make lots of new friends." Wow. We are praying for a smooth transition this year. Drew is going to miss his teacher so much but I'm sure his new teacher will be wonderful too. PLUS, we will surely still see Mrs. M on a regular basis. Especially since there is a 50/50 chance, Cohen and Levi might need to teach someone in her family to play the "guitar." **wink wink**
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
The Missouri Highway Patrol had the roads blocked off for the funeral procession. As the horse drawn hearse would pass by, they saluted. Drew took notice of this. When we arrived at the cemetery the casket was taken from the hearse. As the pallbearers walked past Drew....he saluted his momma. OH how I wish someone would have snapped a picture. It was a memory that will forever be close to my heart. The boys are doing well. ALL of the kids were exhausted yesterday so it was an early night for all of them. Uncle T (Scot's brother) was there to pick up the boys today for some fun and they were really looking forward to it! Please continue to pray as we all find our new normal.
KSPR 33-Tribute to Coach Phillips
KSPR 33-Honoring the Life of Stephanie (**BEAUTIFUL**)
KOLR 10-Celebrating the Life of Coach PhillipsNews-Leader-Michael Stacy
Thank you all from the media who have so respectfully and beautifully shared our story with the community. We are so thankful that we will have all of these tributes to someday show Drew and Levi, just what kind of impact their mommy had on this earth.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
On July 10, 2010 Stephanie Susanne Phillips of Springfield, Missouri was called home by our Lord and savior after fighting tenaciously for almost three years against stage four colon cancer. Stephanie was born March 8, 1974 in Rolla, Missouri, to Ed Thurman and Edna Happ.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Newsflash Mr. Beelzebub. YOU lost. STEPH won.
She won because she NEVER cursed our Lord, but only praised Him for the blessings he bestowed upon her BEFORE she was diagnosed that made it so much easier to fight this disease. She won because THOUSANDS of people have followed this blog and taken the time to e-mail us with testimonies about how their faith has been strengthened through Steph's story. She won because she went out like a champion. Her last weeks were spent listening to Christian music 24/7 and her friends reading scripture to her and praying over her. Her last breaths were taken as a room full of GOD FEARING relatives and friends showered her in love and prayers. She won because she is now in Heaven cancer free, most likely showing the angels a thing or two about how to play defense.
No, Steph did not win in the way WE had hoped she would. But she won by keeping her faith. She NEVER gave up on God and he NEVER gave up on her. Until she took her very last breath, His fingerprints were all over her story. They still are.
Her story will live on in her two beautiful boys. I never told her I was going to do this, but I have a feeling it's what she would have wanted. On Thursday, we will close a chapter of this blog as we celebrate Steph's life here on earth. The blog will soon take on a new meaning. The blog will be a place where you can all come to keep up with the boys. A place for YOU to come and heal. I want to do that for the boys, for Scot and most importantly for Steph. She always loved that I blogged for my children and wanted to do the same...she was just busy fighting for hers. It is my honor to do this for Drew and Levi.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
I'm gonna miss you my friend
Even though it hurts the way it ended up
I'd do it all again.
Cause that's right where you wanna be
I'm not cryin' cause I feel so sorry for you
I'm cryin' for me.
Stephanie Susanne Thurman-Phillips
March 8, 1974-July 10, 2010
We Love you Steph...to Pluto and back.