This post is LONG overdue. I have had it rolling around in my head for months now, I just wanted to make sure I did the topic justice.
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.