Tonight was a huge night for Stephanie's family and friends. Tonight Stephanie Suzanne Thurman Phillips was enshrined into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. As the video played, the tears flowed. There is something about seeing video footage of her that tugs at our heartstrings. As all of her family and friends looked on, Scot accepted the award on her behalf. He did a wonderful job and at the end talked about what a great opportunity the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame has given him to show his boys what a difference their momma made on this earth. He fought back tears and I'm pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house. As they presented him with the plaque, the room erupted and EVERYONE stood to give her a standing ovation. It was breathtaking. I don't have a lot of pictures because I was just taking it all in.
We realize that had she not passed away, this would not have been the year she was inducted to such a prestigious organization. I KNOW without a doubt, had she lived a long healthy life she would have been there eventually. I wish she was one of the inductees that could stand up and talk about her kids and grand kids. I wish she was receiving the award after winning 10 state championships and coaching 40 years worth of amazing athletes. But like they said as they introduced her, "It is often the quality of life...not the quantity that makes someone a legend." No matter the circumstances, I am thankful to have been part of her life. I am blessed to have known such an amazing woman. I am humbled to think that I was important to such an important person. I am forever grateful to her for picking such an amazing man to be her husband. I can't even imagine how proud she must be of him, for so many reasons. My favorite quote of the night came from Scot. He was explaining a moment that took place between a college coach and another coach. As practice began he said, "You can always tell which kids are Kickapoo kids." She would be SO proud that her girls continue to conduct themselves in the manner in which she took such care to instill in them. She has truly left her mark on the athletic community...on the world.
I miss you more than I even could have imagined possible. They say, "time heals all wounds." I would be willing to bet that the person who said that...never lost anyone like you. I know you were there tonight. We can always feel your presence. We see your smile on the sweet faces of your precious boys. (Who looked SUPER handsome tonight by the way!) I miss your laugh. The real laugh. The one we hadn't heard in quite a while. I miss "the look" you gave us. Mostly me and mom...when we were being flighty and girly. I have moments every single day when I think, "Man I wish Steph was here to see this." You are forever in my heart and I miss you so much it physically hurts. But we are doing it. We are continuing on, finding joy. Some days it's harder to find than others, but please know...I am better because of you. I love you sister, so much.