While this was our first year without Steve, there was quite a void. Along with missing him though, the sweetest of Steve memories spent at the lake surfaced repeatedly. We were sad that Steve's mom, Evelyn and David and his family were unable to attend, and we missed having Tom as part of the crew.
We took a break from our running, laughing, swimming, boating and eating to spend a very special time honoring Steve and celebrating his life. Friday night, after dinner we gathered and read a few scriptures, I spoke of what this family meant to Steve. How much he loved and cared for each of us. We spoke a bit of how Steve had impacted our lives, made us better for knowing him. I had brought some of his ashes and though not planned, each family or or in some cases, alone, we walked to spots where our memories of Steve seemed strongest.
My heart was so full as I watched the tears that filled family member's eyes. We took time to embrace one another, to whisper what was on our hearts, something that was worth holding on to. As these acts of unspoken commitment to love and care for one another took place, the bonds of this family grew stronger. It was a Steve moment at its finest. I pray he was right there in the middle of all of us. I know he was right there by me.
Appropriately, the moment ended with a family sand volleyball free for all and cinnamon chocolate cake.
Maybe, this was one of the best years ever.
For what it's worth,
Genesis 3:19 "...I used dust to make you, and when you die, you will become dust again.”