Yesterday my father-in-law, Steve Terry, passed away after an 11 month battle with pancreatic cancer. With all the suffering that goes along with the final stages of cancer, we have seen a lot in the last few weeks. For those of you who didn't know my father-in-law, I thought I would write a bit about him. First of all, he was a man of quiet strength. He had a way of showing his support for his family without saying a whole lot. Sometimes I guess you just don't have to say a whole lot to show that you love someone. It reminds me of the time before I had Avery when I had a miscarraige at 12 weeks of pregnancy. It came as a huge shock. I was far enough along that I had to have a D&C. I truly didn't want to talk to anyone at that point as you can imagine. The day I went into the hospital for my D&C, Steve showed up by himself with a crossword puzzle and pencil and just sat in the waiting room. He didn't say much, but just wanted to be there. Quiet strength. Steve was also emotional. Every gift or card he ever received made him get teary. He wasn't afraid to show his emotion, which is a great trait in a man. Steve was also a resourceful man...like the time he was babysitting Avery as a baby. He couldn't find any diapers around his house, so he crafted one out of a maxi pad...yes, a maxi pad. When I arrived home and saw Avery's "diaper" he didn't say a word. It wasn't weird to him....just "getting the job done." Steve was a boisterous man. Every time he answered the phone he would say at a very loud decibel level...."Yelllllo." He always had a smile even after chemo treatments these past 11 months. He never complained, hence the quiet strength. Now that I am a parent, I know that Steve gave his children a special gift...the freedom to be themselves. He never tried to change them and just accepted them for who they were, faults and all. Not only did he accept his children, he also was so supportive of all of their decisions. He is leaving behind quite a legacy. The gift he leaves me with is Beth. In the final months of his sickness, Beth came to visit more often, which led to us spending more time together. Now we are close friends and I feel like I know her so much better. I have known her for thirteen years, but it took until now for me to really KNOW her. She has a lot of qualities that Steve had....strength being one of them. We have had many bonding moments these last few weeks...painting in my new kitchen and telling stories that only sisters could tell each other; taking a 5 yr. old, 4 yr. old, and 16 month old to the pottery place (brings new meaning to the saying "bull in a china shop"; and most recently, staying up all night in hospice together on two tiny loveseats the night before Steve passed away. My father-in-law also gave me a husband that is like no other. A husband with the same quiet strength and love for his family. A husband who isn't afraid to jump in and get his hands dirty...changing diapers, cleaning, etc. A husband with a wicked sense of humor. There is so much more I could say, but I hope this gives you some kind of idea about the man that was Steve Terry. I just know that he is looking down on us right now, playing a Soduko puzzle, and smiling. Thanks for calling me one of your best girls.