A (Step)ping Stone

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It is with a heavy heart that I write this short blog and pay tribute to my stepfather, who departed this earth last week. He was a man who stepped up when others stepped down. A man of few words who had a quiet strength that was necessary to face challenges with confidence. As a husband to my mom and a father to my brother and me, he was selfless, responsible and reliable.

He came into our lives 54 years ago and changed them for the best. I never heard him utter a curse word or raise his voice, and he comforted my mom’s heart and soul. He didn’t have to treat us as his own, but he chose to love us unconditionally and take on all of the challenges and responsibilities. My stepfather proved that love has no biological boundaries.

His passing has brought me tears, smiles and memories. This Thanksgiving will not be the same without him and my late mother-in-law sitting around the dinner table vying for the turkey neck. While no one else wanted any part of it, they both desired that 91-calorie piece of meat and declared it the best part of the turkey. The tears will dry, and the smiles will fade, but the memories will last forever.

Today I am a confident person who shares an encouraging message because of the manner in which you raised me. You helped raise me in a negative world by being a positive parent who loved me unconditionally and served as an excellent role model. I never knew how much you loved me as a stepfather until I became one myself. I am proud of many things in life, but nothing beats being your stepson. A stepping-stone is defined as an undertaking or event that helps one to make progress toward a goal. I will always remember things you have taught me and how much you loved me. Thank you for raising Diane’s husband, Stephen and Josh’s father, and Adam and Alex’s stepfather.


For more information about Hall of Fame speaker and bestselling author Steve Gilliland, please contact steve@stevegilliland.com / 724-540-5019 / www.stevegilliland.com.