His Legacy Perseveres

Posted by jael on Feb 8, 2011 in Parenting, Spiritual Journey |

Three years ago today, Steven John Metsker, 49, passed from this life.  He left behind a wife, Alison, and his two daughters, Sarah-Jane and Emma-Kate.  His love of his family was his North, heart, home and compass.  Though his formidable talents enabled him to write books, master his profession, deliver value to his colleagues and clients, and serve as an eager, able and wise mentor as reflexively as most of us draw breath, his passion in life was to breathe Light into the dreams and talents of his community.  As such, Steve supported Alison’s passion for Maine, travel and cooking, and delighted in camping trips and school excursions with his daughters.  He was an especially present father, and foreshadowed the shifts in relationship that would evolve as his girls moved into their teenage years with relish.  Unlike the wary concern of many parents, Steve, looked forward to figuring it all out with girls.  He opined that he was aware that there would be difficulties ahead, but that he was certain that it would all be resolved because of the strength of their relationships thus far.  He spoke with deep confidence about their relational base, the homes they had carved for each other in their hearts.

Steve loved figuring things out and enjoyed an intellectual base that would have intimidated the rest of us were he not so generous and humble.  Truth be told, he was something of a genius with language.  He worked his swift mojo with computers as well as puzzles, and woe be unto the poor soul on the opposite side of a gaming board.  He’d never make an opponent feel bad about it, but there was no winning a game of words, logic or strategy against Steve.  He respected people too much to simply let them win, and yes, he really was just that brilliant.  He was the kind of man who got up every morning at 5 a.m. to work until his family rose at 7 a.m., so that he could develop his interests, author his books, and study new trends in trade journals, yet would be available for family time. He balanced his excellence and intellectual appetites with service.  He was an ardent supporter of his wife, daughters and co-workers, especially those colleagues fortunate enough to work on his teams.

A signature phrase that Steve shared with such teammates was a single word of encouragement, commonly repeated, that became something of a mantra within his firm, “Persevere.”  With a simple nod, shoulder clasp, or characteristic smile, when Steve said, “Pesevere,” it meant more than be persistent, or refuse to stop.  When Steve said, “Pesevere,” he asserted his complete faith in the person to whom he spoke.  When he said it, it became a talisman, a promise that the solution sought was possible, and that the party working the puzzle had the mind, heart and pencil sharp enough to excavate the solution.  This was Steve’s essence as a husband, father and mentor, it was his passion in life to breathe Light into the dreams and develop the talents of others.  More than a brilliant intellectual, Steve was smart enough to realize there is no higher degree of mastery than to support others as they stretch toward their goals. He steadfastly partnered others in their journeys to pursue the calls upon their lives despite difficulty or obstacles.  Steve modeled value and perseverance.

Steve was my husband’s best friend.  My husband doesn’t love many or often.  His reserved nature is balanced by fierce loyalty.  Once you are in with my husband, you are all the way in.  My husband loves as deeply and well as he does selectively.  Above all else, my husband loved Steve Metsker .  This kinship was further seeded by an absolute respect for who Steve was as a husband, father and professional.  Steve was a daily picture of quality through relationships that my husband honored. Nothing prepared my husband for the gifts of Steve’s friendship or the grief of his death.  He was undone by both in turns.

The last time I saw Steve was in the hospital shortly before he passed.   During the visit, Steve and my husband chatted about work, critiqued movies and discussed audio book titles.  When it was time for us to leave, I challenged Steve to a family game night, qualified by the caveat that we did not have to face him in Trivia.  Among his final words to me were, “I want that.  I want all of that.  I want all of it, the games, the family night, those times.” As we walked to the door and looked back to extend our good nights, Steve waved at us both, nodded, and smiled his perfectly hopeful, completely encouraging, totally loving, perseverent smile.

Steve understood his situation and its potential impact.  Private communications he had evinced this.  He was clear, but chose to remain hopeful.  Steve dwelled in possibilities, a fairer House than Prose to gather Paradise.

Our thoughts have returned to him like magnets over the days, months, and now years since he left us.  He had called us to persevere, and in our own truths, and along our own paths, each of us has attempted to put our feet to that charge and walk it out as a way to continue to love him intentionally and connect with his character.  Over the span of time, I have been struck by how much more intensely spiritual a word persevere is than what I had originally heard as Steve coined it as a legendary, firm pledge.  As I have sat with it and partnered others who grieve Steve, I recognize his mantra is as much an oath of faith as it is a cry to continue onward.  To persevere is to accept the difficulties of a situation as a matter of course.  It demands we grok the darkness of despair, confusion and inertia that precedes epiphany, healing and movement.  It maintains that each of us is perfectly positioned to manage the dynamics in which we find ourselves immersed, because we innately intuit that we are simultaneously Provided with the resources, talents and ingenuity to surmount those challenges and reconcile growth.  To persevere is the pearl of great price.

As C.S. Lewis asserts, “The virtue of courage is a prerequisite for the practice of all other virtues otherwise one is virtuous only when virtue has no cost,” and Steve no more wished to pass when he did than did we.

He did not go gentle into that good night; he did rage, rage against the dying of the light.

That said, Steve died as he lived.

Courageously.

Well.

Aware.

A model of perseverance.

As certain as he was of potential outcomes, I contemplate the poetry of his charge to persevere.

He left us with this single call and the humble model of his excellent life.

I like to believe he knew how much he was loved and needed.

I like to believe he knew how much we would call upon his strength and example as we strove to persevere in the vacuum of his premature demise.

I honor how majestically Alison, Sarah-Jane and Emma-Kate have lifted each other, Faith, Light and Love to persevere.

Grace beyond Mercy, they vaulted their own brokenness to help us Rise.

I honor Steve’s family who celebrates his anniversary with tears and pedicures.

With pedicured and well muscled feet,  they deeply commit to walking out his legacy in their lives together.

We miss you, Steve.

We love you, buddy.

We persevere.

Well there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

3 Comments

wendy edwards
Feb 8, 2011 at 11:29 pm

thank you, jael.


 
admin
Feb 9, 2011 at 6:33 am

This is good. Your call to write was well answered.


 
Anonymous
Feb 9, 2011 at 9:16 am

im in awe and speechless. totally awesome. Peace! totally awesome. love you both and all of you and so did STEVE~!!!!


 

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