Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In Memory...

On Saturday, January 26, 2008 my stepson Michael Rex (Shaw) Slemp passed away suddenly in his home with his wife Debbie and daughter Andi at his side. He was 46 years old. Words cannot describe the void felt in our family with his death.

Rex was the oldest of 10 children - and an only child. His mother and father both remarried and had children with other spouses. Rex was adopted by his 3rd stepfather and raised with three other siblings. His dad remarried two more times and had six more children.

As the days passed after his death, his family and friends gathered at his home. Sisters and brothers from one family were introduced to sisters and brothers from another - bringing everyone together for a common loss. It was an incredible example of the sort of life Rex experienced. He watched out for everyone. He respected everyone. It sounds cliche, but Rex was an incredible human being.

I was blessed to be a part of Rex's life. I hope the legacy he has left behind will always be remembered.

Thank you Rex for setting the example in our family. You set the bar high. You have been loved by many and have loved all in return. You have lived by the example you created. You have set no boundaries and treated everyone with equal love and devotion.

Thank you for loving your three youngest siblings as much as everyone born before them--despite the fact they are the same age as your own children. Your constant strength and presence in their lives taught them respect and responsibility as well as love and devotion. You reminded them family is always number one.

Thank you Rex for always being accepting of me in your heart. We certainly are not a "Norman Rockwell Family" though I cannot imagine any other way and wouldn't change a thing. Thank you for being in my heart this week--to help remind me what family is all about. I am still waiting for you to come through the door and put your arms out for that always available bear hug.

Thank you for your support. I only hope I can provide some of the same comfort to Debbie, Adam and Andi. Thank you for always being you. I am so blessed to have not one but three roles in your life--wicked step mom, sister and friend.

We'll see you at the ocean Rex. I know you will be close! I love you. God bless you.

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