STEVE LIPFORD 10-29-1949 7-21-2010

by ANN TEAGUE
(ELIZABETHTON, TN)

WHEN WE LOST OUR BROTHER JOHN, HE WAS THE FIRST TO GO. STEVE WAS THE STRENGTH THAT GOT MOM, DAD, AND MYSELF THROUGH THAT. IT WAS THE SAME WITH MOM AND DAD. STEVE WAS THE STRONG ONE ALWAYS, WHEN WE LOST THEM.

SEVEN YEARS, AND TWO MONTHS TO THE DAY, STEVE HAD A LIVER TRANSPLANT IN MEMPHIS DUE TO AN AUTOIMMUNE DISORDER THAT ATTACKED AND DAMAGED HIS LIVER. IT WAS MAY 21ST, 2003. HE FACED THAT ILLNESS WITH COURAGE AND STRENGTH THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE FOR MOST PEOPLE. FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS, HE HAS ENDURED THE SIDE EFFECTS THAT GO WITH A TRANSPLANT. BUT IT GAVE MOM AND ME MORE PRECIOUS TIME WITH HIM. MOM WORRIED ABOUT HIM UNTIL SHE WENT TO HER REST. THEN I FELT I HAD TO BE HIS LIFELINE.

BECAUSE HIS IMMUNE SYSTEM HAD TO BE SO LOW AS NOT TO REJECT HIS NEW LIVER, HE COULDN'T FIGHT OFF
INFECTIONS. HE HAD 37 SKIN CANCERS, WHICH WERE PROMPTLY REMOVED AND HEALED. BUT LAST YEAR, HE HAD TO HAVE RADIATION WHICH DAMAGED HIS BODY. ONE SKIN Cancer slipped, unnoticed, to his brain. We found out July 1st, he was terminally ill.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE TIME I GOT TO SPEND WITH HIM AND TELL HIM I LOVED HIM, BEFORE HE WENT INTO A COMA. I MISS HIM SO MUCH AND I AM BROKEN HEARTED. BUT HE WAS A CHRISTIAN, A FATHER OF 5, A SUCCESSFUL CPA, OWNED HIS OWN BUSINESS, AND WAS LOVED BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM. I'LL ALWAYS REMEMBER HIS WONDERFUL SMILE. I NEVER SAW HIM ANGRY, EVER.

HE'S AT PEACE WITH THE REST OF MY FAMILY AND IN THE PROTECTIVE LOVE OF GOD. FOR THAT, I'M THANKFUL.

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