Favor to ask…

Hi, to all who so faithfully read this blog.  I wanted to ask those of you who personally knew Stef if you could do me a favor.  I would love for you to either email, mail, facebook me, or post to this blog any memories you have of Stef.  I am trying to make a book for my kids that have memories of their dad.  I figured what better way for them to get to know the true person he was than to hear from friends, coworkers, family, etc.  The stories can either be funny, inspirational, or whatever comes to mind.  I really just want to show my kids the many sides of their dad.  Thanks so much for helping me with this.

By, the way…we’re hanging in there.  Thanks to all of you who have checked in on us and filled our week with fun things to do.

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10 Responses

  1. I remember at the wedding reception. The way he looked at Sandi was so evident that they were in love. He smiled at her. I remember when he introduced me to Sandi in the receiving line at the Buhl Casino. I could tell that he completely adored Sandi.

  2. Sandi,
    What a great idea! The kids will treasure that book!
    We are continually praying for you and the kids…
    Jill

  3. Hi Sandi, it’s Deanne Pavelek- Sef’s fomer Per-Se Account Manager that combined an introduction to your family (while you were expecting Carley) with an MRI at Children’s Radiological Institute.

    I am SO glad you requested “thoughts about Stefan”. Like (probably) many, I wanted to share them with you but just wasn’t sure how overwhelmed you’d be with SO many people pouring out their feelings in such a difficult, life changing time. Here’s what I’d like to share:

    Stefan and I met in September 2002 when I transitioned to Per-Se’s Clinton Township, MI office and began over-seeing the Children’s Radiological Institute account. For the first 6 months (or so), I would talk with Stefan 2 or 3 time each week regarding financial questions on patient accounts and about month end reports.

    Near Easter, 2003, my grandmother became very ill (she was 92). In the middle of a “typical financial conversation”, Stefan reached out to me and said “Girl, what IS wrong?”. I had given him the typical answer of “Nothing. I’m fine.”, but of course, Stefan would not let it go. He GENUINELY cared about the fact that I was not myself. That was the beginning of a wonderful friendship. He was the voice of reason that help provide verbal support and sound reasoning with the loss of a grandparent, the termination of not one but 2 unsuccessful relationships, and the resolution of a 6-yr situation with my mother. In turn, he shared with me funny stories of Derek and “J”, some scares Sandi and he had with “J’s” growth & speech, and the fantastic relationship he had with his wife and God.

    In July of 2004, I decided to leave Per-Se. So, a site visit was scheduled to introduce the new Account Manager to Stef and Jeff. When I left Children’s that day, I thought I had lost my best friend and could not stop the tears. Later that day, Stef called to say that although I was no longer his Account Manager, I would always be his friend. So, instead of weekly conversations, we had monthly conversations and I continued to share my stories, and Stef continued to share his. In one of our conversations, I remember Stef telling me- “Are you ready for this- Sandi’s expecting!” While still getting used to the idea, in a later conversation he said- “You know what I’m doing? I’m painting one of the bedrooms pink- PINK! That’s a girls color. We’re having a girl. I don’t know if I know what to do with a girl. I have 2 boys; I know what to do with boys. I need to get used to pink. ” As you know, as the conversations continued, his belief in himself and his ability to handle “pink” grew.

    Towards the end of 2004, I was having problems with my ankle and needed an MRI. Stef arranged for me to have an MRI at CRI which allowed me to also (finally!) meet Sandi and the boys. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was. Up to this point, I only knew the family through pictures. Sandi welcomed me with open arms. She was (if you can even believe this) more beautiful than in the pictures. Here she was, several months pregnant, but was thinner than most non-pregnant women! Stef would frequently say, “I have no idea what she see’s in me. I’m tall, thin and have crooked teeth”. I would always tell him that love is blind! The boys showed me every single toy in their toy chest as well as their bedrooms (which, of course, was an honor). I also lucked out to sit next to both boys at the dinner table. I was lovingly welcomed into the evening/bedtime prayers (headed by Stefan) and (much to my surprise) was included in them. After the boys were in bed, Stef, Sandi and I sat for hours just talking. Since I really had not been successful with my dating relationships to this point, I asked a million questions regarding “them” and their relationship. They both shared very personal aspects of their reltionship and how the “KNEW” they were meant to be together when they decided to tie the knot. Look back on this blog and you see posting from Stef with “My wife rocks” and things of that nature. He genuinely loved her with all his heart!

    After Carley was born, my conversations with Stef became more like semi-annual. Each time we would talk, he would tell me that although I don’t hear from him often, I am in his and his family’s thoughts and prayers often.

    I when I described Stefan to my friends, I’d say: “This is a guy who is client, who reached out to me when he “heard” that I was down, who genuinely cared about me and my life, who is the type of dad that when his son was having problems hitting a baseball, he made and coached a T-ball team, who has a strong faith and who love his wife, family and God with all his heart.”

    Stefan Tarapchak was a phenomenal man, an inspiration to all, and a dear friend to me. I am a better person having had the privilege to have known him and having the honor of being a part of his and his families life.

    With Love,

    Deanne

  4. Did you get my post I put on facebook? I would for sure use that one and as God brings other things to mind, I’ll be sure to pass them along.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR SANDI! Say hey to the children for me…

    REFUSE TO LOSE!

  5. Sandi,
    Thanks for your testimony and faithfulness as demonstated throughout this time in which we are sure you, Stef, and family were greatly tested. I am sure Stef’s life has already made tremendous marks for good in the lives of your children, but it is neat that you have requested comments from the memories his friends.

    My memories of Stef are as a student in Principles of Biology at Cedarville and then later as your husband and member of Grace Baptist Church. In each case, I remember his polite demeanor. He was a fun-loving guy and jovial, but I remember his face and particularly his eyes which conveyed an attitude of thoughtfulness, respect, and attentiveness. I hope that in some way, if they don’t already have some of this trait, that your kids would remember their dad’s good habit of looking others square in the eyes with a winsome attentiveness and respect. When you and Stef were in our deacon care group at Grace, I remember each time we would share updates or prayer requests, Stef gave me the sense that he understood the importance of prayer and he made me feel welcome to express that I am praying for you as a young married couple.

    It is unfortunate for us that Abby and I have not had more direct communication with you since you moved from Cedarville, but be assured we have been and will continue to keep you in our prayers. We also pray for your parents, and have kept our son, Brad, who, as you know, knew and loved Stef, informed also.

    Love,
    John and Abby Silvius

  6. Hi Sandi,

    I’m sure you won’t remember me, but your parents will. I went to Cedarville with Stef and I also knew you since you and your sister were young. My name is Michelle (Murphy) Wiger. Our parents are great old friends (Jim & Phyllis Murphy). Anyway, I just wanted to send you my deepest condolences. I just heard about Stef very recently. I remember what a super nice guy he was during college and was so happy to hear that you two had gotten married. I was always impressed with him.

    I will pray for you and your kids and I know my mom has been a prayer warrier for you guys.

    Michelle (Murphy) Wiger

  7. I’m not sure we’ve ever met, but I’ve been following your and Stef’s journey via the blog over the last few months.

    Stef and I connected at C’ville. Although we didn’t spend a ton of time together on campus, we got to know each other during spring break of my senior (his junior) year. After he graduated, he lived with me for a summer in Cleveland while working at what was then Ohio Bell.

    A few months ago, when I got the news that he was sick, my heart sank. When I got the email yesterday, a piece of it broke.

    I remember Stef as a very fun loving guy. Always positive. We had a lot of fun laughing, especially that summer we lived together as two bachelors. From the posts I’ve read, it sounds like he never lost that trait.

    I’m so sorry for you losing him. I know Jesus is hurting for you too. And I will pray that God loves you and your kids in ways that you never thought possible.

    Praying for you…

  8. My name is Michelle and I worked with Steph briefly in the winter of 2006. It was my job to help him build in Management Scorecard. We had several meetings over the course of a month or two to get everything in place. In late January, I came to his office to update him on our progess and as I was pointing something out on a sheet of paper he noticed something new and sparkly on my left hand. He stopped me in mid sentenced and pointed to my hand. He then high-fived me and said “You go girl”. Being that I had only known him for few weeks, I was shocked that he even noticed!! From that moment on, we were friends as well as co-workers. I have followed Stephen’s blog from the start and my heart goes out to your and your children. I know they will cherish this book.

  9. I was able to get to know Stef, a little through him heading up the 2nd Sunday first impression team/greeters. Every 2nd Sunday, he would come with something to share that God was teaching him or something that was on his heart. The one Sunday I remember the most or it comes back to mind frequently was when he talked about desiring to share his faith at work. Something had happened where someone did not realize he was a Christian, which said really affected him. He wanted everyone to know he was a Christian and loved God. I always think back to that, and say do others know what I believe. What a true example he was of desiring to share his faith and follow the Lord. He always talked highly of you and each of his children. His last Sunday at heading up the team…he said I will be back if the Lord desires…he was going to fight this cancer to the end. He was a fighter, but more importantly he shared his faith through his fight for life here on earth. I frequently would check this blog to see how he was doing. He shared an important lesson that God is incontrol, although sometimes the situation was not feeling good. I’m praying for you and your children. Keep fighting with Christ help just as your husband did with his fight for cancer. You both are an incredible example of walking with Christ. Thank you! -Amy Basinger(II Cor. 1:3-11)

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