Over the last 24 years of knowing Stefen, from our humble beginnings in a trailer park far beyond the reaches of our hometown we’ve shared some many memories. To the first time we met at his parents’ garage sale to later on that day when he showed me his really awesome tree-house. Seriously it was an awesome tree-house. Countless birthday parties, adventures up and down the dirt roads of our childhood to high school where the world felt like it was against us for literally no reason. To saying goodbye briefly as he went to Ontario for basic training and welcoming him back into my nearly daily routine here in Edmonton.
Out of every memory we’ve shared two very important ones stand out: a day when he told me about dating Sam and the excitement he had on his face about everything; and the day we were playing video games when he said he loved her. If there’s been one constant theme in Stefen’s life it’s been chasing stability. He’s gone through a lot as a kid, as a teenager, and even more as an adult. And all that time growing up this overarching theme of chasing some constant form of stability was present. And Sam was and still is that stability.
I knew things between them would go the distance after party that might have been too wild even for us at the time
The 18th birthday bash at Stefen’s house. Sue [Stefen’s mom] likely remembers the chaos of most -if not all – of the high school crammed into their duplex. That night – even if Stefen and I still to this day can remember few details – was one of those surreal moments of seeing Sam’s ability to take chaos happening around Stefen’s existence and manage it so that the end result wasn’t that bad.
The party had hit critical mass, Stefen had a little too much to drink, and Sam even in her state at the time sprung into action. She kept Stefen alive for the most part. She kicked out folks causing a scene and still managed to constantly keep an eye on the guy she just married tonight. Between randomly laying on the floor in the living room, his bedroom, or sharing space with me on the bathroom floor she was busy dealing with it. It wasn’t her obligation or responsibility to manage what was going on she still took charge. It might seem like a small story in their journey through life together but these characteristics of someone who cares so much still exist to this day.
That’s who Sam is. Someone who cares by going above and beyond for those she loves, someone who is so intelligent and logical that she can solve problems quickly. Someone who has been there – probably once or twice – for most of us here, offering support and trying to help in any way possible.
It’s been an extremely wonderful privilege to watch these two fiercely independent people grow together from awkward teens figuring out their places in the world to them building an incredible life together. They’ve become synonymous with each other and still retain the sense of unique individuality that still marvels everyone around them. In an era where relationships with longevity are hard to come by they still manage to make it look easy.
I love both of you, congratulations on your special day.