Yesterday morning we planted a pine tree in Central Phoenix's Granada Park in Steven's honor, as part of the City of Phoenix Living Tree Celebration program. We chose Granada Park, and specifically, a location near the starting line for Brophy cross country meets, because Steven ran many cross country meets there. During cross country season many will run by his tree, and every other day of the year his tree is kept company by a flock of birds who gather in desert brush just a few feet away. Steven's pine is located on the west side of Granada Park, close to the sidewalk leading off 20th Street, just north of Maryland.
A plaque will be installed in about six weeks with his name and a few of Steven's inspiring words. We hope runners and park visitors find in these few words the inspiration Steven blessed us with. Mostly, we hope it will be a peaceful spot, meaningful to Steven, where all can visit to think about him.
Steven's tree was blessed by Monsignor O’Grady, a very special priest to Steven. It's hard to find words to express what a wonderful man Monsignor O'Grady is; you feel at peace in his presence and want him to keep talking and not leave. He read scripture and blessed Steven's tree. As we stood talking with him, he commented how he had pondered the meaning of a "sacramental" and how, by its very meaning, Steven's tree is a sacramental for all of us, to help and bless us. Suddenly Steven's beautiful pine became even more special by Monsignor O'Grady's blessing and words. Though emotional, it was special.
Stop by and leave a note or flowers at Steven's pine anytime. For those not in the area, here are some photos of the tree and the park:
the new King of Granada Park (little guy in the center) with his flock of birds
Thank you so much to the following families for donating the tree in Steven's honor. It is a wonderful way we can honor him and keep the memory of his wonderful spirit alive forever:
DiCarlo Family, Nagaki Family, Heiland Family, Lundy Family, Thompson Family, DiSantiago Family, Perkey Family, Circello Family, Fairburn Family, Behrendt Family, Novotny Family, Ross Family, Parise Family, Nicchi Family, Mel Terkelson and Ryan Burke, Palazzalo Family, Jackson Family, Bickman Family Bonono Family, Heinley Family, Amrhein Family, Tanaka Family, Burruel Family, Hill Family, Esahak-Gage Family, Rhea Family, Stern Family, Beaudoin Family, Coltin Family, Gordon Tylor Family