Pinch of Faith: Saying farewell to a real-life superhero

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Lisa Marie Presley was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on Feb. 1, 1968. Her much-anticipated arrival captured the attention of the press and countless adoring fans of her famous father, Elvis Presley, better known as the King of Rock and Roll.  

She came into this world a celebrity, and was widely photographed and universally recognized. Her father adored his only child, plain and simple, and he lavished her with gifts and attention. Her life was one of fame and fortune.

Five months prior to the arrival of Lisa Marie, another baby was born in Nashville, Tennessee, which is about two hundred miles east of Memphis. His mother, a nurse, and his father, a surveyor, named their youngest son Stephen. There were no paparazzi on hand to photograph the infant, only a multitude of proud relatives with their cameras. His life was to be very different from that of the King’s daughter.

While Lisa Marie frolicked on the lawn of Graceland, Steve depended on a wheelchair to move about daily. As she outgrew her expensive wardrobe and toys, Steve acquired larger mobility chairs to accommodate his growth.

Defying all the dire predictions from doctors who warned Steve’s parents that he was permanently disabled and probably would not survive beyond his teens, he astounded the professionals with his many accomplishments, including driving his own customized van. By his actions and positive attitude, he became an inspiration to all who knew and loved him.

Married four times, Lisa Marie attracted among her spouses, Michael Jackson and Nicholas Cage. Steve remained a handsome and eligible bachelor who focused on higher education, computer knowledge, sports,and his family and friends.  

With two older sisters, he never lacked for companionship or attention from them or his loving parents.  They instilled in him from an early age that pity parties were never to be a part of his life, and by their examples and attitudes, he developed a sense of humor unlike any other.  

While Steve spent his days in the company of his countless relatives who found reasons to celebrate every holiday, birthday, and life occurrence, Lisa Marie grew up as an only child, struggling with the divorce of her parents when she was 4 years old, and the untimely death of her beloved father when she was only 9.

While Lisa Marie received Certificates of Proclamation from the cities of Memphis and New Orleans and a day of recognition for her charitable efforts from the State of Tennessee, Steve earned his bachelor’s degree in management and marketing, his MBA, and his Certified Management Accountant designation.  His co-workers were in awe of his extensive computer skills and his ever-present smile.

She was an entertainer, musician, mother of four, and a philanthropist. He was a man who affected and influenced the lives of all who knew him. Her father named his private airplane for her. His sister named her son after him. She lived in a 15th century manor house in England for six years. He lived across the street from his parish church in a lovely ranch home designed for his comfort and functionality.

Two very different people, just five months apart in age, but worlds apart in their philosophy and lifestyles.  The world recently lost both of these individuals, much to the sorrow of those who loved them, and far too soon.  

As Steve’s cousin so eloquently stated, “Although Steve never physically walked upon this earth, he left deep and lasting footprints for all to follow as a guide on how to live life to the fullest. When others said he could not, he did. Tell him he would not, he would.”

Joining their respective families who went before them for all eternity, we must take comfort in the fact that they are at peace now. I shall not be present for the final farewell to Lisa Marie but was honored to personally celebrate the life of Steve. His memory shall forever live on in all of us who loved him so deeply.  

While Elvis may have been known as the “King,” Steve will forever reign as our real-life superhero.

Steve never saw Lisa Marie perform, got her autograph, or met her in person, and sadly for her, she never had the good fortune to meet Steve.

Copyright © 2023 Mary Margaret Lambert

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