Phil’s last letter written last May.

If you’re reading this on this day, that means I was taken home, after a pretty incredible few days, following a pretty incredible few years; not ones I would have scripted for myself, but ones where I saw the best come out in others (and maybe myself too). If this trial was for people to see all that in each other, and in God himself…not a waste.

I only wish I had taken more chances to let my friends and family know how much I really love them. Yeah, I probably would have had to let somebody see me cry once in awhile, but you all deserve that much at least. You can know now as I tell you how much I love you, my eyes are anything but dry…but enough about me.

Here’s what you’re going to do to remember my life: Live yours.

A fear-filled life is not much of a life at all…and don’t wait for permission to see the world. If that means you go somewhere, great.  If it means you are willing to listen to someone else’s words, before sharing your own, even better.  

And, be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. It might not always seem fun, but God IS going somewhere with all of this. Don’t try to ignore Him. He’ll cross your path again eventually. Why waste a minute living a non-full life.

I’ve tried to live by the rules…many of them were pretty stupid, but the occasional one stuck….make no major decisions just for the money. Put people before programs, compassion before agenda, and love before critique. 

Thanks for being the most incredible family and friends anyone could ever hope for, even if it was for a short time. Don’t be sad because I’m gone. Go back and look at the pictures from the parties and fun times we had together, and laugh. Tears can wait for a sad day. I’m not the least bit sad about the times I had with each of you.

I’d like to say so much more, but we’re at the end.

So, with much love,