Coping with Grief
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Steven Dwight Riley Chapman was born on November 5, 1999 to Wayne and Janice Chapman, at the Coronation Hospital, much to the great excitement of his Great Grandmother, Vera Taylor. It took a couple of strong nurses to make her wait, until he actually arrived. His grandpa, Steve and aunt, Stephanie were here from Nova Scotia, awaiting his arrival and were hot on her heels. Big sister, Amanda was not as impressed at first, but soon became his little mother, hauling him out of his crib when he cried; and as he got older, taking plastic scissors out of his hands and scolding his mother that he was too little to use them. Steven had a love of all things mechanical, or motorized. The only way we were able to launch his schooling was to break things down in ways that interested him. His Grandpa Dwight tried to teach him his colours and Steven’s reply to “What colour is my shirt?” was “It’s a secret – I can’t tell you.” We would have to sit him down with an auto trader and teach him “Polaris is red”, “Kawasaki is green.” This bike is a two stroke, this one is a four stroke, a 302 is a small block, and a 454 is a big block. Through the years, he had fun riding everything from mountain bikes to sleds. He was really stoked two years ago when he got to go sledding in the mountains, with the Kelts boys and their crew. He loved to go mudding – especially with Jeff and many people, including the guys at JWR, and his principal can attest to being called out at all hours, to tow him out of a mud hole. This last year, Steven was able to race his beloved SRT Truck at the Forestburg Area 53 Race Track, with his Dad and uncle, Andrew and had the best time. Steven was very athletic and participated in all school sports: hockey, snowboarding, sledding, speed skating and water skiing. He was playing with his friend, Nic when he was in grade one, when he had a golfing accident; which left him with a bad scar on his eyebrow. He never tried to catapult clubs off of logs of firewood again. – though it never stopped him from stunts like putting plywood up to the picnic table, and skateboarding down. Steven loved cross country running and won a lot of medals. He was pretty stoked being able to participate in Provincials in Grade 10, but his favorite race was called Mistahiya, put on by a group from the Wainwright Army Base. He won, and in fact, he conquered the hill they called “The Widow Maker” with such force, that a number of the men came over to shake his hand, and comment on it. At his last soccer game in Veteran, he tossed the soccer ball into the game by doing a front handspring off of it. Steven made the most of his last year in Veteran School, for April Fool’s Day he put the school up for sale – complete with a Century 21 sign and flyers advertising its “large private gym” and “well stocked reading room”, “Very reasonably priced for fast sale”. He was very proud of helping Mr. Pennington get his war medals back; and going to Ottawa for Remembrance Day, with the Jr. High. Steven attended High School in Coronation, and made many friends, including a number of teachers. We always laughed, because for a seemingly shy kid, apparently he had no problem knocking on the Staff Room door and having one of them get him a cup of coffee. Steven loved music, especially the old stuff and could compete with the best of them on “Name That Tune” even beating his principal and being able to get out of class early one day, as the prize. He did have a bad habit of cranking up the stereo in his dad’s truck - not only did he blow the speakers, but the rear view mirror usually was shaken off, each time he borrowed it. Steven loved animals, his pets ranged from cats, ferrets, hamsters, mice, snakes and finally his beloved dogs, Lady and Jack. The most shocking was, when he was sixteen, he went and swamped on a liner recovery, after a bad winter storm. He came home with three baby pigs, determined that he could keep them in the basement. After a lot of arguing, they did finally make a home in an old chicken coop and Chris, Pete and Bacon (say it fast – kris p bacon) hung around for a while. Steven spent his time after leaving school farming and mechanicing out at JWR; sometimes even helping on vehicles other than his own! It seems from the stories, that he also spent his fair share of time visiting friends and family, especially his Grandmas, at mealtimes. Steven had a really witty sense of humor that would often catch you off guard. One Sunday, when he was about fifteen, I convinced him to attend a Communion Church Service with me. On the way home, he reached over, gave me a hug and said “Hey Mom, anytime you need someone to do shots with you again - you can always call me.” Steven loved his nephew, Jaxson. When he was born, Steven insisted on everyone calling him ”The Godfather” and spent lots of time teaching him everything from XBox, knee boarding, riding his bike and his motorbike. And a love of food. All food. Any food. Girlfriends were ranked and judged on the sammich making skills. Steven leaves to mourn his passing, his parents, Wayne and Janice Chapman, his sister, Amanda and his nephew, Jaxson; his grandparents, Dwight and Marie Woody, his uncle, Darren Woody and his cousin, Colby; his grandmother, Mary Chapman, his uncle, Andrew, his grandparents in Nova Scotia, Steve and Sandra Riley, his aunt, Shana (Darcy), his cousins, Zach and Jayden, his aunt, Samantha (Mike), his cousin, Ben and aunt, Stephanie (Bill). Steven was laid to rest in the Veteran Cemetery. Condolences may be sent or viewed at www.coronationfuneralhome.ca. Arrangements in care of Coronation Funeral Home, Coronation, Alberta. Phone: 403.578.2928.