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Well, 2020 was quite a year and while it was filled with much pain, frustration, fear and anxiety… it gave us so many hidden treasures.


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We were given the treasure of time.

We learned what is essential.

We learned to be creative about connection.

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I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
— Maya Angelou

We learned that the only things that truly matter are our relationships.

And we learned that life is a gift, every breath we breathe is an opportunity to say “I love you” or to say “thank you”.

So as we close out 2020, we say Thank You and We Love You to one of the strongest Live Oaks we have had the privilege of knowing. We want to take a moment to honor someone who has had a tremendous impact on our lives. John Deckrow was so much more than just a father, father-in-law or grandpa to us. He was our biggest fan, most enthusiastic cheerleader, mentor, ski partner, golf buddy, wise counselor, and friend. Saying good-bye was painful and heart wrenching but the gift of having the opportunity to spend our last month together was one of the biggest gifts of 2020.

My father-in-law personified this quote by Maya Angelou. He always had a way of making you feel like the most important person in the room, from his standing greetings with a firm hug, to his genuine care of what we had going on in our lives, to the way he was the first to offer to help with the unglamorous tasks…. John lived & loved well.

We were gifted with a sacred time of interviewing him in his final month. We asked him to share about his childhood, his greatest accomplishments, and hopes for his grandchildren. What he was most proud of were his kids and his grandkids that were “at least 35% better” than his kids. 🙂

We learned that while he wasn’t so sure he achieved all of his own professional goals, he was comforted by a vision he had about his kids standing on his shoulders.

He made his life about encouraging, equipping, serving and loving his family. He made everyone feel important and praise-worthy. He saw the best in others even when they didn’t see it.

He was a good man. A strong Oak whose arms stretched wide to offer shade, whose roots went deep to offer stability and whose wisdom is evergreen.

When asked what one thing he wanted to say to his grandkids, his response was quick and brief, “Be There. Be in heaven so we can all be reunited some day.”


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Good byes hurt but they are not the end of the story. We will BE THERE Dad.

AND we will carry on your legacy of loving others in a way that they FEEL seen, celebrated and cared for. We will BE THERE for our loved ones. We will BE THERE for the hard stuff. We will BE THERE for the messy moments. We will BE THERE for our community. We will BE THERE to cheer others on. We will be THERE to learn. We will BE THERE with joy, enthusiasm & passion. We will BE THERE to play. And we will BE THERE to say “I love you and thank you” often.


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“If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”


— Sir Isaac Newton

Thank you for letting us stand on your shoulders, for showing us the way to live a truly successful life. Thank you for showing us what it looks like to love God & people well.

Until we see you again….

We love you,

Aaron, Renee’ & the Deckrow kids

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Be There.
— John Deckrow