Rebecca Kay Clifford ~ Pittsburg
In 1977 Bec and Steven saw each other at the Hurst Lions Festival and from that moment on, their journey began. It was always meant to be, even with the challenges they would face in the future together. Bec loved being a partner to Steven and a mother to Devon more than anything. She made “home” the place everyone wanted to be and so many great times were spent building their dream together. She made everyone feel welcome and comfortable. It was her gift, the ability to open her heart and home to all. She offered solace, warmth, safety, happy moments, quiet spaces, peace, and most of all, unconditional love for anyone who entered her life.
Bec embraced every aspect of motherhood, from the first moment of pregnancy to the end of her life. She and Steven welcomed their bright-eyed baby girl on May 31, 1987. She remains the light of their lives. Bec was a phenomenal mother, always present, always considerate, always supportive – a fierce champion of this child she loved unconditionally and wholly. She was terrific at planning special outings for Devon and her friends. Many of those friends thought of Bec as a second mom. She and Steven gave Devon all the tools she needed to leave the nest and fly with confidence. For Bec, that meant she had done her job well, as a mom first and a friend second. They had an enviable relationship with such a deep connection that allowed for the perfect mother-daughter bond, as well as, the perfect friendship.
Bec was a happy person, full of life and energy. She was the hula hoop champion at JALC. She took pride in her home and filled it with love and comfort, she enjoyed being outside and creating beautiful spaces in both her landscaping and her interior design, she loved sunflowers and butterflies, great romance novels and feel-good films, she would invigorate the dance floors and always made everyone smile with her kind words and sense of security. In 2003, she became a licensed massage therapist, an accomplishment for which she was very proud and a profession that she felt very deeply connected to and enjoyed sharing with the rest of the world. She had a passion for the beach and going on Harley rides with Steven.
ALS is a cruel disease, for the patient and for loved ones. Bec endured 9 years with courage, grace and dignity. She refused to allow ALS to take away her fighting spirit, to harden her heart, to make her bitter; instead, she found the strength to see love and goodness all around her and to reach out to others in need. She was not one to ever complain about her situation and chose; rather, to express that many others would have much worse happen in their lifetime. Because she could articulate so well the effects of this disease and because she remained so strong and positive throughout this entire stage of her life, she was chosen to participate in ALS Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, to increase awareness and to lobby for research funding. She also spearheaded ALS Walks at John A. Logan College.
Our family would like to thank Hospice of Southern Illinois, especially, nurse Amanda Bennett for her compassionate, gentle care, and Diana Freehill for her assistance. We are also grateful to Lori Dobbs, with the ALS Association, for her tremendous help through the years. Donations to either organization would be the preferred form of remembrance.