A Wife’s Message of Hope

Karla and Steve Lowder believed theirs was a match made in heaven, and their faith gave them the courage to love every precious day of his last year of life.

Steve was diagnosed with liver cancer in October 2019, a decade after he and Karla met on a Christian dating site. He tried chemotherapy and immunotherapy, but complications or side effects proved dangerous. They faced a choice, and Steve chose quality of life. Karla’s sister, a hospice nurse in Seattle, was the first to recommend hospice. “It is not for him,” her sister said. “It is for you. You need them!”

They chose Community Healthcare of Texas-Providence Hospice and then got busy living. The couple devoted their days to people and places Steve loved most. “We went to Galveston a few times. The beach was his happy place, anything to do with water,” Karla said. “He was determined that he was going to live his life as normally as he could. He was in his workshop as often as he could be. We went to movies, had dinners out.”

In October 2019, a sudden setback sent him to Providence Hospice Place, one of three Community Healthcare of Texas inpatient units that offer a higher level of care when symptoms cannot be managed at home. Karla placed her husband in the expert hands of staff and caught up on much-needed rest. “Being a 24/7 caregiver is exhausting. Your body, mind, and emotions are all tired,” Karla remembers. “You are worn out, but we were together every moment unless I needed respite.”

Looking back just weeks after Steve’s death, Karla called their last year together a gift, one they shared with so many at Community Healthcare of Texas-Providence Hospice.

“Two weeks before he died, he made sure I knew exactly how he felt about me every day,” Karla said. “I don’t have grief now. I have sadness, but I remember the positives. He gave me a wonderful gift those last two weeks.”


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