Wednesday, 1 April 2015

a remembrance

You were always there for me.

You were part of my life for as long as I could remember. At first, you were "my dad's [eccentric] friend". You popped over to take my dad on hikes and would entertain my family with tales of your many adventures. I loved hearing "Steve stories" and even attempted to retell them to my friends. 

You were always genuinely interested in me and my hobbies, and when you found out I enjoyed writing, you told me that if I ever needed an adventurous character, I could name him Nevets - your name backwards. I wrote a story about you that was later included in my book, Tales of Cunburra.

When I diagnosed with cancer in 2005, you wanted to help. You flew over to England to spend long nights at the hospital with me, entertain me, take care of me, and watch over me. After I was better, you came back again, this time to see the sights. You'd always wanted to see Stonehenge, so we visited and were nearly blown away by the wind. :) We spent several hours making a castle out of random things in my room, which meant a lot to me. I realized that you were more than "my dad's friend" - you were my friend. 

When my family moved back to America in 2008, you attended my musical performances and would frequently pop over for supper. You were there when I made my very first dinner (it was horrible, but you were very gracious), and you were the first besides my family to hear me play guitar (and you were the only one who knew who Don Mclean was). When I collapsed from cardiac arrest in January 2012, you were there for me again - you came and stayed at the hospital and comforted and encouraged my parents. 

You were kind of always there. Not just for me and my family, but for basically everyone you met. My story of how you loved my family is just one of many stories. It wouldn't take anyone who met you long to realize that you were one of the most genuine, caring, and beautiful souls they had ever (and would ever) meet. You loved God and you wanted to show that love to everyone you met.

When I heard that you weren't feeling well in May of last year (2014), we thought it was some sort of bad virus. I figured that in a few weeks it would be another of your stories to tell. I couldn't have imagined that you were in the middle of a massive heart attack. Then, of course, we thought that you'd get better. We knew there'd probably be a lot of rehab, but we would be with you every step of the way. It was going to be our turn to be there for you. 

I came to visit you in the hospital. I could've walked in the room, but I didn't. The man in coma lying on the hospital bed was not my Steve. I figured I'd wait until you woke up, until you were getting back to your normal self again. Then that evening, I received the news that you were going to be taken off life support.

I was heartbroken, and a little part of me is still heartbroken. You have always been part of my life, in big or little ways. I find little bits of you everywhere - a pipecleaner creation that you made just for me, a letter you sent, or a Christmas gift thoughtfully chosen. You were always there and I kind of figured you would be for a long time. I imagined you at my graduation and at my wedding; I'd figured one day you'd come over and entertain my kids with Steve stories. 

Sometimes I think I miss you most when something crazy happens at my work... and I wish that I could tell you my stories, because you'd listen thoughtfully...and then tell me an even crazier story of something that had happened to you! And I wish that my boyfriend had gotten a chance to meet you. 

But since you have been such a part of my life for so long, I know you can never truly be gone. The memories, the stories, and the laughter are still with us. One time, after leaving England to go back to America, you left me a note in your iconic all-caps handwriting which read, "GOODBYE KARA -- SEE YOU SOON." I know that if you could've given me one last note before you left for heaven, it would've said something like that. I am so thankful that you knew the Lord and that I will one day see you again. 

When you died you left behind hundreds of memories and tokens of your love... I shall treasure each one. You didn't try to change the world, but you changed the world of everyone you met. You made their world a little brighter, and little happier, and a little lighter. Whatever burden they were carrying lessened as you met them with your smile. Whatever worry they had faded just a little when you spoke with them. And whatever sadness they had felt diminished just a bit when the conversation was through. I miss you, and I miss the way you made the world brighter. But I'll see you soon.

Happy birthday, Mr. Steve.


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