A sweet and innocent little girl who was very gentle and sorta clueless about life.
Who loved animals (especially wolves and coyotes and foxes and mountain lions and bobcats) but all animals really.
Who never had to face life’s seriously sucky tribulations, cos life was pretty good most of the time.
Especially when there were seashells to pick off a sandy beach. Or someone thought about me and brought home a handful of seashells from one of their vacations.
Seashells make me happy. Butterflies make me happy, too, but that’s a different story.
This is about death. DEATH. Not a metamorphosis.
Death is pretty final in a lot of ways. I mean in this plane, on this Earth, when someone dies, stops breathing, heart stops beating…well, that’s pretty final.
Why do some deaths hit us harder than others?
Randomly searching for something on the internet, I discovered that a friend and business associate I hadn’t seen in a long time had died of cancer five months ago, right around my birthday.
I didn’t know. No one told me. How did this happen, that I didn’t know?
The death and the not knowing shocked me, rocked me to my core. I was sobbing. Not him, I thought. Not him. Good men like that should live to be one-hundred-years at least.
(I could tell you how it happened that I didn’t know, I could elucidate, fill you in on all the deets, but then the story would be all about me and not a way, however small, to honor this fine, fine man.)
I heard him say this one thing a thousand times, “Hey guys, here’s just another rusty brain idea I’d like to run by you.”
He was one of those true-blue, honorable, faithful, simply noble, ethical, principled, reliable, honest, trustworthy, dependable, SALT OF THE EARTH men.
They don’t make them like that any more. Trust me on that. It’s really so simple, when you think about it. Not a difficult way to live one’s life if you know what’s really important.
All men (and women) should aspire to conduct their lives to that standard. A decent man with character and a deep commitment to his wife and family.
A never-give-up kind of man. The very definition of what a man should be.
If you needed anything, Steve was there. Especially if there was food involved. Oh yes, Steve loved to eat, that’s for sure.
I sent his wife a letter expressing my sorrow for her loss and apologized for not knowing and not attending his memorial service.
She wrote back almost immediately.
True to form, he never told anyone of his battle with cancer. Thinking back, I remember he was always showing up with bandages all over his face and head from skin cancer surgeries, but he brushed aside all questions about his health. The cancer spread and though it was quite painful, he never complained.
One day he collapsed and died in his wife’s arms, the only place that was ever really home to him.
I honor you, Steve, and I will miss you forever. More than you could know. This is a big loss, a big death, and my heart goes out to your lovely family.