Monday, May 03, 2010

In Memory of Steve

My Brother Steve.  He could do pretty much anything in my book.  Certainly if he set his mind to something, he would accomplish it.  Athlete.  The kind of guy who could walk 36 holes of golf carrying his own clubs.  Taught himself guitar.  Taught himself piano.  Decided one day that he could paint, so he taught himself that too.  This below is the one he did for me way back when.  It means a lot and hangs in my newly painted office.
I know this one is probably pretty cliche’ in composition but I like it as well.  He painted this one for our Granny and it hung in her nursing home room for a long long time.  It ended up with me at some point.
A 1970 grad – adorably cute in high school.
A family pic taken at the “Big TG&Y” about a week before Steve left for basic training for Air Force Reserves, and the last he would see of that long hair --  Viet Nam era dontcha know, with a fairly low draft number.  He went the reserves route.  That’s me on the left; Sister Carole on the right.

A man of few words; sharp sense of humor; unconditional love; didn’t suffer fools very well … if not Type A, then certainly an achiever. 
Should have been celebrating a birthday on May 4.  But he died in 1995, a sudden heart attack at age 42.  I didn’t even know those things ran in the family – well on Grandma P’s side, they do.  This was just a couple of months before the OKC bombing and about a year before mom passed away.  And our family has never been the same since he left unexpectedly. 

It was a Wednesday night.  We were waiting for the Kymster to get home from her dad’s church youth night.  I was ALWAYS mad at those folks for getting her home past curfew.  As if being at church made it okay to be late for curfew.  Except they weren’t at church, they would go for pizza or cokes or whatever after the youth group.  Not in my book was it okay to be late for curfew, and it set up a curfew-avoiding girl for many years to come. 

Anyway, 10 PM-ish and the phone rings.  In the door walks Kymmie.  Confused, I answer the phone (assuming it was her saying she’d be late)…. No, it is Hillcrest Hospital with a nurse saying that my brother has had a myocardial infarction and could I go to his house and pick up the kids and bring them to the hospital.  I say to John that “Steve is dead.”  He says, “You don’t know that.”  I say, yes I do.  He wouldn’t be at that hospital (he worked at another one, which he thought was the schnizz) … anyway, he wouldn’t BE at THAT hospital unless he was dead.  Went to get his kids and they were busy doing teenage stuff … took a while to gather them up.  Got to the hospital and what I felt/knew to be true … was true. 

So today is a tribute to my Brother Steve.  Loved and missed.  Sorry, Steve, on how some things turned out, but I know and have no doubts about your strong sense of right and wrong.  Arm-flapping right.  Things weren't very gray to you.  So I think you know how things had to be in some regards.  You’re my big brother forever.


fishy said...

What a lovely tribute to your brother.

It is always sad when a loved one is lost as that single loss looms huge in the lives of parents, grandparents, sibling, spouse, children, aunts, uncles,niece, nephew, cousins, friends, co-workers, etc.
A single loss effects so many lives.

It does look like your brother did a fine job of packing lots of living into those abbreviated years. And clearly, a wonderful job in the role of big brother.

Godspeed Pam.

K9 said...

Dear God. so sorry, pam. enjoyed meeting and knowing a bit of your bro in this post. thanks for sharing him with us. xoxoxox

carmar76 said...

*HUGS* Thank you for sharing this lovely tribute to your brother!

Aunty Belle said...

IN heaven the birthday cakes are beyond fabulous: Happy Birthday Steve!

That handsome brother left his imprint on y'all--what a lovely remembrance--thank you for introducing us to him.

Try not to grieve--he would not want that. Celebrate his legacy, his spirit.

Milk River Madman said...

It must be dusty in here because my eyes are kind of misty. 42 is far to young but it's how you spend the time between the "dash" that matters. From what you said here, his "dash" was well spent. Beautiful, beautiful tribute Pam.

The Senator's Wife said...

Big hugs to you Pam OKC.

Boxer said...

what a lovely tribute. Mr. Boxer lost his brother in 1999 and our lives have never been the same, either. I understand.

Heart disease is a silent killer and I'm so very sorry for your loss.

The family photo of the three of you? I can see Kymmie in all of you. xoxox.