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.