"Mom . . . Steve died"
The middle-of-the-night voice on the other end of the phone; my daughter.
I didn't quite understand.
"What? Steve who?"
Her Steve, Nathan's daddy, my son-in-law.
Steve died while sleeping in his brother's chair. The irony of it: his brother lives in their childhood home - the same house Steve and his twin brother, Robert were brought home from the hospital as newborns . . . and the very same house that his twin brother died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) . . . in his sleep. Steve never let go of his connection with his twin brother. Their bond was mysteriously strong. I feel in my heart that Steve never felt deserving of life - a life he felt Robert was robbed of as an infant.
I will always remember Steve's kind and generous heart, his infectious smile, his love of music and cooking and animals (especially his dog Zeus who died some years before) and his love of sleep! Like Nathan said, "At least daddy is doing what he loved to do - sleep!" Though he so enjoyed spending time with his friends - and he had many - he also valued his moments of quietness, solitude and contemplation. I will miss his big, warm hugs, the way he said, "I love you, mom," and the loving dinners he cooked for me. I miss Steve.
I have so much I want to say, but the words just won't release themselves from the tight grip of my heart.
Steven Michael Smith died on June 9, 2007 . . . at the age of Christ; thirty-three.
This past Friday, August 10, 2007 would have been his thirty-fourth birthday.
Sometimes life . . . insert sentiments here