Thursday, October 4, 2012

Brotherly Love

Remembering Steven - 
My Brother and I in March - I Miss you Steven, I Love you!
Steven Earl ****, 6’6”, 362, 38 years old….Born: November 28, 1973. Died: September 21, 2012 unexpectedly of pulmonary thrombosis in his sleep. To most people he was Steve, or Steven – but he was well known to us as Steven Earl, that’s what Mom or Dad would yell when he was in trouble.  When we were little I used to put bricks on his head to keep him from getting taller than me – It clearly didn’t work. That may be why he started finding unusual places to sleep. We would find him sleeping under tables, on the stairs, any quiet place…more than likely anywhere away from his big sister trying to “play” with him.
He was a son, brother, husband and father. He was a friend…to all of us.
If you or someone you know currently has or has ever had the password *************(changed to protect the innocent) to one or more of your electronic devices – I know that you are a friend or family member of Steven’s and relied on him for help to set up your computer and internet. He was our techie – he introduced us to MP3’s, ripping and burning disks, wifi and tried to keep us up to date with technology. 
He had a unique sense of humor – of course many jokes needed to wait until kiddos were out of the room!  But, he could even make the littlest ones laugh. Steven was to them, a big kid. My boys always wanted to know if they could stay the night with Uncle Steven, or when he would be coming over again so they could play.
He loved to play games – whether it was a video game, board game or trivia game. If he suggested playing a game, I knew it was a good one. Fact or Crap, Trivial Pursuit, Apples to Apples, Rayman, Guitar Hero, Mario, Xbox, Wii, PlayStation…He knew them all and not being a ‘gamer’ I know I am leaving out many more.  I do know that He could be the most aggravating person in the world, he would annoy you and push your buttons until you just about lost your temper then could disarm you with a wicked grin and saying something perfectly silly or incredibly inappropriate.  He really was the king of inappropriate humor.
Mary, his wife, called Steven her “Laughter.” Through thick and thin – through ups and downs, Steven was her laughter and her rock. And I know that she and the girls were his greatest joy. 
When I asked for memories of Steven from friends and family, so many people referred to him as a gentle giant – and while it is not in print – a few called him Grizzly Adams. Here he was this big, tough looking man (did I mention he was 6’6”?), all burly with a curly beard worried about a baby squirrel not being able to climb a tree. His heart, his spirit through it all was tender…he was a gentle giant.
Steven did not have an easy life, he struggled with constant pain and inner demons – but this man through it all left us with an incredible gift. The gift of his love.  I know he is looking down on us all amazed at how many people are here to celebrate his life. I do not think he ever realized how much he meant to us all.
The little booklet (given out at the funeral) is full of memories that friends and family sent, the theme of all of the memories together is a testament to his heart. I know we all have special memory of Steven – whether it was calling him for computer advice, laughing with him over a private joke or watching him with his girls. He was a big kid and connected with his girls, my boys and so many other kiddos. They loved to play with him, they trusted him and would sometimes open up to him when they would let no one else in. He didn’t judge them, he didn’t judge us.
I feel blessed by his love, even now. All of us have been blessed by Steven in one way or another. Smart, funny and giving.
Live, Laugh, Love~
Vanilla Mama