A Lesson From Steve

Around a week or so ago, my grandmother's partner (I say, partner because they weren't officially married) passed away due to a long battle with cancer. His name was Steve, and I loved him like he was my own grandfather. He had no connection to me or my sister, he didn't have to do anything with us, yet he gave us his unconditional love the day he met us. He always ready to provide for us in some way, and because we were kids at the time, that meant mostly toys and going out to lunch.

Never once did he grumble or say that we didn't need this toy or that we didn't need to go out and get McDonald's for the third time in a row this week, unlike my grandmother; but hey, she had a reason to say that, we were expensive as kids! Regardless, Steve just wanted us to be happy, and it didn't matter if that meant listening to us talk about something for hours on end, or buying us the next cool toy, he just did it.

In fact, he was the one who introduced me to my now-favorite comic series, Calvin and Hobbes, saying that the humor was right up my alley; he was spot on with that one, because a couple years later, I had all the books and even the one hundred dollar complete collection. I absolutely loved going through the books with him, the two of us laughing at the mischief that Calvin would routinely get into. Those times are probably some of the best memories I've ever had of him.

When I heard the news that he passed away, I felt a weird mixture of sadness and...relief. I think that the relief came from the fact that he was no longer suffering from cancer and the treatments that came with it. I remember the last time I saw him, in the summer before my 2016 Fall Semester...he looked so thin and tired, but he was so happy to see me and my sister again. It really put into perspective for me how much he was going through at the time; I had never known someone with cancer, or who was actively going through the treatments for it, so I wasn't really aware of the hardships that they had to go through.

Seeing him like that now, though, really did make me appreciate what people with cancer have to go through on a daily basis. So I guess in a way, it was good that he passed away; he was finally free from the clutches of cancer, finally free from the torment of daily life that you and I take for granted. But what hit me harder than that, was the sadness and grief that I felt knowing that I wouldn't be able to make more memories with him.

Steve was always around when I was a kid, but I never really talked to him when I was older, when I was around fifteen to now. I wasn't able to talk to him like an adult, I wasn't able to make those mature memories that I always wanted to make. Specifically, I know he was into technology at the time, and I thought it would be so much fun talking about the newest and latest tech pieces that were being made. But alas, that opportunity has passed.

I think somewhere in my grief I realized something, that I shouldn't have waited to talk to him, to make those memories with him. I did, and now it's too late. I should have called him or, or hell, driven up to visit him and my grandmother, but I didn't. And now, I'm really kicking myself for it. I guess what I'm trying to say, is to not wait. Don't wait around for them to talk to you, call them up, visit them, do something of your own initiative! Because if you don't, you'll be left sitting there wondering why you waited so long in the first place.

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