In August, my brother Steve took his final breath this side of heaven. He was surrounded by the love of his family and of others who have walked closely through the devastation of Parkinson’s Disease. The cruelty of PD is the slow erosion of the physical abilities we need in order to participate in life, from tremors in the hands to the eventual inability to walk. Eating and talking become difficult. By the time cancer invaded my brother’s body, his ability to fight it had been all but destroyed.
As pain filled his final days, sleeping became commonplace, and his breathing became labored. When we got word that he had found peace, I felt a ripping pain and a sense of calm at the same time. Amid everything there was joy. A quiet, beautiful joy knowing that my brother is no longer in pain. The knowledge that he is face to face with his Savior is reason for hope.
Steve was an avid reader. He soaked up the classics as well as comic books and novels. He was a sponge for sports statistics and followed the family direction when it came to college football. Our father played for UCLA seventy years ago, so it was in our blood. We were raised as Bruins fans, and Steve’s commitment to them was just another symbol of his loyalty.