Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Way I Think of Steve

I am the oldest of 25 grandchildren on my maternal side and 4th of 21 on my paternal side.  As one of the "older" kids, I've had the pleasure of knowing cousins, aunts and uncles that my younger cousins do not even remember.  One such cousin is Steve.

My mother's sister, Florence, was the mother of six children.  Unfortunately, she died at the age of 34, leaving her husband, Bill, with six children to raise.  Steve was only seven years old when his mother died and had two younger siblings.  Uncle Bill married Phyllis and moved the family to Tucson, Arizona. Our Cincinnati family "lost" one of its branches.

But I'm one of the older kids -- so I have the memories . . . and the pictures. Carol was the sibling closest to my age.  She very much "mothered" her younger siblings, as all of us did.  Pictured above is a typical Easter Sunday picture with Carol and Bill each holding a younger child.  Tom and Karen are my siblings, and Terry is one of the Ryans.

One of my earliest memorable presents was a "Brownie" camera.  Taking photographs was an expensive proposition by the time you bought film, flash bulbs and paid for developing -- so different from today.  In the picture album from my childhood, I found the following two pictures of Steve.

I've always loved the picture with Steve and Jim wearing their cowboy outfits.

As one of the oldest, you grow up with the expectation that when illness strikes your generation, you will be one of the first to have to deal with it.  This, however, has been a surprising year.  My brother had to have a triple-bypass.  One cousin was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and another just had a mastectomy.  Imagine my surprise when I heard from Steve's sister, Pam, that Steve was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Steve's son, Ryan, sprang into action and put together a blog discussing his "Superman" father and the courage he has to address this disease.  In a few short days, Steve has been supported by nearly 100 comments of support and more than a couple of thousand page views on the blog from all over the world.  You can't help but believe that Steve is receiving the best care possible and that he is surrounded by his supportive family including his wife, three children and six grandchildren.  So I encourage my Cincinnati family to stop by Ryan's blog for Steve and leave some comments!  Let him know that despite the distance and the years, we are family.

Note:  Be sure to click on the word "blog" above to be linked to Steve's blog.

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