July 19, 2003 10:00 PM

// February 22nd, 2010 // A Mother's Grief

My family all came down from Lakewood and Buena Park today for what will, in all likelihood, be their last visit with Steve. Steve’s strength seems to be failing him more rapidly since he came home from the hospital last week.

It was an extremely difficult day for all of us and Steve maintained the subdued demeanor he’s had since getting the news from the doctor that he has only three to six months of his life left.

We spent most of today day chatting with each other out front around the shaded picnic table where Steve spends most of his time. But at one point I found myself utterly overwhelmed with the seeming finality of this visit and I sneaked away to the back yard for a few minutes of solitude. My brother Tim found me there, leaning against the pepper tree, tears brimming in his eyes.

My family has always been close and Steve and Tim grew up together more like close cousins than uncle and nephew. There is the same six year age difference between them as there is between Steve and his brother, Nick.

After taking a moment to collect himself, Tim asked me, “How do I do it? How do I tell him goodbye?” I told him to just come out with it. Steve’s a straightforward guy. He doesn’t want us pussyfooting around.

But I was bluffing. I’ve known for twenty-eight years that I would outlive my son and I still don’t know how to say goodbye.

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