July 25, 2004 ~ Another day set aside to honor Steve

// September 3rd, 2010 // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

We went out to Steve’s spot today. For Nett it was very emotional, but I felt at peace. Every once in a while our group would stop talking and the quiet out there was so…I just can’t describe it. Deafening. Peaceful. Heavy. Good.

This past year I have felt so apart from Steve….wanting a place to go to have his remains near me. Silly, I know. He’s gone. But I just felt the need to have a part of him, or what remains of him(?), nearby. I brought a Mason jar with me out to the desert today and Nick leaned down the hill to scoop up a mixture of sand and Steve’s ashes for me to bring home. He and the desert sand intermingled in a jar sit on the China cabinet now. It just feels right.

The Mason jar is a very fitting place to hold these ashes. No fancy urn for Steve. When he was a teenager, Steve’s preferred drinking glass was a quart size Mason jar. He always knew which glass on the kitchen counter was his, they are sturdy, and voluminous. He drank about a gallon of water a day at this point in his life ~ oh, that he had continued that habit!

It may seem a bit macabre but I found it amusing…There are still bone fragments on that barren hilltop and down the slope where we scattered Steve’s ashes. We didn’t point them out when we noticed but Nic and Chris found them and started picking up little pieces, putting them into their empty Tic-Tac containers. Chris held his up to me and said, “Daddy! Look Grandma. I have some of Daddy here!” Neither Nett nor I saw any reason to discourage it. So the boys carried little bits of their dad home with them.

We didn’t stay outside very long. It was 117 and the air was still thick with humidity from last night’s heavy rain. We headed back to the trailer and into the AC where we hung out with the family a little while before heading home.

I’m glad we were able to go today. It feels good to be in a place Steve loved so much and had so much fun in. Out in the desert is where he felt the most alive. If Steve could design his own piece of heaven, it would be sand, brush, and hills and valleys of varying sizes as far as the eye can see. And, of course, there would be quads for everyone to ride!

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