My older brother Steve passed away on June 26th. He was in Cottage hospital in Santa Barbara since May 25th, and I worked about 3 days since then and the rest of time I was up there. My sister Nancy is a nurse so either she or I was there every day having it covered so the doctors on their morning rounds would have someone to talk to and we could relay the information to the family.
We have an amazing family - Duane came out every week from Phoenix, Bonnie would drive out every weekend off from Vegas, My wife Janis would take time off from work which really puts a strain on her attorneys that she works for. I burned up my vacation and sick leave time long ago, I have no clue how much time I owe. Nancy would take time off work and adjust her schedule and would drive 60 mi each way sometimes 2x a day to come see him or talk to the doctors. Denise and Jeremy his wife and son would do the same driving from Lompoc to Santa Barbara.
Duane was 15 when Steve his father had Non-Hodgkins lymphoma and Jeremy was 1, now Jeremy is 15 and is watching his father try valiently to battle leukemia. So Duane and Jeremy got even closer than they were as half brothers.
My younger brother Jack came out the last week from Dallas where he now lives, so that was great, we hadn't seen him since Christmas and before that was my wedding in May, 2005. I spent Christmas sick the entire time in bed with the flu so basically didn't see him at all during that visit. He was here from Thursday until yesterday, so he was there when Steve died. Steve was four years older than me and I am four years older than Jack.
Steve was a great guy, great father, brother, and son, and will be missed. He wanted to be cremated and buried at sea so we'll do that at another time. The funeral is Friday at St. Lawrence church in Redondo Beach. Monsignor Lenihan who was Steves favorite priest has agreed to do the funeral even though he's been retired for a few years. He married me the first time in 1982, and was the priest that did my fathers funeral in 1983, so he has been like a member of the family for a long time. Steve died on my fathers birthday. Steve really missed my dad so it was an appropriate passing. He's up there in heaven with my dad and nana.