My son Steven was my hero. He was born on May 25th, 1978 and left this world on December 1st, 2018. He was 40 years old and in the prime of his life. I would say that Steven was an ordinary guy, but he wasn’t. He was extraordinary.
Steven had a heart of gold. Kindness and compassion were his guides. He was selfless in many ways. His needs were minimal. He was a man of few possessions. Steven was content to live a very basic life. What mattered most to him were his children, family and friends. He loved, I mean really loved, fishing. This was where he found inner peace. Fishing, walking and strumming his guitar were what helped him manage the day to day challenges of living with a mental illness.
Steven lived with Bipolar 1 disorder. For most of us it’s difficult to understand just exactly what that means. We conjure up images of extreme mood swings, mania and depression. What does that look like? It’s not always what we might imagine. Steven was always, even while in a manic state, polite, considerate and kind. He always tried his best.
He loved deeply. It seemed that he had so many more chapters to write. He had so many gifts that he had yet to share with this world. Most of all, being a dad to his three “little people” as he called them.
Steven had dreams just like the rest of us. He worked hard. He loved nature and being physically active. He was generous to a fault. Self care wasn’t foremost on his mind. He hated to see anyone hurting and would never hesitate to console another human being regardless of who they were or where they were at.
We will never know exactly what happened on the day Steve’O left us. All we can do is guess that he wanted to take a break from the symptoms that presented themselves as his constant companion. A companion who was tiring at it’s best and completely overwhelming at it’s worst.
Steven smoked a substance that unknowingly contained fentanyl. His life, his hopes and dreams all went up in that smoke. This substance has no mercy. We lost our hero.
There are many unrecognized hero’s among us. I would like to honour a few of them here.