Friday, July 25, 2008

In Memory

IN MEMORY

Steven Michael Manos

August 19, 1981 - July 24, 2008

Steven peacefully passed away at home late last night with the five of us by his side. On Wednesday he made it known he was ready to stop fighting and be at peace.

Steve inspired many of us as a runner, graduate student, and friend even before he began fighting this disease. However, this fight has inspired us beyond his many accomplishments, revealing his gentle soul and fighting spirit. We will miss his beautiful smile that blessed us when we least expected such strength.

The many contributions to Steven's blog gave him and many of us strength to fight and have joy even on the roughest days. Your continued contribution of memories will help us all remember how this disease could never destroy his strong, sweet spirit.

We will update this posting with service information as soon as it is determined.

As commented last week, the Steven Manos Scholarship Fund raised over $10,000 in gifts from several of Steve's professors in the first few days of its announcement. If you would like to add your gift to honor Steve, you can do so by any of the following means:

By credit card, at http://econ.arizona.edu/gift.htm
(Be sure to designate your gift "Economics Manos Fund")
By calling Lana Sooter at (520) 621-2821.
By sending a check, payable to "UA Foundation, Manos Fund", to Lana Sooter, Economics Department, U of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85721-0108.

-Jenny

-------------------------------------------------
UPDATE:

Visitation 6:00pm; Rosary 7:00pm, Tuesday, May 29th, at Brophy Chapel, 4701 North Central Avenue

Memorial Mass 1:00pm, Wednesday, May 30th, at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, 6351 North 27th Avenue

85 comments:

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Please accept my humble sympathy for Steve. He was an amazing young man that inspired many. May all that knew him find peace, comfort, and love.... He is no longer hurting but looking down on all of you in love.

M. Ryan Williams said...

All of our prayers go out to Steve and his family. He was a truly incredible guy. Steve, you will be missed a lot buddy.

I will remember running with the guys along the canal and Steve would still be cracking jokes while the rest of us could hardly catch our breath. I will remember seeing him in the law library down at U of A because he said he could not study in his cubicle at the business school. I will remember the quiet courage in his voice the last time we chatted over the phone.

I will remember his dry wit, warm smile and kind heart. Thanks for being my friend Stevie. Keep a watch over us man.

Anonymous said...

God bless Steven in Heaven and God bless his family and friends. I know Steven's courage has made its way into all of our hearts through this terrible time, and has made us that much stronger. All my love. Rest in peace Steve. His memory will always remain in my heart.
Sara Siesco

MDraye said...

Steve you will be dearly missed but will live on through our thoughts and memories. You remain an inspiration to us all and the world was lucky to have you for your too short of time spent here. You and your family are in our prayers.
Love, Emmett and Marie

Mudge said...

For those of you who look at The Calvary on the Attack picture Emerald City Invite, and don't know who's who, Steven is on the left. The front center runner is his friend Ben who followed him from Brophy to Seattle U and preceded Steven in death. In the end Steven would talk of Ben almost like Ben was waiting for him and hanging out with us in the room. On the right is Mikey. The three of them were quite the team, but now, Mikey, I know it is difficult for you. He loved you so and I still want to hear his toast to your wedding which I heard was impressive. Emmett and Marie, I asked Steven if he could come up and equally good toast to leave you with knowing he would not make it to your wedding. He smiled and said he would. It was assuredly going to be embarrassing so you lucked out since he never got around to it. I know he really wanted to be present for your wedding and the run in Spokane to see you all again.

Thanks, Jenny, for doing this final blog post in Steven's honor. You never would toot your own horn, but the Hospice nurse was so impressed with the care Steven had gotten and that was totally due to you. I'm sure he lived that much longer because you were his one true love and reason to fight for his life.

I still can't believe he is gone and all this really happened. Those of you who are reading this, but never got to meet Steven, by now know you missed someone of high quality. He also surrounded himself with the like...his friends and Jenny. You are all special to him, and he is looking out for all of us now. His proud mom, Jean.

Aunt Mary said...

I would have never imagined how difficult it would posting to this blog that has brought me so much comfort in the past months. Steve, you have been so much a part of the lives of all your cousins and aunts and uncles who have loved you so very much. There was never a summer whether it was little league or the high dive at Sunnyslope pool that you were not involved. How lucky I am to forever hold those memories in my heart.

I am surely one of the luckiest. I will forever be changed by the kindest and gentle spirit of Steven Michael Manos evidenced from the time you were an infant.
Your battle of the last 8 months only epitomized your tremendous strength and zest for life. No matter how dire the situation you always managed a thumbs up or a simple smile.

Our lives will forever be changed. While the present seems to difficult to comprehend, I know the future will hold many positive reflections of just how extraordinary your young life was. I love you, Steve, with all my heart. I will be always grateful for your positve influence in my life. I will miss you waiting for me at the bottom of a difficult run on our boards or watching you swing the bat in over line at lifeguard tower 11, I will hold you deep in my heart knowing that you will always be there to steer me in the right direction.

I love you my angel. I am in awe of your fight, and I trust that you are with your grandfather discussing the next great sail. Sleep with the angels, my sweetie.

Yours forever.

Kevin in Seattle said...

My favorite memories of Steve involve horsing around on runs and at meets. The picture of Steve on the front of the blog reminds me of countless miles spent running through Capital Hill and along Lake Washington. He usually had some sort of impersonation, most likely from a Saturday Night Live skit. Sometimes we had to settle for some inside joke he and Mikey shared (probably a caricature of another teammate), which was equally entertaining.

It has been several years since I have seen Steve. It pains me to know I missed the chance, in this life at least. My life is better for having known Steve. There is so much Steve did not get a chance to do but yet so much he was able to experience in a short time. He had true friends. He had the unconditional and unwavering support of family. And he knew the love of a woman.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Manos family.

Kevin & Erica

unclejim said...

I think most who read this know that Steven shared a love of running with his dad, my brother Tom. To them, running is much more than a way to enable yourself to eat as much as you like without being fat. Although with Tom, sometimes I think the eating thing is a close second. To them, it is as much for the soul as it is for the body.

There are fitness freaks who look upon those of us less fit with a high level of disdain. But something I have always loved about Tom and something he surely passed on to Steven is the way they never preach fitness but encourage it only through their passion. Whenever I would take running up again, and believe me what I do when I run bears little resemblance to what Tom and Steven do, Steven would be so supportive. "That's great Uncle Jim." Wonderful words to someone who has plodded through a couple of miles. Only Steven could make them sound so genuine.

But that is how he was about so much. At family get togethers, he would always ask about what I was doing or what my kids were doing with real, genuine interest. Even when he was sick, he would talk to me about how Scooter liked the U of A and his business classes in particular. And there was no doubt that his interest was real. He had this way of looking at you when we talked about such things that just knocked me out. That is what I will miss most about him. And I will be reminded of him everytime I discuss my next attempt at running with Tom, as they are so similar in that respect.

If Steven had never become ill, we all would never have learned about how many of you out there loved him. Through this blog or through the Wednesday rosaries, I have come to know so much about his friends at SU and how much of an impact he made at Brophy. I still think one of the most amazing acts of love was Steven's coach at SU going down to Tucson to spend some time lifting his spirits. Just as amazing were Bethany and Jamie attending every rosary. If you measure a person by their friends, Steven rates high.

And using that same measure, Tom and Jean have set a great example. Tim shows up at countless rosaries, after letting Steven and Tom live in his house in Tucson. And he isn't Catholic. (although I think the nuns were working on him). So many of Tom and Jean's friends have dropped food, drink and love by, with offers of any help they could provide. Mary Novotny commanding me to get a priest from Seattle down here and she would pay for the flight. And equally amazing were Ryan's friends from SSJ. The Heilands and Nagakis leading the rosary charge. And the Desantiago (sp?)kid showing up the last Wednesday all by himself. I have witnessed more love in the last couple months. I almost feel guilty knowing how much these expressions of love have affected me. And Steven, you inspired them all.

But, no greater love I have seen than that of Jen. There are so many things I feel bad about Steven missing, but none compare with the loss of the chance for Jen and he to grow old together. I am in awe of the support she provided through all of this. Nothing other than a deep rooted love could provide the reason for doing so much. She will always be a very special member of our family. As proud as I was to call Steven my nephew, I am just as proud to call Jen a Manos. Jen, you will forever hold a piece of all of our hearts with you.

Our family will never be the same. Steven has left a hole that can never be filled. All of us are better people for having him a part of us for the short time he was here.

More than anything, I want Tom and Jean and Jen and Amy and Ryan to know how much I love you. Tom, I know you have lost someone so much like yourself. Jean, I know of no stronger mother's love than yours. Amy, I cannot begin to describe how much I ache for all you have been put through. Ryan, I know a brother's love is something special. I am sorry that you will miss the same older brother experience I have had with your dad.

And Jen. It is through tears that I type this. You were so lucky to find a love so many never experience. I know it is of little consolation, but you have stolen a part of the hearts of every Manos. You cared for someone who was so special to all of us. There just are not adequate words.

Steven, I will miss so much your gentleness. I am sure Popi was glad to see you. Enjoy the sailing up there until we all meet again.

Greg said...

This Thursday morning I ran on the beach to the first playlist I posted in response to Jen's idea to compile inspiring songs to help Steven through his radiation and chemo. With each track - the 1812Overture, the college fight songs -I kept thinking that even though Moke was probably only days away from losing the battle we all so hoped he'd win,the glory and exuberance of that victory music seemed all the more appropriate with Steven now being so close to finally making it past these many months of suffering. Now that he has, it seems so clear that the way he fought what sadly turned out to be the inevitable made him the decided winner. No one can say that the cancer didn't hit Moke with everything it had, but Moke took it all with astounding courage and as much grace and heart as any person possibly could. Steven has set the mark for us all.

We all knew we were going to miss Steven terribly, but it's amazing how that phone call in the middle of the night we all knew was coming has changed the way we think about Steven - it's no longer subdued conversation about how he looks today, how he's feeling, how he's breathing. Last night there were a lot of stories and a lot of laughs and they all had to do with the strong, vibrant, sweet and funny Moke who made our lives so much better for almost 27 years.

Greg

Elz said...

Whenever I tell people of Steven's 8 month battle and the end we hoped would be different, they ask, "were you close?" I am never sure how to answer that question. I have fond memories of Steven as a child, and even though I did not spend as much time with him as we grew older, my heart still aches with a mixture of sadness and pride. After leaving Mary's house last night, it was clear that our family and this world has lost an amazing person. He was never anything less than an inspiration to all he met. I am proud of his fight and know that he is now in a better place.

Tom, Jean, Amie, and Ryan, how much I love you and wish you any peace that is possible at this point.

Jen, you have become an inspiration to us all about how to love and care for someone more than ourselves. You will always be a part of our family for the love you and Steven shared.

Steven, you will be missed something fierce. We love you always.....and as has been said already we know that you and Popi are each in good company.

Danny King said...

Sometimes words are inadequate to express the impact someone has had in yor life. For me this is one of those times. In a way I think it is somewhat fitting, as Steven never used words to live his life, he simply acted. He never boasted his successes in life although he had many; he quietly was one of the most remarkable people I have ever met in my life.

My goal in life has always been to try to emuluate the way my grandfather Poppy lived his life--with passion for life (whether it be sailing or running), a commitment to family, and with quiet humility. Steven lived his life this way. He attacked life with passion. He loved to sail, loved to run, and loved economics. Steven was committed to family. His love for his parents, Ryan and Amie was constantly apparent. His love for Jen was equally powerful and inspring to us all. Steven was also the most humble person I have ever met.

Now I have two people who have provided me with an amazing example of how life should be lived. I love you Steve.

Danny

Bill said...

Moke: You were one of the most genuinely good persons I have ever known. Your passions for running, quoting Bill Murray, for lining screamers one inch above the ground and one inch over the line, for politics and economics, and for your Jen all go unrivaled. You were easily the most driven and motivated person I've ever known. You were and will remain a great inspiration to me and all of those who knew you. Your departure leaves me one less cardardy, one less OTL first ballot hall of famer, one less brother, cousin, friend, and confidant. But that's something I can endure because I know you're in good company, minus your Jen, who has to me redefined devotion, courage and love. Tom, Jean, Jenny, Prinny, and Rye: you all consume my every thought.

Chad Vader said...

I try to think up the words to describe what Steve meant to me and in the situations we got to know each other best I would have to say "Challenge" comes to me now. Although Steve meant different things to different people at different moments. I like to remember some of the more intense ones that still drive me today. To be honest I am the type of person who likes a challenge and can be relentless when it comes to meeting that challenge. When Steve first came to SU to run I found a driven individual with dreams and passions similar to my own. That first year I remember workouts with Steve that would just challenge your ability to tolerate the pain of who could finish a workout faster or last longer or can look the less battered and bruised. Not to say that our other teammates weren't there to take the pace, but to me Steve seemed to enjoy the challenge as much as I did. Paula and Brian can probably vouch for our constant desire to do more (too much) in our training. Spend two hours running with Steve in the freezing cold rain across Mercer island into the next town and tell me you don't get to know the guy. Steve definitely brought his fire to other aspects of his life and for me after we all took our different directions I could still feel connected with him when I redline the last interval of a workout or dreamed of better races ahead. Steve was always there in spirit as he is now. Its hard for me to describe the gentle side of Steve without thinking of the laughter we all shared. Steve could be serious and focused, but he could also be a goof when he wanted. I will greatly miss Steve now knowing I will never be able to physically enjoy his presence, but will continue to run and work with his spirit in my heart. God bless Steve, all his family, and friends who were there for him during his final challenge.
Godspeed Steve Godspeed...
-Carlos

perkeys said...

Tom, Jean, Amie, Ryan, Jenny and the wonderful extended family,
Our love and prayers go out to you. We ask for God's spirit to comfort, embrace and guide you in this difficult time. Our memories of Steve will always put a smile on our face and bring warmth and laughter to our hearts. We will see you soon. Hugs to all of you. The Perkeys

Anonymous said...

Tom, Jean, Amie, Ryan, Jen, and the entire Manos family -

My heart aches for all of you. I hope you can find peace in knowing Steven is at peace and watching over each of you. I always admired Steven's passion for running and will think of him every time I see my Pre poster with the quote "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." Steven certainly gave his best and was surely a gift to this world. I wish you peace and love you all very much.

Mary G.

kamczy said...

Jean, Tom and Family,

Our sympathy and prayers are with you at this very sad time. Steven loved, and was loved by, so many...an incredible person, indeed. We send our love to all of you.

Kathy, Jeff, Alex, JT & Kevin Zywicki

Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathies for the tragic loss of such a remarkable young man.

Karen said...

I just found this blog today, and am so sorry for the loss of such a young and spirited man. My husband had squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and went through the radiation treatments, just as Steve described in his posts here.

It has been 8 years now for Jim, and he still has complications from loss of his salivary glands and the dry mouth as a result of that; his thyroid glad was killed by the radiation treatments so he has to take synthroid for that; other little things that are the result of the radition treatments that saved him. However, every day I have with him is like a gift from God, and I treasure each one.

I sat here this morning reading every word of this blog, wiping tears from my eyes, knowing it could well have been my husband's story, being thankful for myself that it was not, and sorrowful for you that it was Steve's. Even though I never met him, I want you all to know how very much I know the world will miss him and be less because he is no longer in it.

Margaret Lowe said...

Dear Tom, Jean, Ryan, Amie and Jen,
Steve touched so many lives in such a short time – he certainly touched our lives forever. In the beginning he was just the faceless name of our daughter’s boyfriend’s running mate at Seattle U. But, after four years Steve was one of Megan’s and Michael’s closest friends and was the best man at their wedding.

Sunday is traditionally family night at our house and that’s how we got to know Steve. Megan would call every so often and asked if Steve could come over too. We were so impressed with this polite, articulate and funny young man. It was so much fun to sit around the table and listen to Steve and Michael talk about running and the team. We loved getting to know him and having him in our home.

Steve joined us for dinner one Mother’s Day a couple of years ago. He was so gracious and thanked us for including him, but we were the lucky ones. I was so pleased and proud I was able to be Steve’s “mom for a day.”

As I fight back the tears I hope you will find comfort in knowing how many people loved and respected Steve. He touched the lives of everyone he met. We will miss him so much but are so fortunate he was part of our lives and that we have such wonderful memories of an exceptional young man.

Our love and deepest sympathy to all of you,
Margaret and Al Lowe

Patty Mazier said...

Steve has been in my prayers since I learned he was battling cancer. Although I have known the family for many years, I had the good fortune to spend some time getting to know Steve in the teacher's lounge of Brophy the summer he taught economics. He reminded me so much of his dad and grandfather. Steve spoke of his family and Seattle University with such fondness and a great big smile on his face. To the family and friends of Steve, although your sorrow is great may you find comfort in the footprint on the sands of time that Steve left behind. I love the poem of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,"Psalm of Life" that reminds us all that Steve's soul remains. His accomplishments and gentle spirit will remain forever. Ryan I feel fortunate to have taught you. Many of the fine qualities your brother possessed you also have. Peace be with all of you, Patty Mazier

The Pierre's said...

To the entire Manos family which we all know includes Jen, our heartfelt love and condolences go out to you. Your loss can not be measured nor imagined by those of us who stand by the side and pray for you. Know that we love you with all the strength and love taught to us by our heavenly Father. Know also that this is going to be one long blog. I am never about short and sweet.
Throughout these months we have hoped that our prayers would heal. Little did we know what would come.
To Steven, so many lessons were learned on your young shoulders. Some that no books could teach. No teacher could lecture and no prayer could answer. Your courage set an example by which all that knew of your fight were encouraged to be part of your battle. On your shoulders came our hopes. Our prayers. The simple act of coming together. The Wednesday night rosary, the moments when together we spoke in one voice. The voices that linked us to your journey. Today we are linked by faith. We are blessed to have known that you inspired the best strength. The gift of prayer. The gift of the rosary. The gift of knowing that what brought us together certainly went beyond the realties of life and loss
To Jean, my heart goes out to you. That stupid mug that now seems to be in everyone’s hand reminds me of the promise to pray. Its now part of a constant dialogue with God and you know how much I love to talk. All joking aside, your day to day fight to preserve the life of your child was a testimony to the endless love of a mother and son. Your love gave this amazing son a light that will forever be a part of our understanding of him and what it meant to love full of grace, and forever.
To Ryan. Could you imagine that your friends would come together knowing how important this brother was to you. Could you imagine that time and time again they would know that rosary night would take priority and that to stand and to speak those prayers would teach us all the greatest examples of the presence of God and love? Fears and fumbles put aside the connection of community believing in the power of love. They learned to pray. They learned the rosary. They will never forget. Come back over. They miss you. We all want to see your face
This loss seems greater than our hearts can handle. So the spirit takes over. To the Manos family, we can only say that all the love that we’ve learned from you is now the source by which our prayers are formed. So united by “Our Father” on earth here with us, as it is in heaven, with Steven. We can only say Amen.

-The Pierre's

gnawlej said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve and his family. It has been eight years since our paths parted as we left BCP, and I am most sorry I will never have the privilege of them crossing again.

-Timothy Williams and Family

Anonymous said...

Tom and Jean, Amy and Ryan, I am so sorry for your loss. I will never forget Steven. Michael

Anonymous said...

Thoughts, prayers and love to the family and Jenny. Steven will be missed by so many. We are all so fortunate to have had him in our lives. Thank you Steven for all you have given us. I know you will always be with us.

mary heiland said...

I only knew Steven through his proud mom, who helped me know him well. John (aka Happy) knew him through Ryan who was equally proud of his big brother. Still we all felt blessed by this courageous person who taught us so many lessons of life and how to live. Steven was the product of Jean and Tom's great role modeling... always showing kindness and genuine concern for others. He was even concerned for his doctor and how hard their journey together might be on him ... which to me sounded just like something Jean would be worried about. I must say that for the Heiland family, Wednesdays just won't be the same. I will miss sending out that weekly reminder to come pray. I will miss the gathering of friends from all walks of Steven's life who came together in love and friendship. But I will always remember Jean's smile as she spoke of Steven's gentleness, his strength & courage, and his ability to light up the room and her heart with his smile. As a mother, I can't even begin to imagine the unbearable pain of losing a child. But Jean's words to me last week, "I dont' know what to do but trust the Lord" summed up what this family is all about ... faith and love.
Love & peace to the entire Manos family from all the Heilands ... Greg, Mary, Katie, John, Emily & Michael

rmmcquaid said...

As I read the comments on Steven"s blog, my feelings of sadness have changed to feelings of inspiration. Watching the Manos family, and of course Steven's incredible courage, during the past eight months has been an incredible experience for me, and as evidenced from all of these wonderful comments, for so many other family members, friends, and even total strangers. It has reinforced my strong belief that Faith, Family and Friends are the true values in life. Once again Steven has finished the race in the lead. A true winner, and I am so grateful for Steven and his family"s INSPIRATION. God Bless.

David Reiley said...

I'm really grateful to have gotten to know Steve as a research assistant in economics. He was a sharp guy with tons of enthusiasm and positive attitude.

cincin@cox.net said...

Your cousins in California are so very sorry for the loss of Steven!
We know how much he was loved,and will be missed by all! At least he's with MaeMae now!!Our prayers and thoughts go out to Tom, Jean and the family, and especialy to Jen.
All our love The Nelson Family- Bob, Kathy, Cindy & Kim

Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences. I don't know Steve or any of his family or friends. I saw the announcement in the paper yesterday, which compelled me to check this blog.

As I began reading his initial posts, I was drawn in to follow his story and now I have read every entry. I am so amazed by what a wonderful family you are. How loving and caring, and how fantastic you were to always tell one another. This is such a wonderful thing to start the blog, and nice you all can look back at the comments left by Steve and all his friends and family. That surely will bring some comfort in the dark days ahead.

My heart breaks for a loss so great and at such a young age. Steve must really have been one amazing person.

I was especially moved by the love from Jen. Even an outsider can feel how much you loved one another, and what an amazing person you must be in such a hard time. I'm sure your great care and love from you and everyone was of great comfort to Steve in his final days.

I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. Best wishes to all his friends and family. This is certainly a hard time for you all, but as it played out on the blog, you certainly will hold one another up.
I wish you peace and lots of wonderful memories of this fighter Steven.

lindsayellen said...

the first thing that comes to my mind when i wake up in the morning or when i find myself unoccupied with other things is: this sucks. plain and simple.

the more i try and make sense of steve's death the less i understand it. hopefully one day i'll get there but until then my comfort lies in my absolutely amazing family (grandma,aunts, uncles, cousins) and my fond memories of steve.

i think my favorite memories of steve are those from high school, especially cross-country. little known fact: i ran cross country. not well. at all. but steve was always there at the finish line cheering "come on winnie! almost there!" or running with me for the last leg.

im going to miss his smile and his laugh especially but every time i look at ryan i see it, which comforts me to no end.

jenny,jean, tom, ryan and ames-i love you guys so much.

Jen said...

I don't know what to say, but I want to try to convey my love for Steve. After Steve left us, I stayed up and just wrote. Anything I try to write now won't satisfy me, so I decided to just post what I wrote that night...

Steven and I's assigned cubicle chairs in the Economics Department our first year of graduate school were probably no more than six feet apart. He sat behind my left shoulder, and I behind his left shoulder. We both are lefthanded, which meant to glance left-back at the other, the pencil had to be paused. I knew, and I knew Steven knew, a prolonged pencil pause from problem solving meant "I'm stuck". What else do you do but look left-back at your new classmate to see if his pencil pause might mean he is stuck, too? So during the first few weeks of school, two simultaneous pencil pauses and glances left-back led to study partners. Study partners led to best friends, and quickly we knew we were soul mates.

I wouldn't say I knew or even believed in the concept of a soul mate before I met Steven, but I can't explain our relationship any other way. One day during math camp, while discussing some math problem, I realized looking into his big blue eyes was distracting me from figuring out this math problem! I knew our friendship would be something more from that day forward. No matter how determined I was to make graduate school the only focus in life, I couldn't ignore that the blue eyes of my study partner-turned-friend were making me blush.

We realized quickly we were such a great team. We called ourselves the Green Machine, because one day a few of our classmates pointed out we were both wearing mostly green, seemingly coordinated clothing. We understood each other's weaknesses, and found even those weaknesses beautiful. I told Steven one day I knew he truly loved me because all my weaknesses to him were lovable...what a sweetheart. We each had a soul that only felt true happiness and comfort when the other's was always near. We frequently discussed that even if something did tear us apart physically, as it now has, those souls were joined as the Green Machine, and that's why we considered ourselves soul mates.

Love is expressed through actions and not defined by a word. There are many types of boyfriends and husbands, but a soul mate is just that. Steven gave me a ring several weeks ago, passed down to him from MawMaw, and we held our own private commitment ceremony. Steven was given his Popi's wedding ring a few years ago, so I put it on his finger, and he didn't take the ring off from that evening on. But the ceremony felt silly -- between the trials of graduate school and our illness, our commitment was proven long ago.

We had 36 months together, for which we lived a lifetime.

Luckily, we realized this often. We truly were in shock for how much love we had for each other. We had each other to cry with during the many emotional periods of graduate school. We realized often some of our best memories were just talking and laughing at night for a few hours after an exhausting 18-hour day. In fact, the majority of our time together was spent at our cubicles, the basement of the law library, or the health sciences library. We studied, rather than went on real dates, but loved (nearly) every moment. We absolutely never grew tired of each other under so many stressful circumstances. Our chemistry naturally allowed us to be so patient with each other. During any time we could take off, we tried to take it together and had a no-more-than-three-days-apart rule. I guess being around someone so many hours, day after day, time apart was absolutely devastating. We never grew tired of each other, which constantly amazed us. We traveled together during a few breaks and have wonderful memories of our adventures.

Few have the opportunity to spend nearly every hour of every day with their best friend. For the first 25 months of knowing each other, we estimated that on average, no more than four hours per day were spend not by each other's side. What a blessing I have been given to have been able to live so much with him during such a short time.

We agreed from the day of his diagnosis we would fight as a team. His soul is so precious, I couldn't do less than fight this battle as hard as I could with him. We still had happy memories, like relaxing walks in the Foothills, dancing to the great songs suggested by his supporters, discussions about economics, and nighttime talks. During these ten months, we tried so hard to find good and stay positive. I would ask him often what happiness he found that day. Especially the past few months, I would ask him before going to bed, hoping he didn't find any day unimportant or uneventful, but we always found moments of success and
happiness existed in every day. A few hours before he left us, we kissed during a moment he was feeling overwhelmed, and after our lips locked he said "That was a good one!" That was a gift Steven shared with many of us -- staying calm during a rough situation. These past ten months were more brutal than most could imagine; yet all of us who saw his suffering also saw him never complain.

I found my soul mate, so I don't feel I said goodbye to Steven tonight. I had to let Steven physically go, but I was so fortunate to lay by his side with his amazing parents, sister and brother. Steven was a special gift to me, but his entire family has been an extra blessing for which my gratitude and love can't be expressed. I feel so lucky to have that big fireball of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandma, parents, brother and sister in my life.

A song by Michelle Featherstone, titled "I'm there too" has always been in the back of my mind for the past ten months. I recall he and I lying on the bed, discussing these lyrics in detail. How would our souls still be together when we were physically apart? We talked about this often. We never could have imagined this parting could be ten months away. Once he was diagnosed, we mourned the life we very likely wouldn't have together growing old. Later, we mourned the likelihood we might not have children. But I never imagined ten months. I haven't wanted to listen to this song since his diagnosis, but now, a few hours after Steven has left me physically, I yearn to hear the words:

I see myself in you
In everything you do
And when you’re all alone at night
You know I am by your side
Cuz I’m there too

I see me in your eyes
And I’m the tears you cry
And when you fall apart
And are dying from a broken heart
I’m there too

I see your footsteps in the sand
As you journey on across this land
But if you should fall on your way
Then I will carry you that day
Cuz I’m there
I’m there too
Yeah I’m there too

I see your face in mine
And I know there’ll come a time
When you will take my hand
And I will understand
That you’re there too
When you will take my hand
And I will understand
That you’re there
You’re there too


I love you Steven.

Anonymous said...

Dear Amie and family,

I was so sadden to read of Steve's passing. I have no words that can ease your sorrow, but I do want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Gene Moan

Nathan Heitzinger said...

Kevin, I share your disappointment in not having seen Steve in at least a couple years.

To me, Steve was a real role model, primarily my freshman year in college. He was my "connection" through high school to my new team, and guided me in a genuine manner. A very unique individual not afraid to be himself. He will be missed and never forgotten. Thanks for everything, Steve.

madstrat said...

jenny and family i am so sorry for your loss. steven was always a great inspiration.
peace and love

Chavez said...

I have been following this blog since its’ early days, and wanted to share our condolences. My little family is a part of the vast SSJ family, and my husband has had the privilege of working under Tom at MC. Although we’ve been gone from the school for several years now, I’ve crossed paths with Jean on occasion at SSJ functions and was always taken by her warmth and her gentle spirit. When I think of you, Jean, you are that special someone that lives and embodies her faith. This was apparent to me the first time we met! I have a somewhat vague recollection of a elementary-aged Steve as one of the “big kids” at St. Simon when our daughter, Kelly, had Aunt Maryann for her first grade teacher in 1993 (…or perhaps my memory is from one of the many plays, masses, or Fall Festivals). After following this journal, I can see that I missed out on knowing a very fine young man.

I’m certain it took great courage for Steve and his and family to chronicle this difficult journey. In following the entries and comments, what has been so evident and beautiful to me has been the sacredness of the love that surrounded Steve. That love transcended the written messages in the blog, and touched those of us who followed the updates. The words not only revealed a wonderful sense of Steve’s gentle but heroic spirit, but also his quality-of-character and maturity for a man of such few years. Many evenings Tony would come in from work and ask if I had read Steve’s blog (or some of the latest responses) because something had greatly touched him. I have gleaned so much from Steve’s (and his family and friends’) inspired words and from the selfless acts of those who love the Manos family.

Although the outcome was different than the miracle we were praying for, Steve and his loved ones have inspired and challenged us to live better and to love more deeply. Our continued prayers are with all of the precious Manos family (Jen included).

Janelle, Tony and Kelly Chavez

Anonymous said...

As I read through the blogs of compassion and caring for Steve and his family I feel overwhelmed with sorrow at the loss of Steve. He clearly gave much to many in his life and his death, even to those like me who did not know him well. I am reminded of the preciousness of life, the importance of each moment and the importance of each person who touches us and we touch in return.
My heart felt sympathy to Tom, his family and Jen.
David O

lydialauer said...

I have been reading the posts since friday and it has been so special and comforting to read the wonderful memories and touching notes to Steve, which all bring a smile to my face, just as Steve did as well. He was definitely a fun and engaging member of the SU team, and my experience would not have been the same without him. My favorite memories of Steve involve a road trip with Mikey 3 years ago to Eugene for the Prefontaine Classic, and his help in putting together a small Easter dinner for those of us that couldn't travel home.

Reading Jen's post this morning was so beautiful. I remember hearing through the grapevine, a few years back that Steve had a girlfriend... it was a big deal ;) and we (the teamies) all were wondering what she was like. I now know that she was Steve's soulmate.

jonathan sims said...

steve was always one of the good guys. i don't have a single memory of him from brophy where he wasn't smiling. i'll always carry with me all the fun i had with him and that stupid band of ours. tragedy doesn't begin to express what has happened here.

strength to all you family and friends.

Sara said...

Jenny

Please know that you are in my prayers during this difficult time. Even though I didn't know Steve I knew he had to be special to be with you. By reading this blog and the posts I was so inspired by the type of person Steve was. As I read your post about Steve I was so touched at the amazing love you had for each other. You are so lucky to have found such a wonderful person to share these past few years with. Your relationship is one few really get to experience. I know that you found your soulmate and that you fought with him to the end. I love you Jenny and please know that my heart is hurting for you.

It is not length of life, but depth of life.

-- Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Love,
Sara

Anonymous said...

Steven,
You were such a gentle soul, filled with love, humor, sincerity and such genuineness. You will be missed by all. I have such wonderful memories of you, Amie, Tom and Jean at Frank and Rosemary's cabin up at the lake--taking canoe rides and hikes to Picnic Rock and scavenger hunts and wading out into a freezing lake just to go to the store to buy candy and be able to say "charge it please". My heartfelt prayers, love and sympathy go out to your mom and dad, sister, brother, Jenn and all your friends and relatives whose lives were so enriched by your presence, spirt and smile. Watch over us Steven, because I have no doubt whatsoever that you are in heaven!

Molly

lking said...

Hi Baby Doll,

Tonight I am writing you with a heavy heart and more tears. I am glad that you are finally at peace, but it's going to be so hard for us as a family to continue on with our "Manos Family Traditions" without you. You could melt my heart with your shy smile and your gentle spirit.

This past Christmas, I was so excited for the cousin party....because I couldn't wait for you to open your presents from your cousins. Of course, you smiled, thanked us profusely and put the clothes on and tried the jacket on immediately. You were so thrilled....but that was just your nature. You appreciated anything and everything that was done for you, you never took anything for granted.

It always amazed me that you and Danny were at the same grade school, and high school, in the same grade, and you were never jealous of each other's accomplishment. Instead I remember the times that you would silently tell me that Danny was recognized at school for something, or Danny would tell me in his quiet manner, that you were recognized for something different. You two were always so happy when each other succeeded--it was the unconditional love you had for each other, a love like no other.

The relationship you had with Billy was somewhat different. You looked up to Billy and truly treated him as an older brother. He loved the times you had together, whether it was OTL in San Diego, a family get together, or a short visit to Tucson to watch movies with you. You also wondered many times, if you and Billy were ever going to find your soul mates. Thank God for Jen and Kate.

And then the relationship you developed with Wacky. All fun, no serious moments, giggling and loving and living life to the fullest. (Except the times when Ted and Wacky were on the same OTL team playing your teamm, especially if they were losing.)Then the arguements began as if you were all brothers.

I loved you from the first time I set my eyes on you the day you were born, and through out your life I was more and more in love with you, and so proud of everything you accomplished, but more importantly, the young man you became. I will miss you every day. I am so glad that my little brother Steve and my dad Steve are with you....

I will like you for always, and love you forever....

Eternal Peace and Love,
Aunt Lynnie

Adrian said...

My first memory with Steve is about a hike we had in Sabino Canyon on a beautiful day. We saw many plants and animals that amazed both of us. From the top we had a panorama of Tucson and its surroundings. Steve, as you imagine, was not very talkative, but we actually had great conversation.
Another one is when my adviser gave me his two football tickets for a game UofA had with, I believe, Oregon. I am not much fun of football but I decided to go and I invited Steve to come with me. During the game he explained to me the rules since I did not know them. That helped a lot to enjoy the game. And it was quite a game. At half time we were in deep trouble but we recovered dramatically and ended up winning the game. I filmed the end of the game with my cell when students rushed to the field to cheer the victory. It still reminds me of the good time we had. The clip is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uysdt87jm2A
I also remember when my mom visited me last Spring. We’ve met Steve in the college’s building. He greeted my mom with “Ce faci” which is the Romanian for “How you’re doing”. Sweet. I never asked him how he knew those words, my guess is Amy or Seth gave him some elementary Romanian lessons.
Me, Steve and Jenny were into watching good, independent movies when we had the time to do it. At the beginning it was me and Jenny who chose the pictures since we believed in our comparative advantage vis a vis knowing which movie deserves our scarce time. I remember the last movie we watched together before all the chemo stuff started was chosen by Steve and it was pretty good, a sign that he did not give up even in the choose-the-evening-movie “race”. One night all 3 of us prepared to watch a movie and we started a conversation about life, friends, etc. and we realized it was midnight and we were still talking.
I wished to get to know Steve more. In a quite unfortunate way, that happened through this blog when I had the chance to “meet” his family and friends and to understand more about the guy that initially seemed to me fragile but he proved to be so strong.
As others, I was touched by Steve’s soul and that is why I feel he is still here. Steve’s battle with cancer and Jenny’s love for him inspired me in a way that I have never experienced before.
My thoughts go with Jen and Steve’s family.
Adrian
PS: for those of you who had not watched the clip with Steve and his dad when he finished the treatment in March, here it is again:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kSfRkOjmKQ
It is another memory of him that I cherish.

Marissa said...

I met Steve through my roommate Holly, who was also on the SU cross country team. Steve often stopped by our room to borrow some sort of office supply, but his visits usually turned into some sort of impersonation or story. We always ended up laughing.

I'm originally from North Idaho, and I had the pleasure of giving Steve a ride to Spokane to visit a family member at Gonzaga on one of my trips home. We had a great visit, and we also had lots of fun listening to some oldies. On the way home, I wasn't feeling very well, and Steve offered to drive even though he had had a full weekend too. What a gentleman!

Steve touched so many people, and he will be greatly missed.

I pray that memories help sustain you - his dear family and friends - during this difficult time. Please know that you are being held in the thoughts and prayers of many.

Scott said...

I just found out about Steve's battle with cancer and recent passing today. Like a few others who have posted here, I also ran with Steve in high school. My thoughts and prayers will be with Steve's family and friends. I'm sure Steve will be dominating the 10K in heaven!

Matt said...

I was drawn to Steve's story after being tipped off by a fellow Brophy alum. I am a generation ahead of Steve and knew his aunts back in high school. His story was compelling from the beginning, not only because he obviously was loved by so many, but because of the way he lived his life. And his photograph - his eyes - there is someone who must have drawn everyone's attention when he entered a room. I obviously didn't know Steve, never met him, but I certainly have been inspired by his life, by his struggle. My wife has been battling cancer the past three years and is back in the thick of it. I just want his family and friends to know that by sharing his story, and showing how much he was loved by so many, he has helped me. He has really helped me. Thank you.

John Reagan said...

I was notified of Steve's passing by my mother who religiously peruses the obituaries in Phoenix as a hobby. I went to school with Steve at Brophy and was terribly saddened to hear of his cancer and passing last month. I will always remember his warm smile and caring demeanor, and I wish his family and Jen all of God's grace in this heartbreaking period. I know what its like to lose someone like Steve, and all I would offer as support is to look on the brighter side of life each day and remember Steve as the "Man for Others" he was.

Steve, I hope to see you on the other side one day. Be well my friend, you fought valiantly.

lking said...

Hey Baby,

Just want you to know that I think of you, Jen and the family every hour it seems. I'm glad you had a painless week, I only wish that we could have seen your gentle smile. Love you forever.....

mary heiland said...

It is sad for me (and I know Steven's family) to check this blog and not see any new posts. It had become such a part of our lives, as had the Wednesday rosaries.

If you are still checking this blog, we are going to begin one last novena in Steven's memory. We will pray to St. Joseph, the patron saint of departed souls. This novena will begin Monday, August 11th and end on Tuesday, August 19th ... Steven's birthday.

Join us if you can at Ss. Simon & Jude Church at 5:30 p.m. all week and get the word out to Steven's friends. If you can't be there, you can find the novena on the Global Catholic Network website: www.ewtn.com. Pray along with us!

Aunt Mary said...

As many of you are aware, next Tuesday, August 19th would have been Steve's 27th birthday. In honor of that most wonderful day, Fr. Olivier will offer a mass in the Brophy Chapel beginning at 12:05 on the 19th.

Thanks is merely not enough to convey the gratitude I have for your relentless support of my sweet nephew as well as for me and my entire family. I have finally grasped the concept of the term "showing up." To all of you who emailed, blogged, left flowers at my door, dinners, gift cards, a loving shoulder to cry on, and most importantly giving me the opportunity to vent my frustration and anger during absolutely anytime of the day or night, I thank you. I am seriously overwhelmed.

There is a hole in my heart that will never be filled. To witness what Steve endured and the grace in which he battled will however, make me live life differently. I will contemplate complaining about trivial matters, I will embrace each day with the memory of that smile that Steve was so quick to offer even on his most difficult days, but most importantly, I will make every attempt to "show-up" in spite of how busy I am. I owe Steve at least that because that's what he did, and I know that this is just one of the many lessons I learned from someone who will forever be a huge part of my life.....forever.

Danny King said...

For some reason I keep coming back to this blog. I guess it helps me keep Steve alive and well in my thoughts. Re-reading the posts always brings back a memory of Steve that I had forgotten about.

One such memory was Steve playing OTL (over the line, its a great beach game similar to wiffle ball). Oftentimes other beachgoers would unknowingly enter our field of play. Steve was never amused by their carelessness. He would loudly shout "TIME" and then stare at the offenders until they exited our field. It was never in a mean way, but he made his point. It makes me laugh to think about.

Danny

mary heiland said...

We began the novena to St. Joseph, patron saint of departed souls, on Monday. It is a beautiful novena that we will continue through Tuesday, August 19th ... Steven's birthday.

Please join us if you can. Due to conflicts with the holy day and weekend masses, our schedule will change for Thursday, Friday and Sunday. All novenas will be at 5:30 p.m. except for Friday which will be at 6:30 p.m. The nuns have graciously offered the convent chapel to meet on Friday and Sunday nights, and Mary Novotny has kindly offered her home for tonight. The convent chapel is on the NE side of the church parking lot next to Maryland Ave.

Thursday: 5:30 p.m. @ Mary Novotny's - 7828 N. 5th Ave, just south of Northern
Friday: 6:30 p.m. Convent Chapel (following mass for the holy day)
Saturday: 5:30 p.m. in Church (following the 4:30 p.m. mass)
Sunday: 5:30 p.m. Convent Chapel
Monday: 5:30 p.m. in the Church
Tuesday: 5:30 p.m. in the Church

lking said...

Hi Baby Doll,

I guess I am like Danny, I can't seem to break the habit of signing on the blog. I have been thinking of you so much the last couple of days...yesterday, I found myself aimlessly wondering the men's department, looking for your birthday present. I always enjoyed going to Urban to pick out clothes for you. Of course, cousin Linds always helped me out.

I've decided to celebrate your birthday by doing good deeds to the less fortunate,
in your memory. I'm thinking it will involve the "Children's Crisis Nursery".

Soft hugs Baby....

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Steven. For every candle on your cake, I've shed a thousand tears.No more hugs hello, and hugs good-by. No more sly smiles as I watch you slip a U of A mug under the christmas tree of the number one ASU fan. No more sitting across from you at the Matador on our way to the annual Christmas play courtesy of Joan. No more watching you laugh at the John Prine concert and the number one rememberance that haunts me daily is one of your first blogs. You had your feeding tube in and I was sending meals down to Tucson for Tom and Jen. You couldn't eat but you could smell and you said,"Maw Maw, when I get better, will you make me stew?" Such a small request but what a big hole it leaves in my heart. I love you so much Steven. Maw Maw

Anonymous said...

I still find myself coming to this blog daily, to see your face, because the way you look in my memory is about 10 years old...I will forever remember August 12 and 19, because as a child that was the time of year that I got to see my favorite cousins and celebrate our birthdays together. Even though we were miles and miles away from each other, I wish more than anything we would have been more apart of each others lives as we got older. Living with regrets is painful...

I love you Steven and I love your family dearly.

Happy 27th Birthday.

~Kimmy

Mudge said...

I've tried so many times to write on Steven's blog day after day and just end up deleting what I write. Too emotional, too sappy, too weepy. Now I am attempting again since it is Steven's birthday. I have so much to be grateful for and I am trying to attempt to focus on the blessings...our wonderful family, which now includes Jenny, and amazing friends. Thanks to you all for all you have done and said. Your "just showing up" would make Fr. O'Grady proud.

Steven stories are appreciated, and as much as I have heard, and touted myself, how gentle Steven was I am reminded of his humorous playful side as well as his impatience and stubborness. Even those make me smile because beneath it all he was good natured- as long as he got his sleep.

Thanks to the SU alumni runners who ran the Spokane to SandPoint race as "Manos' Cavalry". I heard Guam Dave was led off the course for a few extra miles, and I suspect Steve had something to do with that as a final practical joke. The fact that you all still won by 45 minutes is incredible.

Fr. Olivier said Steven finished his race first ahead of us all, but I really enjoyed watching him run, so I am sad it is over.

Mudge said...

Ok, I have to post a new comment just because everyday I still go to see if someone has left one and it gets sad when there is not a new one. I guess I also go to see his beautiful face, and because it has been a part of my life daily since he started it. I'm just wondering if anyone else who got as hooked as me still checks each day to see if there is a 56th post.

Tonight Ryan was reminiscing to Jenny and I about all the different games he and Steven made up to play together. It was great to hear all the wonderful memories he is left with.

Steven was a great big brother to Ryan. He was very playful, physical, and positive. I'd follow them around, worried they'd hurt each other with their wrestling, making sure Ryan was still laughing. In spite of my reminding Steve to take it easy on him since Ryan was 11 years younger I knew he would never let him get hurt. They were fun to watch.

I miss you T. Mom

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jean. I check it every day too. I check it because you are all in my thoughts and prayers every single day and I just love all of you.
Steven will always be a presence.

Love and Prayers,
Mary N.

Paula said...

Jean,

Yes, some of us still do check. Maybe for the same reason. I've actually been struggling with whether to post our thoughts or to send to you, Tom, Jen, Amy and Ryan separately.

Steve meant quite a lot to us, and we feel fortunate that we were able to spend so much time with him during his four years in Seattle. And, I don't think that we would be so affected by this if we didn't have children of our own. I hope that they are as close to us as Steve was to his family. At this point, Ellie and Kaj are best friends.

We know how much Steve cared about his family because he lit up whenever you came to visit.... I really mean this. It wasn't just that he ran fast when you saw his races. Not so many college students really looked forward to their parents coming to see them. Steve did. We heard about Ryan, Amy and Cousin Ted often.

I also remember how certain he was about moving back to Arizona after he graduated. He told me that he wanted to spend time with Ryan since he left for college when Ryan was so young. We ,of course, tried to talk him into staying in Seattle for another year.

It's interesting that we spent so much time with Steve and so little time with his family. On long van rides, he and Ben got us hooked on Johnny Cash (Ellie still loves the CD). When Tom spoke at Steve's service it struck me how Steve would on occasion give a speech, or a prerace talk to his teammates. I realize now how similar to his father he carried himself. I was also struck when Tom pointed out that Steve never thought ill of anyone. That is true... however, he would on occasion get really mad if he thought that his teammates weren't working as hard as he was, or taking running or school as seriously. I think that's what happened after the race when he tour his singlet. He would then usually come back and apologize for being so irrational. And on occasion listen to Brian about taking a break.

Last summer before Steve left Snoqualmie he snuck into our house (he was staying at Michael's and Megan's) and left brownies in our kitchen with writing that said "a gift for the montgomeries." Ellie remembers Steve as the man who left brownies in our kitchen. We will miss him too.

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

I still find myself checking this blog. Steven seemed to be an amazing young man. He also seemed to have the most loving and wonderful family.

Jean, you are a very wonderful lady and I am so very thankful to know you. I hope that you will be at work tomorrow as I have something for you. Wish I could have given it to you earlier.
your friend and co worker,
Dawn

mary heiland said...

I guess I'll be #60. Yes, I do still check this blog and was disheartened to see the number stay at 55 so long! I know Jean must open it frequently just to see that beautiful face smiling back at her. It is healing for the entire Manos family to hear stories about Steve. So do them a favor and write! I know Sundays are especially hard on Jean so go ahead and make her day. I still miss the novenas and the gathering of friends to pray. Jean never thought many people would come to the novenas. I was reminded of that today at Mass when the gospel said "Wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them". God was with us, Jean. And now Steven is with him ... in a place of "eternal optimism". You gotta smile just thinking of it.

With Ryan's 16th birthday coming up this month, there will be more tears ... The anniversary of the day Steven was home when Mary Anne said those fateful words: "that looks like cancer". Today at Mass I saw 2 people whose lives were saved by my brother-in-law, Steven's doctor, who would have done anything to save his. Things don't always go as planned, miracles don't always happen, and life hits hard. But it is faith, family and friends that get you through. You have taught me so much Jean. And with these lessons, I live each day better than ever. Thanks for the blessing of Steven and of your friendship.

lking said...

I also sign on the blog, I love seeing Steven's picture, but my heart aches so much that it's difficult to type through my tears.

I see or hear Steven every day through his cousins. I also see the sadness in his cousins eyes. I'm sure we will all feel the peace that Father Olivier spoke of....but at this point, I can't imagine peace without Steven.

To the fam, I still sign on first thing in the morning and before I go to bed. I love you all so much and some day I will be able to talk to you without crying. To my sweet nephew, I love you and miss your presence in my life. Sweet dreams baby!

Love,
A.L.

lauren grant said...

dear jean,

i too still check the blog every so often; it had been saved in my bookmarks for so long, and now i can't really seem to delete it.

my mom sent me the card from steven's funeral - with his picture, and his running quote. i have it up in my office, by my computer, and i look at it all the time as i struggle to begin my dissertation. steven was such a good guy, and perhaps i just landed in a rough graduate department, but there are few people i know here who manage to balance their ruthlessness for study, success, etc. with goodness; the goodness is usually compromised. after reading steven's blog for so long, he is my model for maintaining your kindness , compassion, and humor while still finishing the race. as so many people have said, steven is an inspiration.

i'm still thinking of all of you,
lauren

Mudge said...

I just got back from San Diego where I left Jenny to finish the next couple of days with her friend, Shelley. We went to all the places we would have gone if Steven were there with us, Sara's, Filippi's, the Boll Weevil. We walked out on the dock at Maw Maw and Poppie's old marina on Harbor Island and saw their boat with Greg's handiwork (wooden steps with a rail) still there on the dock beside it. We went to sit just north of lifeguard tower 11. There I wrote Steven a letter. I told Jenny I would need one piece of paper. She gave me two, and I could've written much more. I decided I will make use of the journal he bought me a few years ago with CS Lewis quotes in it. We went for runs on the beach and walks on the boardwalk. Jenny looked for shells just as Steven had spent his last summer in South Mission Beach looking for shells to glue to a picture frame he was making to give her of them at a beach in Utah. It turned out cute but fragile. She wanted to replace a sand dollar that cracked. I discovered that bird droppings on the sand look very similar. I am glad I went. It was a good thing to do. I still miss him no matter where I am, but having the opportunity to spend so much time with Jenny, who knew him better than anyone with all the time they spent together the last 3 years, gave me new insight to who he was as an adult. So, I finally got a vacation. Thank you Tina. Jean

Mudge said...

As long as this latest post is titled "In Memory" I will post my latest memory/thoughts. Today is Ryan's birthday. One year ago today Steven drove up from Tucson to spend this day with his brother. While home he showed us the sore on his tongue. I believe his first post details the rest of it. I was so sure he had just injured it grinding his teeth. He had been a teeth grinder since the age of 3. You could hear it like snoring from another room. After all the surgeries though I don't remember hearing him grind anymore. A few days later we were up at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon when I got the phone call. He'd been to the oral surgeon and it looked like cancer. Could be tuberculosis or valley fever though. I told him, "Or none of the above." I believed that...none of the above. I looked out the window of the lodge's restaurant...at all that beauty, then at Lindsay, Amie, Tom, Mary and Greg. No, I could see nothing disrupting our pretty perfect world, again. Life without Pete was finally starting to be bearable. No, this was just a precaution. Doctors had scared us before with false predictions about Ryan before he was born. No, I still didn't believe it, and I still say to myself, "Did this really happen?" "How did this happen?" Wonder how long it will take to sink in. I miss him so.

But today is still Ryan's birthday. I am sorry that it is, for now, the day I remember as the beginning of the end for our life with Steven. I don't know if I posted this before, but Steven told Jenny he always thought Ryan was born to take his place. No one person could take anyone else's place in someone's heart, but we are blessed to have you Ryan. Not to replace your brother, but for what you add to our joy. The day you were born was one of great joy not for just your mom and dad, but for your brother, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. We all love you.
Mom

lking said...

Happy 16th Birthday Breadie,

I have fond memories of the day you were born. Your dad and mom had to go to the hospital early in the morning, so they dropped Steven and Amie off at my house so I could take them to school with my boys.

I remember telling you and Amie that I would call Sts. Simon & Jude and tell Sr. Raphael as soon as your were born. Steven was so shy, and he said "Aunt Lynnie, will you ask Sr Raphael to call me and Aime out of class when our brother is born?" I promised I would. I went to the hospital from school and waited with Maw-Maw, Poppie and Aunt Mary until you were born. We were all so excited to have another baby in the family. It had been a while. Truthfully Breadie, I don't remember a time that your dad was so excited.

You have been a true blessing to all of us! Happy Birthday baby.

Love,
A.L.

I know Steven and Poppie were smiling in heaven watching all of us celebrate your birthday tonight.

Diane said...

Hi Ryan,

I sure hope that you had a happy birthday. My thoughts and prayers were with you all day. God bless you Ryan. May high school and lacrosse go well for you.

Love,

Aunt Diane

lking said...

Dear Diane,

It is always comforting to read your posts. I know how much you must miss and love Jeanie and family. We try to be there for Jeanie, but I know she misses her sisters so much-anyway, I hope everything is going well for you this new school season. Hope to see you soon....and please keep posting, it makes me feel better, so I know it must make Jean feel better....

Love,
Lynn

DEP said...

Ryan,
I always hoped you'd be born on my birthday, the 20th, but now I am glad you have a special day of your own. Your Mom's blog is proof God knows the best day for us to be born :-) In our family we always had to celebrate birthday weeks. It lasted longer and helped with those of us that have "procrastinating personalities". Sorry my "Happy Birthday" is late but the love and prayers do not change. I look forward to hearing about your coming year...you always attempt to be "the best version of yourself" which helps others to do the same. Love, Aunt Elaine

Anonymous said...

Dear Jean,
I so remember when you told us Mom's at school that you were pregnant with Ryan. You were a little surprised and we were all jealous.
I also remember Steven and Aimee(and the cousins too) carrying Ryan around when he was little. They were so proud to have a little brother so show off, especially that big brother. I could see Steven's warmth and gentleness in those moments also.
Love,
Mary N.

lking said...

Hi Mary,

Your post brought back memories that I had forgotten. All the kids wanted to hold Ryan and carry him all over the ball field during the summer. Ryan was so good natured even then.

I know that when we had family get togethers, all the aunts would fight over who got to hold him first. It was always a challenge, because my dad or mom usually got first "dibs".....

Love and peace to all!

lking said...

P.S.
we miss you Jen, hope you are enjoying time with your family. I am sure you are!!!

The Dude said...

(this is longer than i thought it would be...)

Just wanted to let everyone know, as Mrs. Manos has as well, that we ran the Spokane to Sandpoint relay this last august 15th in honor of steve. Originally, I came up with the idea b/c we had not all been together since perhaps our last track meet(or what we can put together of Mikey's wedding). Four years had passed, we were all in our "Senior Year Of Life" and I thought that since most of us can be completely socially awkward at times(if not embarrasing) the only way we could really be around eachother was if we were running. I asked Steve about the race and he of course, was all in from the get go. I had little amounts of communication with him after i left tucson, but he would sneak in the occasional email or text to confirm he was up for the race.

And I think a lot of us wanted him and needed him to be there for many reasons. Mostly because we seem to revert back into very similiar roles we played on the team. So naturally, steve would have to be there to be our captain, the guy to throw hissy fits if we joked around too much before a big race, the guy to keep the team retreat going if the park ranger poured water all over our fire(and only source of cooking), the guy who would ask for Voluntary presence at friday mass before races, the guy who ran his hardest at practice and THEN harder in the race, and the guy who knew exactly when to "go hard like WWF" or screw around but somehow never get caught. (mostly b/c he almost always conducted himself in a respectful demeanor in public.)

SO.....simply we needed him too. Now, technically he wasn't there physically to run. (but after my race legs, you would've concurred that what i was doing couldn't 'technically' be called running or racing)

I can guarantee to each of the readers and family members that had it not been for steve saying "yes'' to this race in the face of all the unknowns, had it not been for those small emails or texts, this race simply wouldn't have gotten off the ground for us this first year. I mean, seriously, it was all being ''planned'' and designed by ''the dude''.

But we all knew we had to get together and we all made that decision because of Steve.

He brought us together in July, and we brought ourselves together, for him, in August and ran a damn good race. 21hrs and 50 some minutes. We also had a ''new recruit'' in Luc Lamarche, an SU national champ swimmer and the guy who ''dropped the hammer'' early saturday morning to give us back the lead.

And I swear to you, per usual, we talked about running and Steve and team stories so much, I seriously have mental images of him being there. And since there were two vehicles(one short bus transport and one hoss of a '80s chevy crew cab) at certain times, one was left to think that Steve was simply riding along in the other van.

I could go on and on about the race and how much fun it was for us. but i'll stop now and add stories later upon request to anyone who wants to hear. google spokane to sandpoint relay, to see any picks of the "manos' cavalry"

and lasty, I want to thank Jenny and Amie for coming up.

Your presence was irreplaceable in our hearts and on the team.

Thanks for riding along

October 4, 2008 2:14 PM

Mudge said...

Thanks, Matt, for all the work you did organizing such an "Amazing Race". It had to have been difficult to coordinate so many things with so many people coming from all over the country. I appreciate your stories and love hearing them, especially the "hissy fit" because I can just picture him and hear his voice. He took his running and team seriously. As playful as he was in other aspects and relationships, he had little tolerance for slacking off when it meant affecting his team.

Any more thoughts or stories come into your head, or anyone else's, feel free to pop onto his blog now and then. I enjoy hearing them. Thanks. Jean

Laura said...

Congrats to the "Manos' Cavalry" on a race ran well!

I miss you Manos family! It snowed last night in Golden, CO - OK, just flurries, but it should be in full throttle some time soon! The ski hills are waiting!

XOXOXO

Cousin Laura

lking said...

Steven,

I miss you much. Sweet dreams Baby.

Love,
A.L.

Mudge said...

seems weird, but I get so excited when there is one new posting on Steve's blog after seeing the same number for so long. I was driving home tonight from work missing him so much, and telling him out loud, wondering if he was present. There is a good and bad to this..good ,that I can make up anything to fit my needs, like I can talk to Steven and tell myself he is listening, but just silent. Somewhat like all those months when he couldn't talk during radiation. Bad, because then I could read the expression on his face and see his smile. Now I only imagine what he would say to me. One of the last things he said to me was, "Mom, you frustrate me so much!" I keep hearing these words in my head, and wish he could tell me what he meant. It was at the hospital the day he died and he wanted me to get him a book he said I had given him. He described it the best he could, but I didn't know what he was talking about. I wonder how many times he wanted to tell me I frustrated him, but he never wanted to hurt my feelings. I'll always wonder what he was talking about.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I just happened upon Steven's blog. I started reading and couldn't stop. What a precious young man he must have been (and still is). I have two sons, ages 27 and 29. Just the thought of losing one of them brings such empty feelings. My heart is broken for all of you.

I haven't had the luck of belonging to such a wonderful family as yours. Steven was very lucky to have been born into a family with so much love to give and you were blessed with Steven, someone I will never meet, but who has touch my heart in a tremendous way. May the Lord's love shadow your family.

Annie (A mom deeply touched)

lking said...

Happy Halloween Baby,

I was telling David tonight, while were handing out candy, how every Halloween, all you cousins would go trick or treating together. You and Aime always had the cutest costumes-thanks to you creative Mom. I remember all of you kids running from house to house with such excitement. And then trading your "loot" at Aunt Mary's.

I especially remember your shy sweet smile, and the fact that you always said "thank-you".

Love you,
A.L.

david.lamparter said...

An economic post just before the election. Written by an economics professor at the University of Georgia.

Taxes economics and Socialism described in beer...

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer, and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. `Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the$20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings). The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25%savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued todrink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10! "Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I! " That's true! !' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks! "Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor! 'The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

*David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D., Professor of Economics University of Georgia

Sylvia said...

Jean,

You are a good friend so I feel compelled bring you a different perspective. What would Stephen have to say if he knew that you kept coming back to the one moment when your communication was less than clear instead of the endless times that you had that connection with him that only a mother can have? You are an amazing woman and I'm quite sure that the two of you had many verbal as well as non verbal communications.

Think back to those conversations with a wide eyed toddler, those conversations with a teenager trying to make those tough choice, those conversations with a young adult finding his way, those conversations with a man in love.

Think about the fact that you knew him well enough to give him a book that meant that much to him.

Maybe he couldn't quite make you understand about that book at that moment, but I'm sure it pales in comparison to all of those moments where you were the only one who understood him. You are still having those conversation but now those conversations are heart to heart. Just keep the lines open.

Your friend,
Sylvia

Anonymous said...

noob

Danny King said...

Still think about you often. Miss you.

Anonymous said...

I still find myself coming back to this blog from time to time - even today in 2015 - and remembering Steve. I wish I had had the time to come to know him better. I'm looking forward in the future resurrection from the dead to do just that. Until then, I'll hold on to my memories and faith. James L.

Danny King said...

I still think about you and miss you often.

The Dude said...

we have thought about steve at all of our gatherings.
Todd Nishida's wedding last January was one of them. most of the Seattle U crew was there. We re trying to plan another run. maybe not the intense relay from spokane to sandpoint. but something. anything.

i'm glad this is still up.