Our love at first sight connection began in 1981 and lasted until 2015. It endured through the chaotic final two years of our lives together, up until Steve's final anguished moments prior to him taking his own life in March of 2015.
Chapter 1 of Slipped Away gives an insight into those final two, turmoil filled years and ends with my telling of Steve's final demonstration of his love for me. We had a love some people may never experience in their lives and to console myself over his loss, I will always try to remember that this was a beautiful gift we shared together for over 33 years.
First and Last photos together
This was one of the three compelling reasons that gave me the motivation to write Slipped Away. My second goal was to inspire conversation about mental health. Nothing will change to help those who are struggling unless we can talk about it without shame. Finally, I wanted to raise funds for a nonprofit organization devoted to helping those who are suffering with mental health issues. Currently, ALL proceeds from sales of Slipped Away go to project9line.org, a nonprofit group of veterans helping other veterans by providing no fee workshops in the arts to help them battle PTSD and depression.
Claudine Gershowitz , a good friend to both Steve and myself for many years, shared this very profound thought and memory with me. The photo is of Claudine's daughter Mallorie and Steve.
"Abundance can be defined as plentifulness of the good things in life. This particular thought entered my mind as I left for my run this morning. The sun rises, it's quiet and it's the most opportune time to reflect. At times we reach a certain point in our lives and remember how we reached our successes, and recognize the people who impacted our lives. To give thanks to those who supported and motivated us to be our very best selves, to persevere and reach goals that at first seemed too far to reach, and selflessly provided encouragement to make it all happen. It's so easy to fall into the trap and think about what we don't have and fail to realize that there is a lot of good that surrounds us. Jean once shared a conversation that Steve had with an athlete. The athlete expressed many negative thoughts and in turn Steve looked at her and said "You have Abundance". Life isn't always about running for the fastest time, it's about the journey. Steve shared his wisdom and time with all of his athletes and friends. Through all the suffering Steve was enduring for such a long period of time, he still managed to be completely selfless and continued to support his athletes. We all loved and respected him.... The best coach anyone could ever have. He had a gift of knowing us better than we knew ourselves. That's because he listened. He is still with us, in our hearts and continues to inspire the lives he touched and those who never had the opportunity to meet him."
The day I posted this on Facebook was the day of the 2016 NYC marathon. I wanted to commemorate Steve's completion of this event back in 1984; he was 23 at the time. He finished the race in 4:15:42, 6,948 out of 14,590 starters. I remember my joy of seeing Steve at the 59th Street bridge coming back into Manhattan and also seeing him finish in Central Park. I loved watching Steve race, whether it be running races or triathlons. His passion for endurance sports was contagious and I couldn't help but want to be a part of his experiences. I miss that.
Through the Lens #30