To our dear Team Steven members,
Thank you. Thank you for your big hearts. Thank you for your generous spirits. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, love and support. 2010 was an incredibly rough year, and you all helped make the dark hours more bearable by pulling together in an amazing and universal way to support a remarkable young man during his battle against cancer, and then to ultimately embrace a family in pain after that sweet warrior laid down his sword, weary from his fight. We all send you our sincerest gratitude and good wishes as we embark upon the New Year.
Steven’s mom, Denise, has written an emotional account of the past year entitled “Goodbye 2010,” telling you of her own gratitude, experience, thoughts and lessons. It is posted to our Facebook Team Steven page as a Discussion Topic, but I will include for you below. Your support has meant so much to her, to his dad and to the family.
A PROJECT FOR YOU
I have a little project for those of you who would like to participate. I know many of you were profoundly impacted in ways small and large by following Steven’s journey (for instance, I had a friend who quit her job and finally started her own business, and she told me it was because she was inspired by Steven – way to go, Kim!; another just told me that next week he is donating his hair that he’s been growing out this year to Locks of Love in Steven’s name – awesome, Bill!). I told Denise that her Christmas present was coming in 2011 … I had so many people in 2010 tell me how much they were touched or inspired by Steven during his fight, and I wanted to create something tangible to show how much Steven impacted those who encountered his story, who learned special lessons, and who knew and loved him. He definitely left his footprint on our hearts. I am going to be putting together a book, THE LEGACY OF STEVEN TYLER WILSON, and I’m looking for YOUR words to fill the pages.
Tell your story! Email a few paragraphs to VSARGE70@aol.com with the subject line “Steven’s Legacy” along with your name and city/state explaining how Steven touched you, made you think differently or changed your life. Perhaps it’s a funny old story you remember about Steven, or a new family tradition you started as a result of his battle, or something you realized about yourself and life, or even a poem or song. For me Steven was an incredible conduit who helped pull us all closer. I think we value one another more than ever. His life and short time here with us served as another reminder to embrace life and live it to its fullest … laughing, loving, forgiving and being grateful to those we cross paths with who touch our hearts. Steven remains a gift in my life, and I know he does in many of yours as well. May his beautiful memory always serve to remind us that we can face adversity with a smile and that the important things in life are worth a valiant fight.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! Thank you again for your support and love.
by Denise Sargent
First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for being there for our family in 2010. Many of you still think of us often and continue to keep us in your prayers. We couldn’t have survived financially without your generous support. Gratefully, we didn’t have to worry about paying our bills. So far, I have not been able to return to work. I’m not so sure that I will.
Looking back over 2010, all I can say is, wow. I experienced life and death and everything in between. While I continue living the ‘in-between’, I do so in a fog. I wish this page was Team Denise and it was I who experienced all the pain, sickness and death instead of my son.
If you had asked me last New Year’s Eve if I thought Steven was going to die from this cancer, I would’ve said NO WAY! I thought his type of cancer was easily curable. That thought quickly changed on February 12th 2010.
Steven Tyler entered St Francis Children’s hospital for what I thought was an ‘in and out’ procedure. But when I realized that we needed to take him to St Louis for another biopsy, I got a sick feeling in my stomach.
Steven was checked out of the Tulsa hospital on February 15th, he was at my house for a couple of hours while we waited to go to the airport. He joked with the twins, and as I looked at him walking around the house I got a strange feeling that this would be the last time he would be here in my home. As we were loading luggage in our suburban, I got a feeling that this was the last time he would be standing in my garage. As we were riding to the airport I got a strange feeling it would be the last time Steven rode in my car. Later that evening, when we were sitting at Applebee’s eating dinner before we checked into St Louis’ hospital; I had a sick feeling this would be the last time he would dine out. Maybe it was just fear but the feelings were very powerful and real.
Those fears were faced on May 21st. His story is told in the photos and pages of Team Steven. What you don’t see is the story of his parents and how we have struggled on a daily basis to survive. Concentration and memory are a thing of the past. I have to use a calendar to chart everything that has to be done whereas before I was always on top of everything. Now I feel like my brain is all mush inside.
There are days that are wonderful and there are days that are dreadful. I found that I’d much rather sit at the cemetery in the scorching heat than in the freezing cold wind.
I wish I could make the flashbacks stop. I can hear a noise or a phrase or see something on TV or around the house and I have a flashback of an episode of Steven in the hospital. I feel like I’ve been through a war. The endless days of watching him suffer and waste away to nothing but bones were too much for me to bear and the flashbacks continue to affect me every day.
I didn’t celebrate Christmas this year away from my home. I needed the safety and shelter of my handkerchief and my own surroundings. Holiday decorations inside my home were scarce. Tomorrow the holiday season will officially be over and I can then say I survived the first one without my baby boy.
It’s been seven months, 224 days to be exact, since Steven’s suffering was over. He now lives without pain, without medicine, without machines, without sadness. I can honestly say without any hesitation that I can’t wait till we meet again.
2010 is over. It is a year that forever changed my life. The good things that came out of it were:
I feel more love for others.
I feel less stress because the worst thing that can happen to me has already happened.
I’ve learned that there are so many petty arguments that aren’t worth fighting over.
If someone isn’t bleeding, no one should get upset.
The old saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me’ finally became true.
I became fearless.
I fell in love with dogs. (I now have two, Bubba was adopted in May and Ginger was adopted in December)
I fell in love with Jesus all over again.
I hope you all have a happy New Year’s Eve and an uneventful 2011. And as Steven would say … Live and have a good life and try to live as long as you can.