Death did not happen to Steve by itself, it was he who reached it
Death did not happen to Steve by itself, it was he who reached it

Translation of a letter to the New York Times by the sister of Apple founder Steve Jobs Mona Simpson.

Translation of a letter to the New York Times by the sister of Apple founder Steve Jobs Mona Simpson, a writer and professor of English at the University of California. In addition to the memories of his brother, it contains a farewell speech, which on October 16, during the memorial service, Mona accompanied Steve on his last journey.

I grew up as an only child in the family, and my mother raised me without a father. Since we were poor and I knew that my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined that he looked like Omar Sharif. I hoped that he was rich and kind and that he would return to our lives (our unfurnished apartment) to help us. Later, after I met my father, I tried to believe that I changed my phone number and did not leave a new address, because he was an idealistic revolutionary, building a new world for the Arab people.

Even though I am a feminist, all my life I have been waiting for a man whom I will love and who will love me. For several decades, I believed that such a man should be my father. But when I turned 25, I met such a man, and he turned out to be my brother.

At the time, I was living in New York, where I was trying to write my first novel. I worked for a small magazine where I shared a closet-sized office with three other up-and-coming authors. And when one day a lawyer called me, an ordinary Californian girl who got her boss with requests for life insurance, and said that his client was a rich and famous man who is my lost brother, it shocked the young editors. It was 1985, we were working on a modern literary magazine, and it was very exciting for me to be in the middle between reality and Dickens's novel. The lawyer refused to give the name of this celebrity, and my colleagues began to place bets. The leading candidate was John Travolta. I myself secretly hoped that he would be a writer who would become the literary follower of the famous Henry James. I wanted this person to be more talented than me, and so that everything would turn out easily and brilliantly.

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The best advice. 55 tips people would give themselves to young people

When I met Steve, I was facing a young man about my age, dressed in jeans, who had either Arab or Jewish looks and was definitely prettier than Omar Sharif.

We took a long walk with him, and we both liked this walk. I don't remember very well what we talked about on the first day, but he impressed me as a person with whom I would like to be friends. He said that he was engaged in computers.

I didn’t know much about computers, and at that time I was working on an Olivetti manual typewriter. I told Steve that I was looking to buy my first computer recently: my choice fell on a machine called the Cromemco. Steve said it was good that I took my time. He announced that he is working on something that will be insanely beautiful.

I would like to tell you about a few things that I learned from Steve during our rare communication in the 27 years that I have known him. These are not just periods made up of years: they are states of his being. His whole life. His illness. His dying.

Steve did what he loved and worked really hard. Every day. It's incredibly simple, but true. He is the complete opposite of a reckless person. However, he was never shy about his work, even if the results were disastrous.

It's boring to live. What to do?
It's boring to live. What to do?

When he was kicked out of Apple, it was very painful for him. He told me about a dinner where 500 Silicon Valley leaders met with the then President of the United States. Steve wasn't even invited. He was in great pain, but he continued to work at NeXT. Every day.

But Steve didn't value novelty as much as he valued beauty. But for an innovator, Steve was incredibly conservative. If he liked a shirt, he could order from 10 to 100 pieces. In his home in Palo Alto, you can find so many black cotton turtlenecks that they would probably be enough for everyone in this church.

Fashionable tricks and tricks were not held in high esteem. He was also more drawn to people of his own age. His aesthetic philosophy reminds me of one saying that goes something like this:

“Fashion is what looks beautiful today and ugly tomorrow. Art, on the other hand, may look ugly today, but become beautiful over the years. "

And Steve has always strived for what becomes beautiful over time. He often deliberately sought to be misunderstood.

After Steve was not invited to the ball, he drove the same black sports car to NeXT, where, together with his team, in a relaxed atmosphere, he invented a platform on which Tim Berners-Lee would write a program for the World Wide Web "Internet".

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What to do without friends: 111 entertainment for one

Steve, like some girl, spent a lot of time talking about love. Love was for him the supreme value - the god of all gods. He was always aware of the latest developments in the affairs of the heart of the people who worked with him and was always worried if they had any difficulties on the personal front.

And every time he saw a man who might seem attractive to women, he always asked: “Are you free? Maybe you will have dinner with my sister?"

I remember how he called me the day he met Lauryn:

“There is such a beautiful woman and she is so smart! She also has a dog, and I'm going to marry her. "

When his son Reed was born, he became even more reverent towards his loved ones. Jobs was a very considerate father and genuinely cared for his children. He worried about whether Lisa chose decent guys for himself, worried about Erin's travels and the length of her skirts, and also made sure that Eve looked after herself during her adored horse riding.

No one who had the privilege of attending Reed's prom will forget that touching scene when Steve invited his son to a slow dance. His strong and devoted love for Lauryn kept him alive. He believed that love reigns always and everywhere. More importantly, Steve never exuded irony, cynicism or pessimism. And I still take an example from him in this.

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Truth or Dare. List of 820 questions and actions

Steve tasted success at a young age, and it isolated him from others. Most of the choices he made in life were aimed at tearing down the walls that surrounded him. A former middle-income boy from Los Altos fell in love with a former middle-income girl from New Jersey. It was important for both of them to bring up ordinary, normal people from Lisa, Reed, Erin and Eve. Their house does not scare away guests with an abundance of gloss and glamor. During the week itself, for many years, when I visited Steve and Law, they always dined on the grass, and their meals often consisted of one vegetable. There were many of them, but there was only one - broccoli. The vegetable was grown in their garden and made simple.

Even when Steve was a young millionaire, he always picked me up from the airport. He met me there, standing in his permanent jeans. When someone from Steve's family called at work, his secretary Lynette replied, “Your dad is in a meeting right now. Do you want me to interrupt him?"

Once they tried to renovate the kitchen, and it took several years. At that time they were preparing food on an electric stove in the garage. At the same time, the construction of the Pixar building, which was then under reconstruction, took half the time. And so it was not only in the kitchen, but in all the other rooms in their house in Palo Alto. The bathrooms were very old, but for some reason this house still felt very cozy.

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What can you do on the weekend? 70 weekend tasks

However, this did not mean that Steve was shy about his success: he enjoyed success, but in his own way. He once told me that he was damn pleased to walk into a bike shop in Palo Alto and was proud to know that he would have no problem buying the best bike there if he wanted to.

At the same time, Steve was modest and continued to study with pleasure. He once told me that if his life had turned out differently, he could very well become a mathematician. He spoke of colleges with respect and enjoyed walking the Stanford campus. In the last year of his life, he carefully studied the album with the paintings of the artist Mark Rothko, which he did not know about before. Steve wondered what paintings from this artist could be hung on the walls of Apple's new campus to inspire employees.

Steve had a lot of oddities. Name another CEO who knows the history of English and Chinese tea roses and has a favorite David Austin rose! It seemed that every pocket was full of surprises. I dare to suggest that after 20 years of marriage with this man, Lauryn will discover a lot of unknown things about him: the songs that he loved, or the poem that he cut out and hid in the nightstand. I spoke with him almost every day and knew him well, but when I opened The New York Times and saw an article about Apple's patents, I was surprised to find a sketch of a perfect storefront he had sketched out.

Did your dream come true or did you give up?
Did your dream come true or did you give up?

His four children, wife and all of us gave Steve a lot of joy. And he really appreciated joy and happiness. And then Steve got sick, and we watched how his life closes in one small circle. Once he loved to walk around Paris. Once in Kyoto, he found a great cafe serving homemade noodles. He also skied great downhill, only he didn’t ski very well. But at some point, even ordinary joys, such as a delicious peach, no longer brought him pleasure. What struck me most about his illness was how much remained with us after so much was taken from us.

I remember how my brother began to learn to walk again with the help of a chair. After he had a liver transplant, he once tried to stand up, but his legs looked so skinny that it seemed they could not stand him. He dug his hands into a wheelchair and moved it down the hallway of the Memphis hospital. When he got tired, he would sit down in a chair, rest, and then get up and try to walk again. He counted his steps, and every day he managed to take more steps without a break.

Once I saw Lauryn kneel in front of him and looked into his eyes.

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How to relieve boredom? 55 entertainments for boredom

“You can do it, Steve,” she said. He opened his eyes wide and pressed his lips together.

He tried. He always tried and was always glad to know that his efforts are paying off. He was a very emotional person.

During this terrible period of our lives, I was able to notice that in order to cope with pain, Steve was thinking about plans for the future: about the graduation of his son Reed from college, about the trip of Erin's daughter to Kyoto, and about launching a boat on which he was going to arrange a trip around the world for his family and on which he wanted to meet old age with Lauryn.

Even during a serious illness, he did not change his taste and strict attitude towards everything around. He managed to change 67 doctors before he was able to find three people whom he could fully entrust with the right to be with him until the very end. Their names are: Tracy, Arturo, Elham.

Once, when Steve contracted pneumonia, the doctor forbade him everything, even ice. Then we were in the usual intensive care unit. Steve, who never liked to skip the line and flaunt his name, first told me that he wanted to be treated in special conditions this time. I said that this treatment is special anyway. He leaned over to me and said:

How to imagine? What is the right way to dream?
How to imagine? What is the right way to dream?

I want it to be a little more special

After intubation, when Steve was no longer able to walk, he asked for a notebook. In it, Steve sketched accessories for attaching an iPad to a hospital bed. He also designed new liquid monitors and fluoroscopic equipment. He believed that the equipment that was in this hospital was too nondescript design. And every time my wife entered the room, I always saw a smile on his face.

In serious matters, you must trust me, he wrote in his notebook and looked at me. This meant that we had to disobey the doctor and bring him a piece of ice.

None of us knows how much is measured out to us by fate. Even in his last year, Steve took on new projects and demanded promises from his friends at Apple that these projects would be completed. Dutch shipbuilders prepared a steel frame for the boat, which remained upholstered with wood. Three daughters remained unmarried, and yet he wanted to lead them to the altar in the same way as he led me on my wedding day.

We all end up dying in the middle of the story. In the midst of many stories. The death of a person who lived with a malignant tumor for several years can hardly be considered an unexpected death. But Steve's death was still unexpected for us. From the death of my brother, I learned that character matters a lot: how you live and how you die.

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How to relax on the weekend?

On Tuesday morning, he called me and asked if I could come to Palo Alto as soon as possible. In his voice, in addition to love and warmth, one could feel the haste of a man who had already packed his luggage and was about to go on a trip. A person who definitely needed to leave his loved ones, no matter how much he wanted to stay.

He started to say goodbye to me, but I stopped him and said:

“Wait for me, I'll come. I'm already in a taxi on the way to the airport. I'll fly to you".

"I am telling you all this now because I fear you might be late, dear."

When I arrived, she and Lauryn were chatting and joking as if they were partners who had lived and worked together their entire lives. He looked into the eyes of his children as if his gaze was riveted by someone. Until two o'clock in the afternoon, his wife managed to wake Steve to chat with friends from Apple. After a while, it was clear that we would no longer wake him up.

His breathing changed. It became heavier, and it felt like it was being given to Steve with an effort. I felt that he was again fighting for each new breath, as he once fought for each step. And then I realized something else: at that moment he was also working. Death did not happen to Steve on its own, it was he who reached it. When he said goodbye to me, he apologized for not being able to grow old together, as planned, and also said that he was going to a better world.

Be grateful for life
Be grateful for life

Dr. Fisher said there was a 50 percent chance that Steve could make it into the morning. The doctor was not wrong. So we spent the night: Lauren sat on the bed next to Steve and flinched periodically when the pauses between breaths became longer. At that moment, we were looking at each other anxiously, and Steve took another breath, and we exhaled together with relief.

Even at this moment, he had a manly and very handsome profile - the profile of an uncompromising romantic. His breathing was the same as his life's journey: fickle, heavy and exciting. It seemed as if he was climbing to the top of the mountain.

However, then I felt not only his strength and thirst for life, but also the ability to wonder and admire, in which the artist's faith in the ideal was felt. Steve’s last words, which he uttered before he died, were simple syllables spoken several times, expressing surprise.

Before closing his eyes forever, he looked at his sister Patty, then looked at his children for a long time, then at his life partner Loreen, and after that - somewhere far away, above our shoulders.

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