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.......it's been a year since my friend Ferg died......we had a lot of laughs......his sister posted this letter on facebook yesterday......I thought I'd post it here along with today's photo of Steve & Stephanie........
 I didn’t speak at Steve’s funeral… I guess it’s taken me a year to figure out what I might say.

Well… let’s start with ‘I'm Steve Ferguson’s sister’; I’m pretty sure that was my official title. Steven and I had a formidable, combative, opposites don’t necessarily attract relationship. Let’s face it, growing up, I was very much “the partridge family” and Steve was very much ‘led zeppelin’. In fact, and this may be difficult for the many of you who have witnessed the colossal battles between us, but my memory of the biggest fight we ever had was over the fact that he left my Partridge Family album on the receiver and it melted! (Yes, Brian Bender, bigger than the infamous phone throwing incident). It was a true love/hate relationship…. I know I’ve never hated anyone more or loved anyone more than him. And if you could ask him, I think he would say the same. 

Talk about opposites. No one could make me happier or angrier. Or make me cry from overwhelming sadness or cry because he made me laugh so hard until tears came out and I couldn’t breathe. I remember being in the Katherine house kitchen, at some ungodly hour after he had snuck back in after being out all night, he in his wheelchair and me sitting on the butcher block, laughing so hard we were crying.. That silly giggle of his, I can still hear it. I wish I could remember what it was we thought was so funny, but the memory still makes me smile.

There were so many years, almost a decade, where Steven and I did not communicate. The only way for me to explain it to those who might understand, during this time, Steven’s behavior was so destructive to himself and those around him that I just could not be part of it. I truly, no longer cared what choices he made or what happened to him. On many occasions I wished for it all too just end, for him to put himself and my father and me out of his misery. The day did come when just that almost happened. I remember seeing him in ICU, sedated & on a breathing tube due to an overdose and thought to myself, why didn’t it just end already? How much more do we have to witness? I didn’t feel anything like I suppose I should have under the circumstances.

I got a call from Chris Hoy. He wanted to get Steve into rehab. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as I said ‘go ahead’ not believing at all that it was something that would help. I had lost count of how many times Steve entered rehab. I did not take part in any family therapy, no visits. Nothing. Why would this time be any different from the oh so many other times? But Chris wouldn’t give up. I got weekly phone calls updating me on Steve’s progress, not putting any belief in it. Chris would tell me ‘I think this time is different’… thinking to myself, ‘sure it is’ (insert sarcastic tone). The time came for Steve to leave rehab & Chris wanted to take him to Bali. I’m pretty sure my response was “take him. leave him there.” 

The truth is, this time was different. Steven came home from Bali and started playing wheelchair rugby…. Steven broke his neck in 1981 and I had never seen him do anything ‘wheelchair related”. In 2008, Steve flew to China, by himself, to watch the para-olympic wheelchair rugby team play. He flew by himself, with no hotel reservation and no one to meet him that he knew in China. Let me reiterate, he went By Himself. I would never. Would you? So typical Steve.

When he returned from China, he figured he had better see a doctor about the bump on the inside of his cheek that he had been ignoring for years. In April of 2009, while I was vacationing in New York, I got a call from Steve telling me they thought it might be cancerous, would I go with him to the doctor. Of course I would. And I never missed another appointment from that time forward.

The journey that I went on with Steven from that first appointment to the last, I will consider for the rest of my life one of the greatest gifts I have been given. Through all of the battles, the anger, the tears and frustration, he wanted me by his side and I promised him I wouldn’t leave him alone and I made good on that promise. 

Steven, in life and in death, continues to teach me life lessons. Life is short, make the most of it no matter the hand you are dealt. Those of you who knew Steve know that this is how he truly lived his life. The list of things Steven did in his short time here with us is truly amazing. Nothing stood in his way. Not his wheelchair, not his crazy drug use and mostly not cancer. Remember, he’s the one who forged the doctor’s note saying it was ok for him to jump out of a plane the day before his cancer surgery. So Steve Ferguson!

I could go on and on and on. As I write this, I have to acknowledge, now more than ever my deepest, sincerest gratitude to two people. Chris Hoy ~ thank you for believing in Steven when I couldn’t and standing by him and being such an amazing friend and brother to him because of you and your unwavering belief that he could come back from the brink, I got to be with my brother to the very end. I didn’t leave him alone. I held his hand and told him that I loved him as he took his last breath.

And Kelly Ganz. You are my sister. You stood by me, dad and by Steven. You held his hand when I couldn’t be with him, and I knew that he was ok. You made sure he had his turkey meatballs and Cherry Garcia ice cream! You held me up and gave me your strength, as you held his hand and told him you loved him as he took his last breath.

I love you Steven. And in the end, I’m proud to be known as “Steve Ferguson’s sister”. And when (ok, if) I get up to those pearly gates I’m going to say to St. Peter “the bouncer’ “is the guy in the wheelchair in there? I’m his sister”. (because the pearly gates are going to look a lot like the Whiskey-a-Go-Go in the 80’s…..)

“I may not have a long life, but I’ve had a really wide life” Steve Ferguson