Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs, Meet Gabriel Cude

For the last two days, the world has mourned the death of a true role model: Steve Jobs. As a co-founder, innovator, and CEO at Apple, Steve Jobs changed the world and the way we communicate. Apple technology is prevalent today, but as Jobs and Apple developed they also drove competition among others in the industry. Without Jobs, perhaps I wouldn't have had a competing smart phone, from which I kept friends updated throughout Gabriel's life. Perhaps even this blog from which I continue to chronicle our journey would be different, or even non-existent. Who knows how the world would be different if Steve Jobs had never been born?

I am not a technologically sophisticated person. I'd heard of Jobs but never thought much about him. I don't use Apple computers (though 100 years ago, I learned to type on an Apple) and I don't have an Ipod, ITouch, IPad, or IPhone. But as Steve Jobs, the force behind so much of our technology, has been so visible in the headlines since his death I couldn't help but learn something about him. I know that he is a self-made successful business man, a self-proclaimed geek, modest but brilliant. I know that he had cancer, that as he experienced various ups and downs while he battled cancer he knew that he was mortal and would not live forever. I know that he was brave, that he looked at death and told it, "You will not take me without a fight." In a commencement speech addressing graduates of Stanford University in 2005 which has grown in its fame since Jobs' death, Jobs said " No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share.No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new." Steve Jobs got it. He understood what I also learned early in my life: Death is a part of life. It is inevitable. But it is human nature to resist it, to rally against it, and to hold on to every last moment of life on this earth.

Steve Jobs lived about 56 years longer than Gabriel did, yet their commonalities are striking to me. They both demonstrated a fearless strength and a love for life, even with the promise of a better, eternal life waiting for them. They both changed the world in their own unique way. You and I are different because they lived.

Gabriel had even in his short earthly life a look of wisdom and maturity that seemed far greather than his days on earth. His little bald, open head and circle of hair gave him the appearance of a tiny old man. He seemed to know more than he should -- it is a trait common among anencephalic babies. I always imagined that look was just an indication of how important their work here is, and how important they will be in Heaven. I imagine that if they haven't already, Gabriel and Steve Jobs will be introduced soon, and they will have much to talk about. I imagine them sitting at a table, Gabriel having to climb on top of whatever serves as a booster seat in Heaven, and chatting with a wisdom that I hope to know someday. I can't wait to join them both at that table someday.

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