Memorial to Stephen

On Monday December 11th 2000, a dear friend of High Reaches Weyr passed away after suffering disability and illness all his life. Stephen - S'phen - was our very first weyrling at High Reaches, Impressing brown Trebinth in our first clutch after previously carving out a career as a Healer Journeyman. He became an integral part of the Weyr, even becoming Weyrleader to Nuff's Weyrwoman for a short while - not bad for a brownrider! But more importantly, Stephen is someone we'll remember for his humour and his love.

The day we learnt the news, a thread was started on the High Reaches bulletin board. Below are the entries. If anyone would like to add anything, please mail me at kaleeko at hotmail dot com.

We all have memories of Stephen. Mine date back to healer apprentice classes, to his Impression of Trebinth… to listening to him gush with love for his wife-to-be.
Please take some time to share your memories here.
Catia - December 12th 2000

I've known S'phen since he first started on Harper's Tale. It griefs me to hear of his loss.
I wrote a poem specifically for him.
Kevin M. P. O'Riley (Natel) - December 12th 2000

I remember him from back when I played Yvette at HRW. I've only really known him through HT, and even then not very well - something I will always regret.
I will miss him: He was a friendly, funny person who was a joy to RP with and did an excellent job when he was Weyrleader. And always helpful when I had a question when I played Yvette.
He will be greatly missed and remembered always. I'm only sorry I didn't know him better and that I'll never get to 'meet' him with this character.
Ilare - December 12th 2000

I can't recall any particular incident at the moment but I will always remember S'phen as one of the most amazing people I've ever met. He had so much to give and I admired him for his courage, his unwavering optimism and faith and his unbreakable joy of life, no matter how cruel life treated him.
S'phen - wherever you are now, I hope your soul soars the skies on dragonwings … good bye, I'll never forget you.
Thesy - December 12th 2000

I can't tell you how hard it was to connect this morning and hear that you are gone. You always kept such a brave face and took what God had chosen to give you with such grace and dignity.
You were going to fly in Quarith's next flight - you were going to come and visit me at Ista Weyr - I was going to come and see you and Jodi in Utah and we were going to have such a good time!
Since I never got the chance to say good bye - life doesn't always afford us these luxuries - let this be my good bye. You are a true friend, and I know that for that, your spirit will never be lost to us.
We are so young to have shadows walking beside us - I know that you are in a good place, and I know that He will keep you close to him until we can finally meet face to face. May you do in death what you could not in life here on Earth - Fly. —With all my heart - Saria
Saria (Cheryl Doucette) - December 12th 2000

Clear Skies, BrownRider….
Myra - December 12th 2000

Stephen, Stephen, Stephen, I still keep thinking I'll connect and you'll be there. That I'll wake up and this will all have been a bad dream. Oh God how I wish it was… You were an angel to so many in your life… I can only hope that God gave you the wings to along with it.
Jaqui—my thoughts are with you always. You are one of the bravest and most loving people I have ever met. God bless.
Emily Downey (Annalee) - December 12th 2000

I didn't know S'phen as well as I would have liked to….he helped me out a few times and, with others, spent time enthusing about food on our channel EmeraldGourmet. Both RL and HT are poorer without him….a very funny brave and kind man.
My heart goes out to Jacqui. We will not forget him…..
Sasha - December 12th 2000

Stephen was one of the very first people I ever met on Harper's Tale. His amazing personality will never be forgotten, and he will live on in our hearts. The rider S'phen got me to stay at High Reaches when I was first getting on my feet, but the player Stephen made me want to keep coming back. Stephen, I know you're happy where you are now. I'll bet you're soaring higher than all the rest up there, and I look forward to seeing you again.
G'deon - December 12th 2000

Stephen, your laughter is already missed on this cold planet we're now forced to walk without you. Some day we will again be under your wing as you teach those who follow how to fly with dragons' wings. -Sarah
Elehu - December 12th 2000

A make-believe world encapsulated and created out of plain text and dreams; S'phen the character and Stephen the person, though I knew neither as well as I would have liked, added so much to our small version of fantasy. His imaginations are a part of Harper's Tale, for which I am grateful. Memory and spirit, when freed, will always remain.
T'rell - December 12th 2000

I didn't really know him, but he was funny. He could always make someone laugh it seemed. Rarely complained from my experiences, an all around great guy.
Etain - December 12th 2000

I didn't know Stephen as well as some of you, but he was a good friend if only because he was one of the few people who could quell Karen's strange moods. ;p
I remember when I first met him, as a Dolphincraft Apprentice. (I can't even remember the name of the character he played, then.) I was fascinated. He was such a charismatic person despite his disability and I admired him for it.
When we got the word about his death, I was shocked. He hadn't been around much lately, but I'd attributed that to the fact that he was a newly married man. I guess we all sort of figured he'd been through so much, that he'd be able to get through anything. I never expected this.
My condolences to those who were close to him. His presence will be sorely missed.
Char - December 13th 2000

The thing i remember most about Stephen was just sitting there talking to him while he held my hand. That was just the way he talked to people, but it meant so much to me.
He was my character's big brother when she had no one else,he was always happy to see people log on, and he put up with me. I'd like to say he was a good friend, but all i wish is that i had a chance to know him better.
Thanks for everything, Stephen. I'll see you around
Hytiaf (Faith) - December 13th 2000

The thing I remember most about Stephen was his awesome personality. He helped me see a lot through the eyes of the Lord. He was such a wonderful man, friend.. and I even got to speak to him IRL on the phone. He was my brother in Christ and I will never forget him. He has been called home.. and I believe he is in a better place. I was so shocked when my roommate told me about it… and my biggest thing was that I never got to say good bye. I wish I had.. because now I could sob, because I never got to say good bye. He helped me during one of the toughest times, and he will /always/ be my friend. My prayers go out to his wife and his family, for I know they will need them…
Sita - December 13th 2000

My thoughts are so jumbled and my heart is so torn. Which way to go? Do I be happy, my brother, that you have gone to the place where our wheelchairs are banished? Or do I be sad because I feel the intense pain that comes from my best friend, your wife and soulmate? I know in my heart that you will never leave me. As I sit here now typing, making arrangements for my second trip to Utah, I glance over to my picture album, laying open to pictures from the wedding. We were all so happy that day. I roll by my closet and see my dress hanging there and think of the beautiful smile on your and Jodi's faces that day.
My brother, watching over us all, enjoy your flight and fly high.
All My Love,
Allyson (Julie) - December 13th 2000

Oh, S'phen, Sfennie… How much of a shock it was to log on for a simple mailcheck and see the news. I'll always remember you as the one who was responsible for letting Pyrene into the weyr… the one who first rp'ed with me, first gave me a dragonflight and was generally patient with my newbie-crazed infatuation with being on Pern. For all your trials in life, I can't remember a single specific occasion when I talked to you and you were unhappy. I'm sure there were times, but I will always remember you as being eternally cheerful. And for that, I am both glad and humbled. I am sorry to have lost you, my friend, but glad that you are at peace. - Pyrene, former little lost weyrbrat.
Pyrene - December 14th 2000

I've so many memories of Sphenny but the one thing that stands out bout him is rainbows. For that any time i see a rainbow i will think of him forever more. S'phen i know would want people to be happy though I keep thinking bout how much I miss him even though i hadn't been talking to him as much as before.
I'd been his[Tracy] mentee as Tamisha for a bit before he dropped that char and bakercraft.
I'd been his[Derick] mentor as Kaelendra for healers.
I was his fostermum [veraldaine] for young Carlin whom was always such a great char.
I[trey] was taught healer basics by him in what will be the most interestingly taught class ever no doubt.
He touched many lives, many hearts, many people. He was always a ray of sunshine, a silverlining to a dark cloud, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
I'll remember sphenny forever, I'll never forget him, forever he'll be thought of whenever I see a rainbow.
Kaelendra - December 15th 2000

I heard through the grapevine, as many did, the terribly sad news, and I grieve with everyone else the passing of a kind and generous soul. To me you were Y'nis, bronze Jhereth's rider on FrostFire, Lyre's big brother and F'dyn's pupil and friend. Aerie Weyr's gone, but the memories are still fresh in both heart and mind. You were more than just an RP partner; you were a dear friend and confidant. Poor you, to whom I poured out the woes of my sorry love life, but to whom I gladly listened as you gushed about the love of yours. I'm glad that the difficulties of your life were offset by the joys and that hardships were tempered with happiness.
Through the tears I thought of those I've lost over the last year and the heartwrenching pain it caused. The tears I shed for you, Stephen, are really for those closest to you, for their loss and the pain they surely feel. To Stephen's wife, family, and fellow friends I send my sincere condolences and warmest regards. Stephen will be missed, but he will never be forgotten!
Fly high, flame hard!
F'dyn / Lyrelia
F'dyn/Lyrelia (Frostfire MUSH) - December 15th 2000

We loved tormenting each other. What a way to start something like this off, I knowbut we did. It was fun. We were Candidates togetheror at least, Aife and Stephen-the-healer were, in HRW's first clutch. He tried to give her a physical and she threw crockery at his head. We went sledding, and he drove her near insane with melodramatic 'chivalry.' He knew all her buttons, pushed them endlessly, and she fought back however she couldthey drove each other /nuts/. And it was fun.
And underneath that, we were friends. He was always the first one to say hi, and always ready with some way to cheer people up
as if he didn't have so much more to worry about than most of the angsty mini-crises on this MOO. When I had to take a leave of absence from the online world, he and Jodi were among the ones I frequently missed. I wish…well, "one more time," you know?
But things don't work out that way.
Take care, schatzi. We'll see you later.
Aife - March 1st 2001

It has been nearly three and a half years since I learned of Stephen's passing and, until now, I have not been able to bring myself to read any of his memorials. I chanced to happen upon the one on this site and had to read it. Now I would like to add my own thoughts to go along with all the others.
I remember, in my youthful exuberance, being convinced and sure that I could teach anyone to dance. Stephen let me down gently with a picture and an explanation of why he couldn't be taught and we were close friends from that point on. He always greeted me with a hug and a hello whenever I logged on and we rejoiced in each others' marriages. Our characters shared long talks as did ourselves. There was a common bond in nature both spiritual and of the heart and I have missed him most of all the friends I have known on HT who have gone their ways. He was the reason I played at High Reaches at all.
He is missed.
Aidany - April 13th 2004

More than four years after any of us last had the pleasure of laughing with Stephen, he is still very firmly in our thoughts and hearts, as I am sure we are in his. Even though I only had the pleasure of meeting him once, I am looking forward to the opportunity to do so again. He is not forgotten.
G'rwin - June 15th 2005

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