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It was 56 years ago in 1955 when a boy was born to a single mother (his biological parents did not get married till later). He was raised by his adopted parents and lived in a place which is now known as the Silicon Valley. His name was Steve Jobs. He died yesterday, on the  7th of October 2011.

This is his Mandarin name:


Shǐ dì fu . qiáo bù sī

Coincidentally, my husband’s name is also Steve. So when I learned about Steve Job’s death, I immediately said to him, “What if that was your name? Steve?” I can only imagine the sadness and sorrow that his family members must be going through right now.

Steve replied, “Imagine telling people you are dead with the same invention they are holding in their hands now. Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham created the telephone (Alexandar Graham patented his design first) and their deaths would have been told via the telephone too eh?”

I told my daughter about this sad news. It was Children’s Day today by the way, Friday 7th October 2011. So yesterday was the day when the kids celebrated at school with their teachers and friends. She showed me a bright green water bottle which the school gave. As we were heading home, I saw her father standing at the top of hill waiting for us. I gestured to my daughter to run up the hill to meet him while I wheeled her schoolbag and used the staircase instead. Before walking away, I threw a bunch of keys to her, telling her to open our letter box.

When I arrived at the lobby to meet them, she was already seated and browsing through the letters she had collected. The first thing she showed me was discount coupons from Long John Silvers. She went, “Wah! Mum. Look! So many coupons.” Just then the lift arrived and we all entered.

The rest of the day went by as normal. It was not until late in the evening, after dinner, when she began to realise her green water bottle was not inside the house. She asked,”Dad, did you see a green water bottle hanging around anywhere in the house?” I was in the kitchen all afternoon and evening. I also did not recall seeing the water bottle she had brought back from school. We soon realised that she did not take the bottle with her into the house.

She broke into tears and cried. I tried my best to console her. I said so many things just to get a smile out from her again.  I had run out of ideas. Its Children’s Day, so I was not about to brush her feelings aside by giving her a lecture about how to take care of her own things in future. I remembered  Larry  said, “Ice cream fixes everything.” I decided that I should let  her have an early Children’s Day treat at McDonald’s instead.

But I had this to say to her before we left.

“A bird in the hand is better than two in a bush.” I went on to explain what it meant. She had the water bottle and was looking at the brochure as well. In her excitement, she forgot to keep the one thing that mattered most, her water bottle.

Perhaps she was really hungry because she just came home from school. So on hindsight, it wasn’t all her fault for not remembering to take her water bottle.

I said to her gently, “Remember that you only lost a water bottle. There is someone out there in this world today who has lost a loved one. (I was referring to the death of Steve Jobs.) You can replace your water bottle, but you can never have your loved one back.” To that she nodded, her head held low.

As we walked towards McDonald’s, we spotted her old schoolbag in a basket of a bicycle. I said,  “See over there? That is your old school bag. Someone has picked it up. Let’s hope that your water bottle was found by someone who needs it more than you do.” She nodded, glanced at me and smiled.

The rest of the evening went along well after this. We each had Horlicks McFlurry. By the time we arrived home, she was happy all over again.

The death of Steve Jobs have indirectly helped me get through my day. Thank you Steve Jobs. I am glad I can remember you and Apple this way.  You have touched us in many ways. With our iPads, iPods and iPhones, we will be touching our way to the very end of our times. An Apple A Day may not keep the doctor away for everyone, but in this case, it did for me.

Reference: Biography of Steve Jobs