These were Steve Jobs last words as he lay on his deathbed as revealed by his sister, writer Mona Simpson, in her eulogy delivered on October 16 at his memorial service, as published in New York Times this week.
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Simpson, who is also a professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles, in her moving tribute revealed her deep love for her older brother who she first met at 25, after Jobs was adopted, describing him as “a guy my age in jeans, Arab- or Jewish-looking and handsomer than Omar Sharif.”
“Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.”
She also revealed how she told Jobs she was thinking of buying a Cromemco computer. However, the Apple co- founder told her to hold off as he was making something that was going to be “insanely beautiful.”
Their university-going parents later married, although divorced in 1962.
She also spoke of Jobs’ strong work ethic but also revealed a lighter, fluffier side to the Apple CEO, who was “like a girl” in the amount of time he spent talking about love and affairs of the heart and would even chase after men looking to hook his sister up.
Simpson went on to marry The Simpsons scriptwriter Richard Appel (Mona Simpson character is named after her).
“Love was his supreme virtue, his god of gods. He tracked and worried about the romantic lives of the people working with him,” she said
And his love for his four children and his wife was paramount, describing him as “an intensely emotional man. ”
He also spoke of hard times, when he got booted out of Apple. ” He told me about a dinner at which 500 Silicon Valley leaders met the then-sitting president. Steve hadn’t been invited. He was hurt but he still went to work at Next. Every single day. Novelty was not Steve’s highest value. Beauty was.”
“Then, Steve became ill and we watched his life compress into a smaller circle. Once, he’d loved walking through Paris. He’d discovered a small handmade soba shop in Kyoto. He downhill skied gracefully. He cross-country skied clumsily. No more.”
She also revealed how Jobs called her to hurry up to Palo Alto before his death.
“His tone was affectionate, dear, loving, but like someone whose luggage was already strapped onto the vehicle, who was already on the beginning of his journey, even as he was sorry, truly deeply sorry, to be leaving us.”
“His breath indicated an arduous journey, some steep path, altitude. He seemed to be climbing.”But with that will, that work ethic, that strength, there was also sweet Steve’s capacity for wonderment, the artist’s belief in the ideal, the still more beautiful later.
“Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.”
“Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times: ‘Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.'”
“Until about 2 in the afternoon, his wife could rouse him, to talk to his friends from Apple. Then, after awhile, it was clear that he would no longer wake to us. His breathing changed. It became severe, deliberate, purposeful. I could feel him counting his steps again, pushing farther than before. This is what I learned: he was working at this, too. Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it.”
Jobs, aged 56, died on October 5th last after a long running battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.
Read the full text of the eulogy to Steve Jobs here