Eric always said through his illness and varied cancer treatments, that he was blessed.
He saw and felt the difficulties, unknowns and huge hurdles many people diagnosed and affected with cancer faced day to day. Whether we were at chemo, radiation, in surgery or going through another round of uncomfortable tests, his compassion and awareness grew by the moment.
And it changed me daily too. To see his heart and mind expand & want to do something for others, as his own cancer was diminishing him by the pound, showed me & many friends his great spirit and bravery. As I witnessed this contrast of loss and inner growth, and started to become acutely aware of how this man and his love were being taken away day by day, like the suction of an immense overhead vacuum, I was inspired as much as I was devastated. Witnessing his composure, strength, conversations and desires to help others became a lantern in the darkest of our days.
As Eric’s life partner and now caregiver, I was responding by the minute with attending to many different needs, appointments and medication doses. At most times, I was and usually felt helpless & stranded. What I knew I could do and offer was present my love, to make him feel safe, give him comfort, hold his hand and just be there by his side. In that spirit and to honor this kind, generous, funny and always thoughtful man, We want to give back to the place that gave us hope, love, comfort and true care.
We spent much time outside in the Stewart Rose garden at St John’s Hospital in Santa Monica.
It was a beautiful protected spot to leave the confines of our room, escape and sort out the confusion of too much information and to better enjoy a meal and share in a quiet conversation.In memory and in keeping with Eric’s compassion, we have started a foundation to add benches to this special healing garden
. When we were in this established space, holding hands and talking, I had to stand or sit on the ground while Eric was in a wheel chair to have our conversations, steady our bond & take in moments of just us to discuss our lives, plans and what lied ahead in treatments.
And while I can longer be there to steady my guy, Together we can all bless and contribute to this place for Eric, so that others can enjoy a place of comfort to sit, exchange words, relax , revive and hold hands in the beautiful, fragrant surroundings of the Stewart rose garden at St John’s Hospital, Santa Monica.
I am still astounded & will always remember the care, connection and love offered to Eric and to the both of us during our many stays at St John’s and most importantly, the support offered in those last weeks of his life. Since his passing, I still find strength from the staff and want to ensure this great opportunity to bring seating & some of that perfect Soroe style to all those that attend to patients and the families that receive dedicated and loving care at St John’s.Please consider a donation to our fund so that we can add garden benches in Eric’s name for a spring time dedication ceremony and celebration event
. You may offer funds here on his page or send in directly to the St John’s foundation office. Thank you in advance for your support and being a part of Eric’s life and memory.
Forever remembered, forever loved.
Gloria & Jimmy Stewart rose garden