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Steve Jobs Achieved Death: Mona Simpson

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Visionary, entrepreneur, showman ... Steve Jobs lived an amazing life not only for his empire-building abilities, but for also being able to keep his private life, for the most part, private -- all in a very public world. (Published Thursday, Dec 20, 2012)

    Steve Jobs' sister gave the world a rare, intimate glimpse into the Silicon Valley pioneer's life when she delivered his eulogy at a church on Stanford's campus on Oct. 16.

    The problem was the world was not there to hear the stories of a much simpler Jobs than portrayed in Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography.

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    Visionary, entrepreneur, showman ... Steve Jobs lived an amazing life not only for his empire-building abilities, but for also being able to keep his private life, for the most part, private -- all in a very public world. (Published Thursday, Dec 20, 2012)

    But over the weekend The New York Times published the memorial written by the best-selling novelist, Mona Simpson, who was connected to Jobs by birth but separated by circumstance.

    Simpson only knew her brother for 27 of his 56 years of life but she made the most of that time, filling a void left by her absent father.

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    "Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me," Simpson wrote about Jobs. "For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother."

    Jobs and Simpson became close immediately, something that Jobs, who was given up for adoption when Simpson and his parents were not allowed to marry, would never achieve with his father.

    Simpson said her brother loved to work really hard, every day. But beyond the products that Jobs gave to the world, Simpson says was a man who dreamed of watching his son graduate from school and who had visions of retiring and sailing around the world with his wife.

    Her brother's greatest trait was beauty, according to Simpson. He saw beauty in the world and he took that vision and made beautiful products for the world and created a beautiful life with his family.

    Simpson paints the picture of a man who was there for his family and who lived to be with them.

    As demanding as Jobs was with Apple, Simpson says he was the opposite at home, in a way.

    She describes a simple home life that involved the family sitting on its front lawn, in front of a simple home, eating a simple dinner with a single vegetable.

    Simpson stripped the Teflon armor from her brother to reveal a man who slow danced with his son, Reed, at his graduation.

    But at the same time, Jobs was a man whose mind was always thinking about the future and always thinking about Apple.

    "Once, he told me if he’d grown up differently, he might have become a mathematician," Simpson said. "He spoke reverently about colleges and loved walking around the Stanford campus. In the last year of his life, he studied a book of paintings by Mark Rothko, an artist he hadn’t known about before, thinking of what could inspire people on the walls of a future Apple campus.'

    And after years of battling with cancer and deteriorating health, Simpson says the family was not expecting Jobs to pass away.

    His wife, Laurene Powell, laid by his side those final hours and Simpson said she received a call from Jobs urging her to hurry up and get to the Bay Area because his time may be running short.

    "His breathing changed. It became severe, deliberate, purposeful. I could feel him counting his steps again, pushing farther than before," she said. "This is what I learned: he was working at this, too. Death didn’t happen to Steve, he achieved it."

    When those final moments came, Simpson said Jobs left the world in wonderment uttering:

    Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.