I find myself impressed that my sixty-seven year old mother knows who Steve Jobs is. I am further impressed that she seems to feel some compassion for him and even awareness of the impact he has made on technology and Apple in particular.
As I relocate my laptop computer from her dining room table to its carrying case, mother calls me to the television.
“Look, seeeeeeeeee, he is sick. Look at those photos. Awww. He has pancreatic cancer” mom says.
Not sure whom she is speaking of, I decide to leave the laptop on the cherry wood table and join her in the living room. The television is broadcasting a news story of Steve Jobs. Photos of him, allegedly unedited photos, are shown on-screen. He is attempting to get into a wheel chair in one photo. In another, he is being steadied by another man, seemingly unable to walk on his own. In both photos he looks gaunt, pale, obviously ill.
Mother continues on with her talk of Steve. I am barely listening. I am in my own state of wonder at the photos and reminiscing about Steve, Apple, and technology within the halls of my own mind. I note that he does look poorly. I feel sad for an instant having admired him in the past, realizing the contributions he has made to our world today.
The news story changes and now we see a picture of Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian immigrant reportedly the biological father of Steve Jobs. My mind stops reminiscing and my attention is captured.
Did I know Steve Jobs was an adoptee? I quickly scan my memory banks and blog readings to retrieve this info. Surely I must have. I believe a blog, perhaps FirstMother forum, once captured the names of famous adoptees.
My mother is suddenly quiet behind me. No more talk of pancreatic cancer, no more “awwws” or expressions of sadness. The room is quiet.
I am standing in front of my mother, closest to the television. The news reporter states that Jandali regrets the surrender of his son to adoption. Janadali conceived Jobs with his now ex-wife Joanne Simpson. Simpson father was against the idea of his daughter marrying a Syrian and as a result, their child was put up for adoption. (Simpsons father died a few months after their child’s birth allowing the couple to be together).
The newsreel displays a photo of Jandali, an attractive older man noted to be a workaholic (much like his son he did not raise). My eyes dart furiously back and forth across the screen as I look for a resemblance to Jobs. My mother is mumbling something behind me. It is static to me. I am in my own adoption topic induced world.
Report continues that Jandali has emailed his son a few times but has never met him face-to-face (at least not since his birth). It is unclear from the report if the lack of a meeting is due to father or son. Now that Jobs is on his deathbed, Jandali is quoted as saying he wants to have the opportunity to meet his son. I find myself wondering if Joanne Simpson, the mother of Jobs and ex-wife of Jandali, ever reunited with her son.
I am frozen in place. My feet wont move from the beige area rug my mother has recently placed in her living room. The sound of her voice is once again heard in my ears.
Another “awwww” (my mothers favorite phrase) is expressed and she continues.
“That is so sad. Dad wants to meet his son. I hope he does. That must be so hard to live with, don’t you think?” she says, clearly forgetting who is standing in the living room).
“Yes, Mom, I do think it must be hard. I live with it every day of my life” I respond as I reach once again for my laptop.
There is no response from my mother as I leave the room.