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Gone Too Soon

posted 8/28/2010 10:18:28 PM |
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tagged: life

Kit's blog about going back to being just friends got me to thinking about a pal of mine. And, it also got me to thinking about how to enjoy life, because, in reality, we aren't here all that long. And, in some cases, our journey gets cut off too soon.

Steve was my best pal, buddy, friend, since the first grade. Together, we drove teachers crazy with our antics. On the play ground, we had a merry-go-round, monkey bars, swings, sand box, and there was a baseball diamond where we could play kickball at recess. Steve and I would horse around on the monkey bars, hanging upside down by our knees....teachers never did like that. Of course, now I understand, back then, we saw it as a challenge to see how long we could do that before getting told to get off the monkey bars. The merry-go-round, oh yeah, we had fun with that too...many a time falling off and getting the ritual scrapes and bruises. Steve broke his arm once. It was all fun and games back then. Then in 5th grade, his family moved away. I missed my buddy. We didn't see each other again till 9th grade.

When I saw him again in 9th grade, OMG...he had gotten so CUTE!!! Best way I can describe Steve....think of Matt Dillon in Little Darlings.....that was how Steve looked. Matt Dillon All the girls in the 9th grade were crushing on was happy to see my pal again. We caught up on what the other had been doing since we last saw each other..and picked up on our friendship again....but instead of monkey bars and swings....we were into being rebellious...sneaking off to have a cigarette or smoke a joint. Cut class and see how long we could get away with it. Ducking and hiding from the "dragon lady" teacher....actually, in jr. high, there were 3 of them. The ones who seemed to always have it out for the kids having fun....oh it was fun to outsmart them. Believe it or not...for all the hell I raised in jr high and high school, it wasn't until close to the end of my senior year before I got caught and was suspended. And that in part thanks to Steve's clumsy attempt at trying to sound like my best friend's father. My best friend, her father moved to the States from Mexico when he was 18. He became a legal citizen after serving in the Military. So, he had a very heavy accent, and Steve tried to imitate it when attempting to pose as her Dad calling the school to say that she and I came home at lunch time cause we weren't feeling well. Didn't work, next day she and I got a 3 day suspension.

Steve dropped out of school in our jr year. He started working to help his mother keep up with bills. But we continued to hang out and have fun. About the time we were 19/20 years old, we became a couple. It lasted about 2 or 3 years. Then we kind of grew apart...and after a talk, we agreed we were better as pals rather than as boyfriend/girlfriend, and we went back to being buddies. About a year after that, he met K, ( I will not use her full name out of respect), who would become his fiance', and one of my best friends. And yes, she knew of my past with Steve, he had told her. See? Honesty can go a long way.

The next 4 years were great. Steve was engaged, K, omg, she did wonders for him. He was on the fast track to drug addiction and alcoholism, but, she helped him get to a point where he wasn't drinking as much, and he wasn't doing drugs as much. Well, Steve had a nephew 6 years younger than him. And on his nephew's 21st birthday, Steve took him to the bar for a birthday drink. Yeah, they had quite a few birthday drinks. And while walking home, a kid on a bike barreled through them, almost knocking them over. The nephew, feeling belligerent, yelled, "Watch where the fuck you're going you little "n****r", to which Steve told him to shut up as he was in no condition to stick up for him if he were to get into a fight because of his big mouth.

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Aug 28 @ 10:29PM  
Well, his nephew didn't take him serious...continued yelling at this kid, hurling racial insults. Steve kept telling him to shut up or he, personally, would kick his ass. The kid had run into a local pizza parlor, and a few minutes later, a guy about Steve's and his nephew's age came running out and confronted them. While the three of them were yelling and hurling threats and insults, a car pulled up. Out jumped two brothers, one a juvenile, the other an adult. The adult handed his younger brother a gun and said, "shoot the white fuckers". Steve by this time had been saying he didn't want a fight, but his nephew kept running off at the mouth. The younger guy, with the gun, held the gun up and fired. The bullet hit Steve square in the chest and he went down. 3 hours later on the operating table, Steve died. He was only 27 years old. That night, I had been at another friends house, we had smoked a couple of joints, had a few beers, I was feeling pretty good. I had asked my Dad to drop me off over there cause I knew I was going to be drinking and I didn't want to be drinking and driving. And I had asked Dad to pick me up around 10pm. Well, Dad showed up about 7pm. I didn't know why so early, but, I was ready to go home anyway. I remember the silence in the car..didn't think a whole lot about it...till Mom finally turned around and told me, "there was a fight, and Steve was involved". At that point, my heart dropped, and let me tell you...her next sentence....sobered me up so fast..I literally had a headache. She told me, "Steve has been shot...and it's very critical". I never knew until that day a buzz could clear up that fast. All I could think of at that moment was my childhood pal was in the fight for his life...and I wasn't at the hospital with him. When we got to my parents, my sister, I could tell had been crying. She told me, "Chris called....Steve didn't make it, he died 15 minutes ago". It's hard to be 27 years old and realize your pal, someone you grew up with, raised hell with, loved like both a brother and lover, was gone. Those beautiful brown eyes of his were closed forever. I wasn't going to hear my friend laughing anymore.

He had a nice funeral, and I remember the pastor saying, "Steve's energy will continue on as energy never dies". So Steve, wherever you are...I still miss you.

Thanks for letting me put this out there.

Aug 28 @ 10:36PM  
Oh man, I really hated reading that about Steve. I'm so sorry, Dawn.

Aug 28 @ 10:54PM  
I have known far too many people that were buds of mine that are now dead.

Aug 28 @ 11:01PM  

Life is but a stopping place,
A pause in what's to be,
A resting place along the road,
to sweet eternity.

We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,
but never meant to stay...

Our destination is a place,
Far greater than we know.
For some the journey's quicker,
For some the journey's slow.

And when the journey finally ends,
We'll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the lord.

Aug 28 @ 11:53PM  
I know your friend was taken from you way too soon...but you were so blessed to have such a wonderful friendship for as long as you did. Thanks so much for sharing this story. ((((Hugs)))))

Aug 29 @ 12:27AM  
Very nicely written!

I used to have many friends through the years, mostly job related and buddies- many are now out of my life for various reasons including passing on! much different world for me now than it used to be!


Aug 29 @ 12:32AM  
Big Hugs!!!

Aug 29 @ 12:48AM  
What a heartbreaking story.... I am so sorry for the loss of your friend Dawn... it must have been hard to endure such a senseless loss... I truly hope his nephew learned a thing or two from that experience and realizes the depth of the loss of Steve..... I know he is missed by his entire family, his friends, his fiance and you too of course..... he's in your heart and will remain there forever!

Thank you so much for sharing that with us... I wish I could hug you right now!

Aug 29 @ 3:47PM  
I am sorry to read of your friend Steve's tragedy! You just never know when your number will be up.
I'm not a person who dwells too much on death. It's not something I want to fear because if I let myself, I won't live now, while I can!
Back in May, on Mother's Day to be exact, I lost a high school buddy to colon cancer. We hadn't spoken or seen each other since our graduation in 1984, but I had kept all of the memories of him close to my heart (just a good friend, no romantic interest at all).
His death rolled over me like a Mack truck! I just couldn't get my head wrapped around the fact that a person my age had been taken from us by such an illness! This guy was a great friend- he had a wonderful wife and he built his own business of designing and making cowboy hats and boots. He was so good in his trade that pro-Rodeo cowboys would only go to him for hats and boots!
So I spent a lot of time wondering why all the good die young. Like in this case of your friend Steve. He didn't hurt anybody. But yet he died. Situations like these are sometimes too much to comprehend.
But the conclusion I finally came to is this; You never know when it will be your time. So until then, I have to live each day to the fullest! Don't let the trivial or silly things get you down! Be a good friend to others, cherish your family, and go to bed each evening with no regrets.

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Gone Too Soon