For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jaime Gonzalez, and Steve was a dear and close friend of mine. Throughout my path in life, I have met and know a lot of people. Some people have also mentioned to me that I am lucky to have so many friends. I truly wish that were true. I have used the expression “Quality and not Quantity” in choosing my friends and the truth is I have many acquaintances and I can count in one hand my friends. Sadly, on May 11th I lost a friend.
Steve’s life was too short and it is hard to understand why tragic things like this happen. As I stand here today, this is not the question that I want answered. The question I would like for us to focus on is, “Who was Steve and what did he mean to me?”
Each one of us is going to have a different answer. I was given the honor and priveledge to stand before you tonight and answer that question.
Steve and I were partners at Southwest Division. We started getting to know each other and upon learning that he came from Boston to Los Angeles to join our Department, without having any family here, I immediately admired and respected him.
I have lived in Los Angeles all of my life and only dreamed of moving out and living in any other part of our country. But I lacked the courage to leave. Steve had that courage and I envied it. I immediately was interested about learning more about him.
Knowing that he was in Los Angeles without family connections close by, I wanted to extend my hand out to him in friendship. As we got to know each other more, I eventually invited him to my family events and was happy when he accepted. I come from a loving family who has always accepted anyone that I have brought around with open arms and immediately welcomed and embraced Steve into our home.
I will always look back at Southwest Division with fond memories and appreciate having met Steve there.
I will always be proud to say that I had a hand in Thea and Steve’s meeting each other. I strongly suggested that he needed to spend time on going out and meeting people, specifically of the opposite gender. Our work schedules were busy and it did not allow for much time for social life. Oftentimes, we would spend our days off in court or resting in preparation for our next shift.
I am glad that Steve accepted my suggestion of giving the internet a try to meet someone to date. I recall the night that we were in my house writing his profile to post online. I know that most of you know that Steve was not good at verbally expressing himself. But that night I found out that when it comes to written communication, he is great. I happened to peek over his shoulder as he was writing his profile and read the first few sentences. I don’t recall his exact words, but he was definitely spicing himself up. I laughed and responded, “Who is that person that you describing?” And looked around the room because all I saw was Steve. Then he dawned that subtle smile of his and knew that he was busted. I pushed him out of his seat and took the driver’s seat behind the computer.
As I started to write describing the Steve that I knew, he asked in a shy and quiet voice, “Jaime, do you have any rap music?” I replied, with a look of disbelief, “yeah”. He then asked, the question that changed my impression of the Steve that I knew up to this point in our friendship, “Do you have DMX? I replied, “yeah” and proceeded to look for my DMX CD. Once the music was playing, I saw a Steve that probably most people in this room probably don’t know existed, “The DMX rapping Steve”.
I cherish that memory and the times that we shared.
Steve went on to marry Thea. I was happy every time I would meet up with them.
The first time that Steve and Thea met my son, I immediately started on insisting that he should follow after me and start having children. I handed my son to him and he was scared to hold him. When my daughter came along, I handed him two children and he now was terrified. I insisted and kept on him to hurry up to have children. The love for my children, I told him was the purest of love that there is in this world.
Steve also took my advice and soon after came beautiful Kyle. As we were driving to their home to meet Kyle, I had this picture of an awkward, scared Steven holding his son. To my surprise, I saw Steve holding his son and he looked like a pro. I was proud of him and he shared with me how right I had been.
Steve my friend, we will all miss you…..
Till we meet again.