Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tomorrow Is Steven's Birthday

Tomorrow September 23, 2010 is my son Steven's birthday.

He would have been 33 years of age.

I dread the coming of his birthday almost as much as the date of his death. While I don't ever stop thinking about my first born son Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff, my inner pain begins to silently morph upwards in the weeks before both dates.

It has been close to 3 long years since I last hugged and kissed Steven, 2 and a half years since we spoke on the phone,it feels like an eternity because it is. Steven is gone forever, the memories I have of him will always be a part of me, but they fail at making any difference in the reality of his loss.

I am grateful for what I still have in life, yet I can never wish away his death. It has become a part of who I am and is a way to remember Steven not only as he was but how he died. Many of those who love Steven choose to remember him as he was, but I am not comfortable in doing that as his father.

Steven was an amazing human being and his life was filled with many people, events, and wonderful times for all that had the privilege of knowing him. He truly touched those he met in many different ways and is remembered in the hearts and minds of all who loved him.

As his father, I know that Steven was a special man, gifted, compassionate, funny, honest, self taught, he could teach himself and others anything, an oh so skilled at whatever he did. I will always be proud of Steven and who he was in his short time on this earth. A father could not ask for more from such a loving son.

I get stuck on his death part. I cannot seem to even remotely comprehend the reasons of fate, a second here or there would have kept him safe, and the gross negligence on the part of others that unnecessarily killed Steven. I guess what started out for me as a way to just find out the details of how Steven died, to make sure he was not alone, that the causes of his death were clearly understood, was a way for me to try to insure that while I could not as his father keep him from dying, I would at least make certain that all the facts of his death were accurately recorded.

That began my ongoing journey to the discoveries of the real truths that caused his death. The endless calls, communications, and good people who helped me in this quest for Justice and accountability from those entities and individuals who stole Steven's life from him. The evil ones, who to this day try to make it seem that Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff never lived, and never died at their hands. They would sweep his life away in a second to avoid their responsibility if they could, and they may succeed in doing that yet.

I often dwell on the horrific, painful manner in which Steven died, the actual facts, real pictures, and feelings that I imagine he felt as he slowly died for over 45 minutes, during mass confusion. I wonder what he felt in that split nano second just before the collision and then right after, since he was still aware of his surroundings. I wonder about the terrifying fear that he felt while he was being treated, his loneliness, his pain, and I cannot seem to stop thinking about that. I see his grotesquely damaged face and body staring out out me from a body bag, photos seared into my mind, taken by the California Highway Patrol and the Coroners Office. I tremble uncontrollably every time I go near those photos and others like them on my computer, mostly never being able to open those particular picture files after my original 2 or 3 views. I want to, but I can't, they are just too real, too painful, too ugly, no wonder so many people want to only remember Steven in life, as he was, and avoid the details of his death, or their demanding justice for him

I am the keeper of his files, the archivist of his horrible death, who else will do it, who else should do it, this is my responsibility to protect Steven's dignity, the truth, and due process in death. It is the very least I can do for him.

For the last year, in our quest to obtain justice for Steven, we have become part of the extremely dysfunctional legal system as victims. We have highly skilled, very much human, kind, caring, the best of attorneys to represent Steven. Yet it is a legal system that appears to me as having no compassion, few rights, and no sense of basic human respect for victims and their families. A system that appears to me to largely be a well paid industry of posturing actors/actresses, theater of the absurd, and manipulations of legal words to hide the truth. Laws that are meant to protect, to give due process, appear to me as instead being mocked and circumvented, manipulated by those who see themselves as "owning" the system to do with as they wish. Justice and the truth appear to me as almost invisible while bullying, billing hours, out of control egos, legal monetary costs, and untruths at any cost, seem to rule the day.

The pain of losing Steven, my first born son can never be changed, but he lived and his life was stolen from him and our family by those who contributed to his death and continue to try to make believe that there never was a Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff. My son was an amazing person, he did not deserve to die nor be treated in death with such a disrespectful, disgraceful manner.

Steven was our child, our brother, our friend, we will never hug him again, never kiss him or talk to him, his dreams will never be fulfilled, he will never have a family of his own, never have his own children, never be be a father, and never have his chance to change the world in the way only he was capable of doing.

Shouldn't I as a parent, wonder about such things, do the very best of my ability to get him justice, it may not be healthy, but is it that mysterious about why I am stuck here?

In memory of Steven, whenever you read this post, please take a minute to think of the person, Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff.- Jerry

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