No doubt that if you saw the two of us, you would not pair us as friends. But we were.
Steve and I met when I was 15. He was charming, funny, dangerous and tall. Very tall. From my 5'1, his 6'7 was giant like. Just like his life.
He was the only friend my parents banned me from seeing. They knew that his lifestyle was trouble. Drugs were only part of his world (a big part mind you), but he sadly surrounded himself with other troubled people and there was little doubt that he would end up in jail (which he did) and not really be that outstanding citizen.
While we lost touch for a number of years, he was always someone I thought about. For so many reasons, his life impacted mine. He was what I was not. And in reality, watching him fall was what kept me out of trouble. I did not want that for myself.
But a few years ago, we re-united through facebook. After hitting rock bottom, Steve had found himself, found God, and found a way back to that good person I knew was there all along. He had been clean for a few years and was helping others do the same.
Steve's rough exterior showed mean and tough still, but his heart of gold, and a smile worth a million dollars made you look past all the tatoos, scars, and apprent image and see the real Steve. While I would imagine that our day to day lives were still very different, there was always this 'connection' that we had.
Sadly, I have just learned that this life of his that he fought so hard to regain has been taken from him. He was killed in a car accident in Vernon a couple of days ago. I sit here in shock.
I am thankful for the impact that he made in my life, and that one that I made in his. I will miss him, and glad that while his life was short, he ensured that he made the most of it while here.