I was touched, moved, and saddened when Julia opened the door to the transition house and told me it was named in memory of Esteban. Esteban was a 10 year old boy who was murdered by his own father, a cruel 75 year old man who killed his son and then himself. I know from first-hand experience how painful it is to be emotionally rejected and financially abandoned by my father. But even I find it hard to fathom that a father could be so cruel that he would literally murder his own child. My heart breaks to think of this wonderful young boy whose life was snuffed out at such an early age. I read the Spanish-language plaque in his memory. I looked at his photographs in the house. And I read some of his writings.
And I thought to myself - what a terrible, irreparable loss for humanity. Who knows what a wonderful young man he might have become. He might have become a good husband and father. He might have contributed to society as a police officer, fire fighter, teacher, Little League coach or Boy Scout mentor. Or he might have gone on to a career such as law, medicine, accounting or business. The world is a poorer place without Esteban.
Sadly we can’t bring Esteban back. But we can tell his story to the residents of this house and our society so he isn’t forgotten. And also we can keep creating programs like the transition house so other children from abusive families have the chance to grow up in freedom, get an education, and improve their lives. Esteban’s legacy is helping other kids have the future that he was so cruelly and unjustly denied.