No one ever thinks that they will be saying a final good bye to a youngster; they seem too full of life and all that promise of things to come-you don’t expect to find yourself in a place like this, on a day like this, to mark the end of a life that hardly even started, but we are saying farewell to this beautiful little child ‘Pique’ long before his time-and that doesn’t feel at all alright.
I have spoken to Ana (Piqui’s mother) about Piqui, his personality, his way of being. I learned that his favorite superhero was the Disney character ‘Elena of Avalor.’ He liked her because she liked to help people. There was something magical about her and the ‘Scepter of Life’ she used to help others.
According to Ana, Piqui was a helping figure and wasn’t afraid of anything. He loved it when Ana would read to him and together they would role play the characters of the books they read. Piqui had an analytical mind, he was highly intelligent. He was able to write his first and last name. He could add and subtract. He had a magical and magnetic personality. As a 5 year old he brought people together. People stopped what they were doing to watch or listen to Piqui.
One of Piqui’s favorite excursions was to walk along the beach at Bolsa Chica and collect sea shells. At Ana’s home sits a jar half full of sea shells that he collected. Ana would take Piqui to school, Luis Barriere-the school custodian-would take him on his rounds to clean classrooms. Later, when shopping with his mom, Piqui wanted to buy a bouquet flowers for Luis.
Although Piqui was only with us for a very short time, he had a huge personality and it was hard not to notice him, small as he was. That’s one of the things that makes his sudden loss so very difficult to come to terms with. Knowing that is going to make it very hard to accept. I am sure many here today have your own special memories of Piqui.
At a time like this, there are so many different feelings- despair, anger, sorrow, confusion. And so many questions. Amid all that, our hearts go out to Ana and her family for the great burden they bear today and will come to bear in the coming days.
I would like to recite a very short poem titled ‘Young Life Cut Short.’ The author is unknown: Do not judge a biography by its length,/ Nor by the number of pages in it./ Judge it by the richness of its contents./ Sometimes those unfinished are among the most poignant./ Do not judge a song by its duration/ Nor by the number of its notes/ Judge it by the way it touches and lifts the soul/ Sometimes those unfinished are among the most beautiful/ And when something has enriched your life/ And when its melody lingers on in your heart/ Is it unfinished?/ Or is it endless?
Today, it’s difficult to even begin to talk of ‘comfort’ but in the months and years ahead, as we remember little Piqui I hope we gain strength from realizing, as we look back on his life, just how much of an affect he had on us in the short time he was with us.”
-South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller