As fate would have it, I arrived in Santa Cruz, jumped through a few hoops to get in touch with my future roommate and reached out. He reluctantly disclosed that he'd actually spoken to the, now African bound, friend of mine and they'd come the conclusion that I wasn't staying there. A minor detail he'd neglected to mention when I spoke to him just 5 days before his departure.
Needless to say, I was a tad bit pissed, as all my plans were centered around this very critical piece of the puzzle. However, amidst the fury and extreme disappointment, there remained a calm, almost anticipation of the adventure to unfold. If I were any other place on the planet, perhaps I'd been a little more on edge. But for those of you that know the Cruz, you are certainly well aware of the magic that underlies all things. And for those of you that know me, this seems to be the time when Divinity gets to illuminating that golden path. And this undoubtedly had the feel of one of those situations that initially looks like drama but eventually pans out to be just what the doctor ordered.
The Very Next Day, my friend Summer returned from her holiday adventures and revealed a room in her place was opening up in early February. That was the breath of freshness I needed right there. At the very least it solidified some sort of living space if even down the road a bit.
Later that night I stopped by Cafe Mare to holler at a few of the folks I used to work with. While there, my man Dylan informed me that his brother's vehicle had been sitting around and was in need of some driving since his passing. An offer that was both beautiful and tragic. Teddy passed on November 20th, sending a shockwave through the community for all who knew him. To say it felt awkward would be an understatement when I thought of me benefitting in some way from his death. But the giving didn't stop there.
The next day, Dylan called me to give me the OK on the whip, and then proceeded to extend his brother's room to me for the time leading up to Summer's place opening up. Absolutely Divine. I've always called his family my Santa Cruz fam, but I had no idea it would grow to this extent. Not only was I honored that they'd open their home to me in general, but when factoring in the sensitivity of the time, it was an extremely humbling extension. One I did and do not take lightly. My prayer immediately became "Spirit, please use me to bring whatever light possible to this family." So I've been buying the liquor and getting em drunk every night since! :)
Nah, but on a serious note, it's been a rare opportunity (for lack of a better word) to witness the dynamics of the days that follow. Although I do not have the wealth of memories that the family shares from time to time, I certainly feel like I'm getting greater insight as to who he is/was as their anecdotes offer greater depth.
What is absolutely beautiful about this family is despite the tragedy, they truly honor his life everyday. There is rarely a conversation that doesn't venture the direction of "when Teddy was here...." almost all of which end in hysterical laughter. Whether it's Grandma telling me how she used to leave the things she needed done in the upper reaches of her home for him to do. Or Mom reflecting on some of the misconceptions his friends had about him. There's something very soulful about how they continue to keep him present.
I feel that is not only a testament to his life, but also the genuine beauty of this family. Without question, they are one of the healthiest families I've encountered. They make it a point to sit down and eat together at least once a week. But usually do so more often than that. And it's not the type of thing where one of them is rolling their eyes at the obligation of having to do so either.
Grandma lives right next door and at 83 she's just as sharp and entertaining as any of them. She watches more Sportscenter than I do, and if you have anything negative to say about USC football, you better be out of throwing range when doing so!
Today was one of those days where I connected with each of them in very unique ways. All of which left me with that uncontrollable extra beamy glow/grin thing happening. And it's the kind of day where I can't help but reflect and acknowledge just how perfect the alignment of events has worked out, shedding even more light on this thing called life.