It wasn’t a very good start to my favourite month of rebirth and transformation.
During Easter and after weeks of fasting I always use this time to reflect on what have been my major stumbling blocks and habits I need to break and or rid myself of.
Just like Jesus died and rose again, this is my time to kill what is no longer working for me and allow for my butterfly metamorphosis to take shape.
But this month bares a heavy sadness that I need to find my peace with.
My favourite street vendor who always greets me with the biggest smile, dashes across the road to fist pump with me against my closed window (Covid restrictions of course) and waves with such enthusiasm and joy every day when I zoot past – is no longer at that corner to share that much needed dose of extra cheer to my days.
At first, when he made this intersection his own, I was all sorts of irritated because it meant now having to smile and connect with a person I hardly even knew.
Living in the city, and always being on the alert of anyone coming up to my window, I really didn’t want to be bothered and make him feel like I was his chosen target. So I tried to remain moody and slightly aloof every time our eyes connected, and at other times pretend not see him…
But his eyes were so playful and his smile so warm and friendly, I couldn’t help but break into a smile every time I saw him. He had this way of tilting his head and looking into my soul, almost as if to check if I was really ok.
He knew my son and my parents, even when they weren’t in the car with me. Once I was driving my brother’s car for a bit and when I returned it to its rightful owner, my street vendor approached my brother and asked where I was and why he was now driving that car.
My brother was shocked, since when do you make friends with street vendors and why is he all up in your business like that?!
The truth is, after years of me passing him every day at the same intersection and us waving and having brief chats about life and the weather, that young man was my friend.
I could tell by his walk what mood he was in, his wave that day and lack of smile that it could not have been an easy day for him sometimes.
I knew his birthday took place maybe 2 to three times a year, and I was always happy to play along and wish him the best and sometimes gave him much needed cash that absolutely made his day.
His “it’s my birthday sister” was code for can you spare me a bit of something to see me through, and I understood and respected that he ordinarily wouldn’t ask but on those ‘birthday days’ things were clearly a little more tough for him.
And then one day he wasn’t there to greet me…
He wasn’t there on the second and third day either. The only time I had noted his absence was when the weather wasn’t allowing for him to be outdoors. I told myself he must be sick or busy with something urgent, hoping that it wasn’t Covid related and gave him a week to return and tell me all about it.
But he was not to return. I heard from our Uber driver that he had been hit by a car and died on the spot at that very intersection he owned for years and connected with so many of us rushing to work or heading home.
And so I decided to dedicate this month’s blog post to the the young soul who touched my heart and brightened my day. Papi, you will forever be in my heart and I will never forget you, driving past our area of meet up and seeing unfamiliar faces there always hurts so much because that was your spot.
But you were more than that spot, you were an entire universe dancing and smiling at us all. I eagerly await your transformation and for me to recognize your rebirth in whatever form you will appear to me as.
My heart bleeds for your untimely exit and for your family and loved ones that you left behind.
Thank you for connecting with us all who saw you and I know through you that only the good die young.
Rest easy my brother, you have fought a good fight.
With Love & PRIDE,