hi, how are you? it’s been a while since I’ve written to you, but you started showing up again tonight, and I know it’s not a coincidence… you’re proud it's happening, I feel it. it’s crazy, but I do. that week back in february 2018 I was physically in the hospital with you, but I had my macbook with me and i was working on the logo. my memory isn’t always the greatest, but I remember that week so clearly. you went in for a routine visit on a monday, and they decided it was best to admit you. I came by to bring you food, and I brought my work with me each day. our CEREMONIA collection was tiny, the first official production was ready to go. I was excited and wanted to launch within a month. I was finally living in bali, but back in LA for a couple weeks…I told you what I was working on. you wanted to be excited for me, but you were just too sick. we didn’t know how sick, so there I was working on my macbook while you were next to me living your last days. I don’t have any other regrets in my life kev, you know that. but I’ll always regret not putting my macbook away that week.
you were superman, a true guerillero, so strong… you were supposed to pull through and surprise everyone (including the doctors) like you always did.. but your body was tired; you were mentally drained. you just didn’t tell us.. you kept it to yourself. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you like you needed me to be that last week. even though you were sick, your passing was so unexpected and devastating for so many. I didn’t leave the house for weeks. eventually, I tried to pick up where I left off with CEREMONIA, but things just weren’t the same any more. I lost the motivation I initially had to see it come to its full fruition.
I took a break from it all in an attempt to process your loss, and heal from the heartbreak of losing you, my dear cousin, my brother growing up, and my first very best friend. when I lost you, I also lost most of my childhood, and with your departure from this earth, you also took all our memories. I no longer have you to remind me of some obscene prank we pulled, or travesura that you did. I miss that, I miss you. so, so much.,, but you already know that, you hear me, you see me, you feel me. I know you do. and that’s why you’re here with me tonight—on my right shoulder. it’s no coincidence primo.
when things seem tough, you're always there to remind me to keep going, keep pedaling. I have multiple copies of this picture of you riding your bike, literally carrying your friend's load on your back, with the chemo bag at your hip. the definition of dedication. your dedication is what has kept me going even when the odds seem stacked.
a few days ago I sent the password for the site to vic. since he’s been helping me along the way, I wanted to get his feedback. he came back with the sweetest reply and told me he was going to send the CEREMONIA Instagram to all his friends. tonight he sent a text to tell me his friend likes the owl planter and wants to come pick it up tonight before she leaves to san diego. when she arrived to pick up her order, she showed me the owl she has tattooed on her back, similar to the one on your leg. at the same time, I got a text from your friend, lloyd, who is in the area and wants to come by to drop off some owl masks I ordered…. now that’s some owl magic.
I’m filled with emotions because tonight, just before the launch I’ve been working on for so long, you found ways to sneak up on me and show me you’re still here. you've never left those who loved you. we all share stories of how you still show up for us, thank you. I know you see me crying, and you don’t like it. and yes a lot of them are sad tears, but there are also some joyous ones mixed in there, too cousin. because I’m happy you’re here. thank you for loving me, taking care of me, and being my wise owl throughout this entire process. i love you, and I miss you. and I hope to continue making you proud.
with all my heart,
your cousin cari