Beverly Ann D'Cruz(@flotch) at a social media food event at Menchie's. We had been invited by Mary Luz Mejia to come on out and compete to create an official Menchie's yo-fro creation. Crammed in next to each other we sampled our Menchie's custom creations and those two rascals managed to beat me out for the big prize (an iPod Nano) with their "Tropic Thunder" sundae. Ok, I'll admit it, that exotic fruit concoction towered over my "Some Like It Tart" dessert. One can never begrudge a champion their prize. Little did I know that as the year would unfold I would share a different kind of journey with Sean and Beverly.
The other thing I came to learn about Sean was his passion for sports, in particular basketball. I just loved getting his goat by constantly talking about what a loser Kobe Bryant was. I could never turn down the opportunity to poke the stick through the fence. It always got him going. There was such a joyful synergy and sympatico between Bev and Sean that it couldn't help but be infectious when you were around them. The times that we began to share always seem to involve delicious food, much laughter, lots of libations and a great respect for friendship and family.
My husband Dennis met Sean at the very first Food Truck Eats. I was helping out my friend, Chef Rossy Earle, dish out her Panamanian goodies. It was a searing, scorching hot day and towards the end of it I took shelter under the only shade I could find. There was Sean, sitting on the ground, like me seeking shade, as he slurped up Kulfi. We gabbed for a bit but I couldn't help but to notice that his dialogue was slow. He seemed less engaging than he was at Menchie's. At first Dennis thought that Sean might have been imbibing a little too much but I knew differently. Some time after that Beverly finally told the world, through her personal blog, Potato Chops and Boneless Chicken, that Sean was battling a brain tumor. This was one really crappy hand that they got dealt. No matter what though, it was clear to me that Bev and Sean would play whatever hand they had because at the end of the day, they always had each other.
So we all dug in our heels and decided that we would put our best foot forward and give as much love and support that friends could as this fight moved forward. I'll never know how Beverly and Sean ever managed. They looked this monster right in the face and said "if you want me you are going to have to take this to a WWF UFC level smackdown...."
I don't want to dwell so much on the sadness of losing such a lovely friend so early in his life. I rather take a few minutes to lift up and celebrate the memory of what I knew about Sean and how much I enjoyed our friendship. While his life may have been cut short, it was filled with the love of a good woman and some people go through their whole lives and never experience the true love, respect and devotion that Bev and Sean had for each other.
As weeks passed Sean became somewhat less stable and getting out and about became more challenging. Even as his movement became impaired we sledded along, getting out to events such as TUM and a Pop up restaurant event at The Bunty which featured the inaugural kickoff of Fidel Gastro. Even after an evening of mawing down on piles of Matt Basile's sammies and other assorted goodies, Sean could still find space to finish the outing off with a nightcap of Fish Tacos. Did I mention that this boy could eat?
On Monday, January 23rd, as the world was celebrating Chinese New Year, ushering in the Year of the Dragon and 86'd Mondays at The Drake was hosting Fidel Gastro's first official appearance, Sean was celebrating his 32nd birthday from his bed, surrounded by friends and family. I consider myself very lucky to have shared those hours with him and came to visit with a lucky red new year's envelope in hand. A girl had to always remain hopeful. This was something I learned from Bev.
On a personal note, I'd just like to extend thanks to Matt Basile and Kyla Zanardi, for the kind tenderness that they showed by taxi'ing over some Fidel Gastro sammies that Monday night. When asked if he wanted some sammies, Sean gave us the big thumbs up and Fidel Gastro's came through. It was just one of those really special moments and I think that this tweet pic says it all.
Sometimes life is hard.
As I finish off writing these words in remembering Sean, I've got Snow Patrol blaring on my stereo. I'm pretty sure that Sean would have liked that. Last thing that really comes to my mind and I'm very certain that Sean would have laughed.....Elvis has left the building. I'm pretty certain he was carrying one of Fidel Gastro's Mac & Cheese sammies on his way out, no doubt to meet up with our friend.
Posted by coopSpeak at 8:33 AM