Derek called yesterday, and the spirit in his voice gave me such a lift. He sounded so happy, positive, and energetic.
His voice was almost exultant as he described the insights, plans, and accomplishments gleaned from his church’s youth leadership program to which he is presently devoting his full time. He told me of the other kids in the program, of camping trips to Tennessee and North Carolina and, more important, his own personal journey of integrating and reconciling his past through a powerful vision for his future.
In his soft drawl he spoke with a perfect and most likeable blend of gratitude, pride, and humility.
I hope you can appreciate how deeply his happiness and success affects me. I was so often on the receiving end of pessimistic and hateful predictions that I would be murdered in my bed by taking him into my household and family. These comments never made me doubt Derek’s goodness nor potential, only the humanity of those who seemed to take such pleasure in their dire and nasty warnings. Now I feel so completely and deliciously vindicated.
But more than that, I am excited by this wave Derek is riding and by the vicarious thrill available to me as his friend and Yoda. (“You are Yoda to my Skywalker,” he once told me—one of the most satisfying moments of my life.)
Derek will arrive here by road in about a month with Lisa and Mack Alton. Lisa is the founder and co-trustee with me of the King Brothers Trust. She is a “green” architect and Mack is a builder, and I am hopeful they will fall in love with Estrella Vista as much as Derek has.
Derek suggested that his friend Drew would like to come, too, if Drew can work out the scheduling with his job. Derek and Drew became good friends in prison—they looked out for one another and covered one another’s backs—and they’re supporting one another now that they’re making their ways outside the gates.
If Drew is motivated to come here, I will encourage it. Derek is an excellent judge of character and ability, and I trust him implicitly to bring us people whose energy and spirit will be an addition to our shared vision for Estrella Vista and not a drain. Estrella Vista is a permanent home base for Derek, and he is a collaborator and heir of whatever we create here.
As will be all the young people in my family… Henry, Paco, Sarah, Paul, Allison, etc… as well as the new boy whose potential adoption is the object of my weekly visits to Alpine (and whose photo is still posted in the gallery of available hard-to-place kids—so I still haven’t lost my race against time!).
It will be a remarkable and joyous homecoming.