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Imagine That... April 2024

In Loving Memory of Cynthia Diane Cooper and Damien Tucker-Beck

In Loving Memory of Damien

Malcolm and Cindy, crazy kids

Malcolm and Cindy before they joined Imagine

Malcom, Cindy and Pastor Liam, getting ready to say goodbye.

Zaki in the park

Zaki at another park

Scott's best gesture in a new location

Malcolm's First Starbucks Refresher, I'm told

Alan's Birthday Party

Garret and Jade at the Palentine's Party and yeah that's a bounce house.

Simone's Grand Entrance

Alan and Jake enjoying almost any moment

In the Woods

Carson Returns to our Newsletter!

Garret is kind for a living

Zaki at Common Roots Farm. BTW, he does not like chickens.

Scott at Target

E. B. and E. Dub.

Rest in Peace, Cindy

Dear Imagine friends and family,

Cindy Cooper passed away on March 17. Her passing was not before her time but she means a lot to us and will be missed. This month's edition of the newsletter will be dedicated to Cindy with just a little bit of news.

I do want to acknowledge first, though, that we have some important news and if we didn't feel protective of Cindy and the solemnity of her passing, there would be things to report. Most importantly, we have two new members of the Imagine family today, Daniel and Leigh Ann. They deserve a full spotlight and will get it a month late, but not before we tell you that they are wonderful and welcome. If you know them or meet them before we get around to the formal introduction, please treat them to your warmth.

You will find photos that are not of Cindy and Malcolm and it is worth explaining that we had a Spring Into Fun Party at Imagine on March 28th. The Monkey Band Planned and the Easter Bunny towered over everyone just like Eileen does. Alan invited us to his birthday party and everyone was there who wouldn't risk missing it. Even tragic months are good months when you spend them with friends.

Connecting through Cindy: There are remembrances of Cindy below from her last two Facilitators. I was excited to find the photo above of Cindy with Hale, a long-time Lead Staff for Cindy when we only thought she was near the end. That was one of many in a sequence of fellowships Cindy developed with generations of Imagine Staff.

Tlayeli and Jessica B are likely the longest-serving of Cindy's care team at the end. But alongside them, Christian, Rocio and Sylvia may have been with her for three years. Her newest staff wept on the day she passed. Cindy's Circle of Support taught us that every currency of human connection- conversation, humor, pain or pay- is symbolic. Cindy earned love because she was human and her team gave it because they are.

There have been many caregivers and Facilitators who have come into my thoughts since Cindy's last days. Cherice, David and Charlie who were Cindy's Facilitators, entirely dedicated, for years. Many caregivers who gave her years of their youth in her decline. I am writing this on Easter and that is just right. Cindy lifted us up as she fell. Wherever you are, to all those who shared Cindy with me, I hope you are all well and hold on to life as stubbornly as Cindy showed you how.

My story: Cindy's ultimate half month began in a less novel way. She was observed by staff struggling to breathe. Alarmed, they called the ambulance. Concerned, Cindy's whole circle worried for her. Then the pattern of the last half decade reasserted itself. She started to mend. The pneumonia suggested by one doctor failed to show up in x-rays. The virus suspected by another failed to show up in tests. Her fever fell. Her breathing got easier. (Her caregivers stayed by her side.). Never bet against Cindy Cooper.

A couple days later, the medical team's best guess was that she had aspirated on food. They were deliberative about how to get her nutrition and while they kept her hydrated, Cindy went a day without eating. When they restarted feeding her, they found her appetite gone. She came home to hospice care and our care and Malcolm's care without nutrition. The night she came back was the day after the doctors said "some time today." As we prepared her vigil I said to Jessica O, "She might spend a week at this." She made a fool of me again but only by a day.

As Executive Director, I didn't see Cindy often- at parties or in crises. In her obituary, I mentioned that while she was still verbal, each meeting was new to her. "I'm Cindy Cooper and this is my boyfriend, Malcolm." "I know you, Cindy Cooper."

After she lost her balance and most of her speech, my recollections mostly come in phases. I remember pushing her wheelchair around Dominican Hospital when she was silent for an hour. I remember pushing her up and down the sidewalk on Soquel as she alternated between laughing and crying and I was trying to help by singing or talking or keeping quiet.

But here is the memory I've spent the most time with since Cindy passed. It was the evening of the then-annual Imagine beach bonfire and she came with Malcolm. Already in a wheelchair, her caregiver Kate pushed her across the sand. She greeted me with "I'm Cindy Cooper, who are you?" When the party had ended, Kate told me her knees were hurting from pushing Cindy across the sand and could I help getting her back to the street. I pushed Cindy across the sand and she peppered me with questions while the sand and wind and heat salted my answers. The real trick was keeping the speed up so the wheels didn't sink. We finally reached the sidewalk and Kate went to get the car. I stood up next to Cindy and stretched my sore back and legs. She looked up at me and said "I'm Cindy Cooper. Who are you?"

Further down, this month's newsletter includes the following:.

Our usual stuff in the columns around advocacy, self-determination and Transparency.

And more and more about Cindy, Malcolm and their care team.

As ever, I am at your service. If you have any questions, feedback or concerns, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can write me here. I look forward to hearing from you.

Gratefully yours,


The Celebration of Cindy's Life will be held on March 13 at 11:30 AM at the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz

250 California Street

Santa Cruz



Self-Determination is now available for any regional center client who chooses it but it sure ain't running smooth. Tentatively, I think it is getting a little better but boy howdy, is there room for improvement to continue.

If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me. I'm pleased that there are a few current and recent Imagine employees who are developing Independent Facilitation practices and I'll be glad to connect them with those looking.

This month, the Independent Facilitator Roundtable will be Wednesday, April 3 at 11AM. The Zoom link is right here.

The Independent Facilitator Network, a confederation of professionals working self-determination (which started at Imagine!) has a Slack Channel you can join by clicking here. Individuals receiving services and family members are welcome and it's a great place to have your SDP questions answered by sad, wise experts.

-Submitted by Doug

Transparency At Imagine

The next board meeting is scheduled for April 17. Our meetings are open to all and if you email Maggie she'll make sure you get in and fed and heard. The agenda for the meeting will include a proposed budget for our fiscal year that begins July 1.

Our last two delinquent audits are still in process but I have seen completed drafts, submitted very selective comments and am looking forward to sharing final drafts here.

We are still recruiting board members. We are working to diversify the board and to add a GAAP-trained treasurer. An attorney wouldn't be bad either. Neither would you. If you know someone with a passion for our mission who might like to volunteer, please write to me.

-Submitted by Doug

Advocacy Corner

Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for (audience)? Why should they care (benefit)? What do I want them to do (call-to-action)?

Create a great offer by adding words like "free," "personalized," "complimentary," or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take action, so consider inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"

Malcolm and Jessica B outside Cindy's room at Dominican

Abi, David and Omar glad the Easter Bunny is on our side

Spotlight on Cindy and Malcolm

I welcome you to take a moment to immerse yourself in reading about Cindy and one of the Greatest Love Stories in Imagine's history. 


42 years ago Cindy came to the Santa Cruz county as a feisty, colorful and exciting personality. She was a strong independent women and held a few wonderful jobs peeling apples for Gloria’s pies, chopping veggies for Erik’s Deli, and toiling at Sweet’s in The Nude Furniture store in Soquel.

Cindy loved to be busy- dancing, talking, listening to music, bowling, and making beautiful crocheted pieces. 

One day, years later, Cindy was with some peers at a group event held by Easter Seals. Malcolm walked in and laid eyes on Cynthia.

“Back in the day when I wasn’t driving yet, I lived across from the Easter Seals office. There was a group event and when I walked in, I saw her, I said 'wait a minute' – it was love at first sight. I went up to her and said, 'Hi Cinnnddyyy.' I was talking with her, and I kissed her!”

When I asked Malcolm “oh my goodness! What did Cindy do?!” With a huge grin on his face and said as proud as could be, “she kissed me back!” Malcolm, totally in love, knew that he couldn’t let Cindy get away but hadn’t asked her on a date yet. There was a group that went bowling at Surf Bowl, now known as Boardwalk bowl. Malcolm went to watch Cindy bowl.

According to Malcolm, Cindy was an amazing bowler. He was impressed with her. Cindy being Cindy was very talkative and Malcolm loved listening to her. Malcolm went with Cindy and her roommate back to her house. He wanted to be a gentleman and make sure she got home safe. This is where Malcolm magically turned that fun filled day into a date, when he kissed her again at her front door. Malcolm described it as, “Romantic, very romantic”. The next weekend they hung out and it seemed like they were always together from that point on. “The day I met Cindy, she became part of me, she was my person.” 


One of Malcolm’s favorite memories was in 2013 when he arranged a romantic date to Kiva Retreat House. It was beautiful, it was surrounded by eucalyptus trees, you could look at the mountain and look up at the stars. They were invited with tea’s and beautiful hot tubs, Malcolm was very proud that back then it only cost him twelve-dollars for the date. Apparently, Cindy was very nervous getting into the hot tub and Malcolm remembers being so in love with her that he was patient, held her hand and reassured her not to be scared because she was with him and he wasn’t going to let anything happen to her, as she stepped into the hot tub . Cindy became comfortable and away she chatted. Again, Malcolm loved listening to her talk. 


October 17th,1989 the earthquake really shook things up for their relationship when Malcolm was displaced due to some damage to his apartment. Malcolm stayed with Cindy for a while and when his apartment was fixed, he and Cindy decided to move in together. “We were independent! We helped each other, we spent a lot of loving time together.” For most of their 30+ year romance they had fun, they stayed busy and Cindy kept Malcolm on his toes.

If you have ever met Malcolm, he is known for having a very red nose, which Cindy found to be adorable, which led to her nickname, Mr. Red Nose. They loved barbecuing, going to Camp Harmon, dancing and going to the Drive-in Theater, Sky View in Santa Cruz.

Malcolm said, “Cindy could really move her feet when we were dancing, she loved to dance.” They continued their lives and lived to the fullest. Their home is filled with photos of the two of them smiling and Cindy draped over the love of her life. They continued to go to events around Santa Cruz and had memorable holidays with their families. Malcolm spoke of a camping trip with Cindy’s sister Rhoda to Cherry Lake on the western side of the Sierra Nevada just outside of the boundaries of the Yosemite Natural Park. He described it as a beautiful adventure with Cindy.

Malcolm and Cindy were so connected that even when her dementia was taking over, she would have moments where she would say out loud, “Where’s Malcolm?” or Cindy would be looking around worried and call out for Malcolm. “Cindy had a good attitude she was just a loving person.”


In 2014 things changed for the couple. Cindy received three progressive diagnoses that were attacking her nervous system, one targeting her memory, on her neuromuscular system and one her ability to control her emotions. Cindy tried to continue with normal life for as long as she could but after a few years, she lost her ability to walk and her memory had faded, along with her ability to speak. 2014 was a hard start to what was to come but it opened a beautiful chapter in their lives as caregivers were apart of every minute of their lives.

Spotlight on Cindy, Malcolm and their team

Over the years, Cindy had many caregivers that came in as staff and most if not, all came to consider Cindy and Malcolm as family. I had the privilege of Cindy and Malcolm being my very first two clients as a Facilitator.

I am deeply impressed by the incredible care Cindy’s staff gave her. Not only were her basic needs met, but I would go over and the staff had Cindy in full make-up with her hair done and beautiful bright clothing on, Cindy’s favorite blingy jewelry sparkled and nails were painted. Cindy could still say one or two words at that time, and when I asked if she was happy or told her how good she looked, she would reply “Yah” or give a cute giggle.

Spa days with facials were a regular occurrence. When the staff asked Cindy for one of her birthdays if she wanted to dye her hair she said “YAH”! enthusiastically. We went through a list of colors and every time we landed on purple, she made it known with her strong eye contact. They did not disappoint! That was some rockin' purple hair and an amazing birthday.

Halloween was a favorite in the house. The staff finally convinced Malcolm to do couples costumes with Cindy. One year they were scarecrows. My favorite?With masterful makeup, they became a mermaid and captain. Cindy’s staff always made it a point to make Cindy’s environment as fulfilling as possible.

Not only did they focus on Cindy, but they made sure that Cindy and Malcolm maintained their connection. Malcolm would come home from work every day and say, “Cindy I’m Home!” Cindy staff would perk up their voices and say, “Cindy! Malcolm’s home, do you hear him? He’s coming to see you.” Cindy’s eyes would open wide and she would look around. Staff would play music and as Cindy’s hands would bounce about, Malcolm would stand at her side and do a bit of dancing with her. 


Even in Cindy’s last days, staff sat by her side, making sure she was pampered. They played music and Malcolm danced beside her. They sat around Cindy with Malcolm encouraging Malcolm to talk about their love story. Cindy’s Sister and Brother-in-law joined on speaker phone, reminiscing and reminding Cindy all the small things about her that we love about her and all we are going to celebrate about her colorful life. Cindy spent her final days surrounded by so much love that continued even after she took her final breath. Cindy may be physically no longer with us, but those who knew her will forever be changed by the gift she gave all of us. She will never be forgotten, and will be remembered when the oldies play, Madonna comes on, when we wear sparkles and blingy jewelry, even when the lucky ones of us get a facial. Cindy will be in our hearts and memories for the rest of our lives. 



To Cindy’s staff, past and present. We at Imagine thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving Cindy so much love and care from the time she came to us in 2014 to the time we said goodbye March 17th, 2024. As mentioned above, all of the little things you all did were ginormous acts to enriching Cindy’s life, and Malcolm feeling safe enough to continue living his life knowing how well his love was cared for. Caring for someone in their last days like you all did with Cindy are some of the hardest days in caregiving you will have and you all handled it with such beauty and grace. You made a huge difference in her, and Malcolm’s lives and even continuing to support Malcolm through such a hard time is a true testament to how amazing loving and caring you all are as caregivers. Thank you for being the spotlight on how much we love supporting through the good and not so good moments. – Deeply appreciative of you, 

Angie and Jessica. 


Birthdays & Anniversaries

Staff and Client Birthdays:


Julian S!

Jessica O.

Natasha L.

Stephanie S.

Gregory B.

Kennon C.

Angelique U.

Alexandra S.

Silvia M.

Sophia F.


Pearl P. 12 Years!!!!

Micheal S.11 Years!!!!

Rebecca S. 10 Years!!!

Elena D. 7 Years!!

Sidney M. 7 Years!!

Drew C. 7 Years!!

Jose V. 6 Years!!

Noe R. 4 Years!

Grace L. 3 Years!

Erika N. 2 Years!

Melissa P. 2 Years!

Luis V. 2 Years!

Bertha L. 1 Year!

Zachary D. 1 Year!

Autumn B. 1 Year!

Thank you for your commitment!

Imagine Supported Living Services
9065 Soquel Drive
Aptos, Ca 95003
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