Eulogy of the “adopted” nephew
Left to right: Mamina (my great grandma), abuelo Sergio, me on his lap, my mom
A couple of days ago, my grandpa died, my abuelo Sergio. I have been thinking what I could possibly say or write about him. Abuelo Sergio was the most stable male presence in my life. Seeing him and his wife always made me think that marriage can work, that you can be sickeningly in love with someone after 20-odd and 30-odd years. He represented everything that was good, manly, and loving in my eyes. He always smelled of shaving cream and tobacco, he always had a poem to make you laugh, a word to heal a wound. He is and always will be one of my favorite people in this world, closer to my heart than I could possibly express.
I wasn’t able to attend his funeral or be there with my family. I wish I could have been there – but I was through their many texts and emails and calls. And since I wasn’t able to be there, my mom shared something with me that brought tears to my eyes, to the eyes of those who were there and of those who have since read it as well. They are the words of someone who was a friend and became family. This is my translation.
It would be inappropriate to say “good afternoon” on this occasion, so I will simply say hello to you all on this, the afternoon on which we accompany Sergio and his family. I have the pleasure of already knowing most of you; however, out of respect for those of you I have not met, my name is Jemil. I am a friend, co-worker and adopted nephew of Silvina and Sergio. I would like to share with you my personal experience with this great man, as I’m sure that many of us have had feelings and impressions similar to those I am about to describe to you.
I met Sergio almost ten years ago, and I must admit that we both began with a left foot. Somehow, we both clashed during our first impression and our initial relationship was more diplomatic than sincere. It wasn’t until a little over three years ago when we had the chance to spend time together and get to know each other better. This time, the relationship was so positive that he adopted me as a nephew and I adopted him as my uncle. Today I have the good fortune and the sorrow of saying goodbye to him. Sorrow is what my selfish side feels- I wish he could be with us much longer; however, my human side feels lucky, as it understands that this great person was prisoner in a body that was sick and weary and needed to be free.
A man of more than a thousand words, wise counselor and friend, passionate about his tastes and pleasures, he was an encyclopedia of poetry and an atlas of our Mexico. It was a pleasure to sit next to him and hear his describe the destinations and roads he traveled for so many years. He painted an image with such vivid details that I could swear I visited some of those places. There was never a conversation that didn’t make its way, however briefly, to the subject of gastronomy; I have never eaten a panucho, but [thanks to him] I know what one tastes like! And, as always, after food, a good conversation about politics was never too far away. He had a special humorous view and precision on the subject; many times I thought he should have been a political analyst. But his heart… his heart was in bullfighting, an authentic connoisseur of the world of tauromachy. We he spoke of bulls and bullfighters, plazas and Spanish-style bullfighting, of those he once witnessed, he would express a passion that I have not often seen.
The most admirable thing about my uncle Sergio was how he lived his life, because there is no one who shows more love for life than he who uses it and takes full advantage of it to love, learn and share. With this exemplary will he fought against his cancer for over eight years. Beyond the pain and discomfort, he would ferociously go to work and it was impossible to dissuade him.
On this day, after so much time, his body gave up, tired after such a long voyage, and decided that it was time to turn the light off and go to sleep in order to be able to retake that path that we all will one day follow. But it is only his body that we will no longer see among us, because a person like him leaves a mark on everyone of us lucky enough to cross his path. His memory and the many things we learned from him will live forever in our minds and hearts.
Sergio, rest in peace. Here you lived a great life, and where you are going, an even better one is waiting.”
Te quiero, pinche puto pendejo. A huevooooooooooooooooooooo!!!