Dear Grandpa,

Only the best man that have ever roamed this planet (or any other)

Today is your birthday, it’s been five years since your last one. Five years since I kissed you on the cheek and said “see you later”. I saw you later alright, but you didn’t see me, did you? Your view was obstructed by the paramedics trying to help you breathe. Then I guess it was all dark for you, at least for me it was.

I don’t remember much from that day, only flashes. A flash of my ma calling me in tears, a flash of my boots hitting the sidewalk as fast as they could, a flash of the ambulance lights blinding me, flash of not knowing what to do, just being paralyzed by shock.

We were going to watch Skyfall that very night, remember? Boy, you would’ve loved that film. Old movies were your thing and Skyfall has that feeling, of a spy film from the 60s. Good ol’ Bond.

There’s so much I wish I could tell you. So much happened in the last five years that I wished we lived together…

I’ve never graduated from college, but I think you would’ve guessed that knowing me. I know how much effort you put into my education and how much a diploma meant to you, but the academic life is just not for me. It never was. But I think you’d be OK with that in the end, you’ve always supported my choices even if they clashed with your wishes.

I ended up publishing my first book this year. It’s just a pocket indie collection of my old stories, but I think you’d be proud. The whole gang was at the launch party, even Grandma went to the dirty old bar I used to work to check it out.

Oh, that’s right, I worked in a bar for a while there, it was practice for what was to come. Are you seated? This might shock you:

I left Brazil for good. I mean, I say for good, but who knows how long this is gonna last, right? The truth is that our country has gone to shit and you’re not really missing anything from that God forsaken land, but we sure as hell miss you there. It’s been 6 months already and I’ve been losing more than winning, but I still didn’t give up, high five for that. Grandma and Ma both hated the idea from the start, but they’re really supportive. They call from time to time and cry on the phone. Sometimes I want to cry too, but I think I have to be strong for all of us like you used to be.

I was in Ireland again, you know how much I liked that place, even though it didn’t work out the way we thought the first time (or the second, for that matter). Then I went to Belgium, don’t ask why, I still don’t know it myself, but it was fun. Now I’m in Italy honoring our last name. It’s everything you told me it was, what a great country. After that I’m off to Portugal, I think things will make a turn for the better there. And listen, there’s not a single day I don’t think about you in my travels. Thanks to you I speak English fluently, thanks to you I have an EU passport and thanks to you I have this insatiable urge to discover new places. It’s all because of you and I will never forget that.

I still fuck up a lot (pardon my language, I know you’re not a fan of swearing), and it really makes me feel bad, cause each time I do it, I feel like I’m letting you down. But you didn’t teach me to be perfect, you taught me to be the best I can be and learn from my mistakes. I always try to remember that.

I hope someday I become half the man you were.

I love you and miss you,


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