Yes, let's remember.
One year ago today, I said goodbye to my grandfather.
My Vôvô was truly a marvellous man - a collector, a businessman, a father and grandfather to many and truly a friend to all. He lived his life with a relaxed ease, full of simple pleasures and an infectious joy. He was a wonderfully and hopelessly optimistic man, always believing in his next business venture, and that the antique he bought for R2.50 was really worth R200. But perhaps his greatest gift was the way he interacted with people, with his effortless charm. Described in Portuguese, “ele era muito amigo do seu amigo”, which in essence means that when he was your friend, he really meant it. Beginning with a ‘hello’ and ending with a joyful cackle, he befriended everyone he met, leaving behind a legacy of kindness and tolerance.
Today, some of you may choose to remember him as the old man in a dapper hat with a cheeky grin on his face who always stopped to chat and some of you may choose to remember him as a father who always had time for his children and who was always present. Some of you may choose to remember him as a loyal friend who was always up for a story telling session while smoking a pipe and some of you may choose to remember him as a kind, chuckling grandfather who never failed to ask you about your life and press an antique trinket into your hand. But today I choose to remember him as a man who never stopped giving and receiving love, asking for and giving kisses right up until his very last moments.