Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Don Chepito

I'm very sad to report that my sweet grandfather, Jose Nuila, died Aug. 2 at 12:10 p.m. On the other hand, it gives me great pleasure to report that he lived to be 108. 108! He lived his entire life in San Pedro, El Salvador where he was lovingly cared for by my uncle and his wife for all of his golden years. In his 70s and 80s he used to come to our home in Edinburg and stay with our family for a couple of months. I have very fond memories of us planting a garden together, tinkering on the piano and of him teaching me how to play chess. I think all of the grandchildren have always been mostly in awe of "papauito", a name given to him by my brother and is a cross between "papa" and "abuelito". He lived many lives and was an absolute renaissance man. He wasn't college educated (I'm not even sure he went to high school) but he knew how to play the piano, violin, was a voracious reader (my mother loves to brag that she was taught to read on the classics), the feather-weight boxing champion of El Salvador at one point, a pharmacy owner and of course a single father to his very accomplished and adoring children - and there are lots of children - let's suffice it to say he was indeed a ladies man. Sadly, we can't go to the funeral tomorrow, but my mom says the town is basically being shut town for "the alcalde"'s funeral. Everyone and I mean everyone knows and loves him and is expected to show up at some point to pay their respects. Should I live to be 108, I hope to go surrounded by all my family knowing that I did a great job. Cheers.