Happy 77, dad

Published by Beto Dealmeida on

My dad would turn 77 today

Today would be my dad's 77th birthday. He passed away almost 10 years ago.

When I was a teenager we were very close. We'd go for long walks, and talk about a lot of things -- usually technology. When I was 15 we traveled together to Europe for 21 days. We visited France, Italy, and Spain, and I was impressed by how he could speak all the 3 languages fluently, in addition to English and our native Portuguese.

After I went to college he started getting depressed, and for the next 15 years he turned into a shadow of himself. Most of the time the only things he would talk about were his pain, his sickness, and how the world was becoming a worse place. Over time, this became his only subject.

His funeral had a positive impact on me. I met with his friends and ex-coworkers, and they all knew him from before his depression. They reminded me of the kind, honest, fun, and smart person my dad used to be, replacing the dark image I had of his last years.

There are many things that I would love to talk about with my dad. For some of them I have a good idea of what my dad would say. But for others, I have no guess. For example, I only started caring about politics after my dad passed away, and I don't have a good sense of his political opinions. Many times I wonder were he would stand in these very polarized days.

He was a software engineer, and I only became one after he died. It would be nice to be able to talk with him about my work, my projects, and the current technological challenges.

I started making music a couple years after he died. I wonder what he would think of my music. Would he like it, would he listen to it?

I try to imagine what he would like, thinking of him as the person untouched by a mental disorder. But that's not how it works, you can't really dissociate the person from the disease. He was what he was in his whole -- kind, honest, fun, smart, but also sad, lonely, lost. Like a circle, without start nor end.

Happy birthday, dad. I wish you were here. I wish you could visit me, and we'd have a bottle of wine on my porch, watching the moon rise, sharing stories and laughter.