Yesterday I lost my grandfather, a truly formidable man who led an epic life. Although I will most definitely miss him and miss him already, these days will not be for mourning but for celebrating and remembering the beautiful life he lived and all the wonderful things he stood for and all the things we loved about him.
My grandfather was a man "fuera de su época", a man "outside of his epoch." My grandfather, an only child, grew his legacy from his own life and impact to the life and impact of his 14 children. He was always so proud of the loving and numerous family that he helped raise and supported. My grandfather was truly a provider, not just for his family for his entire town. He and my grandmother ran the only school in town, he paved the streets and brought electricity to his town, and was in every way a leader for his community.
When he had his children, he went outside the beliefs held by others during his time and was a "feminist," encouraging and supporting his daughters to get an education. Needless to say, all his children, including the women in the family, received some level of education and became teachers. That's where the education family tradition was strengthened (my great grandma and grandpa were also teachers, and so was my grandma).
When my aunts and uncles were young, when my grandpa would visit the big city, Guadalajara,and he would ask his kids what they wanted. My mom wanted an education. When my mom was about 13 years old, an opportunity arose for her to study in Guadalajara. It was unheard of for a girl to leave her family to study, but my grandpa, really being a man outside his epoch, allowed my mom to leave and pursue her studies. There were days the only thing my mom ate was a tortilla with salsa as it was a struggle to fight for her education, but of course she prevailed (where do you think I get it from?). My mom not only finished her schooling but also attended college, and then got her masters in chemistry and physics- a woman outside her epoch.
Mi Papa Juanito, as we all called him, was a funny funny man. One of my favorite memories is taking selfies with him once he was older and him seeing himself and saying "who's that handsome man?" (This is when he wasn't wearing his dentures...). Even in old age, he was lucid and oh so witty. I also loved sharing with him information about the latest advances in technology. Telling him about 3D printers, self-driving cars, and virtual reality among many more things.
I know for sure that he is now in a better place and that he is here with me. He is here with me in witty remarks I make, when I see my hands I see his hands, and when I think of his impact and his resolve to truly live life it inspires me to live a FULL life. One where joy, love, gratitude are recognized and experienced and appreciated on a daily basis.
My grandpa, mi abuelito, not only lived a century, but truly LIVED in the way life is meant to be lived, experienced and enjoyed. Papa Juanito, te quiero con todo mi corazón. Se que esta no es una despedida sino una forma de estar aún más cercanos ya que estas presente en todo lo que hacemos todo el tiempo.
En paz descanses abuelito.
Con mucho amor y cariño,
Working to radically improve the lives of a billion++ people via tech & mindset