We lost Josue’s father to a heart attack on Saturday night. It is such a tragedy. He wasn’t even 60 years old. He was still young and full of so much life. While I know what it is like to lose a father, this is devastating to Josue and his family. It is breaking my heart to see the emptiness that sets in for the first little while as the change and shifting begin.
Moises always told us he wanted to die young. He said he wanted everyone to remember him as full of life and good looking. He would often tease all of us that he was never going to get old. Sadly, he did look younger than most of us. He was at such a good point in his life. His kids are all grown and he has 12 beautiful grandchildren.
There are so many things that he shared in his life. He taught me about Mate (accent over the E). It is impossible to imagine him without his cup and thermos. I have never seen anyone who could drive a stick shift vehicle while pouring boiling hot water into a tiny cup and sipping it from a metal straw that burns your mouth. It was quite the feat, and he had it mastered. He taught me that while I don’t agree with it (mostly because it tastes like drinking wet alfalfa) there would be a day when I would “ask for my soup to have the fly” because it is just a part of my life. It’s true. It’s not a Barreiro family gathering without someone bringing it out and everyone sipping to the sound of the slurp.
He taught my about “Dele con fe.” This is the unwritten Barreiro family motto. It means “go forward with faith.” He was never afraid to just take the leap at life’s opportunities. He always trusted things would work out.
He taught our dear Marina to eat pig head. She loves it. She would just plop down next him with her fork and wait for him to cut her a little piece of meat. Then, she would proceed to teach him funny English words that he would purposely mispronounce so that she should stay at his side. She wouldn’t have left. She was there for more than just the pig head.
He taught me how a good piece of beef, a fire, and time bring people together. This is a tradition that I have seen work over and over and over again. It has brought together the Barreiro family, the Stevenson family, the Hammerstone family, and many others on countless occasions. It is a tradition that welcomes the weak, lifts the wounded, and increases the joy of everyone. It’s true, the meat is good, but the atmosphere becomes what people find themselves craving.
He taught me that people change. Despite their worst moments or actions or intentions or mistakes, people are lovable. There is no person, no matter how frustrating, that does not have the ability to find God and put Him first. I can say that I am better for knowing him. I am better for having been welcomed into his family.
Moises Damaceno Barreiro will never be forgotten. He will live on his Josue, Gislaine, Moises, and Gisel. He will continue to bless the lives of his 12 beautiful grandchildren from the other side of the veil. To our kids, he is known as “Abuelo Pa.” To Josue, he is “Pa.” To me, he will always be “Seu Moises,” a master of humor and a dear friend. May he rest in peace as he goes about the Lord’s work in a new way.