How to start a story that has no beginning or end? Here I am, alone in my room, even after all these years your image is not erased from my mind, your firm gaze and sometimes even threatening look troubles my mind and my existence. You demanded of me too much, that I always felt that no effort of mine was enough to satisfy you. However, I always admired and loved you. How not to do it, after all you were my father. Like many parents before mine, and many who do the same for their children after my passage through this world is over, my story is no different from any other story of a boy who grew up in a distant country in South America during a military dictatorship, and a father recently retired after a long and successful military career.
My father, a tall man with tanned skin, athletic figure, and penetrating gaze, grew up in a small town in Ecuador, called Vinces, which the locals call "Little Paris", located two hours from Guayaquil, the city where I was born. My father's parents were of Portuguese descend, whom I knew vaguely. My grandmother Francisca, a very distinguished and pompous lady, long black hair, and affable smile, whom, after almost 40 years, I still remember vividly in my mind. Although I rarely saw her, the most enduring memories that I have of her is when she put me on her lap and sang a song in a language I barely understood, but that made me dream of magical and adventurous places. My grandfather, Antonio, who I never had the opportunity to meet and with whom everyone said I shared a great physical resemblance, died when I was still a baby. If I resembled like my grandpa or not was a mystery to me. I do not know. How would I know? I have not even seen pictures of him, ever in my life. But one thing I am sure of is that, yes, I look like my father, not so much physically, because he was almost six inches taller than me, but his gestures, his personality, his determination in reaching his goals, no matter how difficult or impossible this can be.