I moved to the States when I was twelve years old. I always lived with my mom, I didn’t have my father around and my role model was my uncle John, American. I met him when I was twelve and a half, thirteen.
The first thing I remember was shaking his hand, his hand was immense. He was blond and really tall and a typical California surfer dude. He was thirty-six. He became my role model. He became a father figure. Throughout high school and early college years he was the guy that I always talked to.
I remember his house was filled with Washington Redskins paraphernalia — cups and flags and footballs, helmets and the colors maroon and yellow were everywhere.
I graduated college and I went out of the country, I went to live in Poland. One day I get a phone call from John. He says, “Rodrigo, you’re the first I’m going to tell.”
And he says, “I have cancer.”
I had no idea what to do, I had no idea what to say. And he was silent on the other side of the line, he was waiting for me to respond.
And I said, “John, do you know my wifi password?”
“My wifi password, do you know it?”
“No, of course I don’t. What is it?”
“Well, it’s Washington Redskins.”
He didn’t say a word, but he had one of those deep breaths and I understood that he understood what I was trying to say.
Sometimes you can say “I love you” without saying it.
- When was a time that you said “I love you” without ever really saying it?
- Who had made the biggest impact on your life? When was the last time you talked with them?
Edited by Jim Kast-Keat