When little Isabel sang at the end of the service, that was it for me. The tears I had held at bay throughout the ceremony, even when her mom Ui and her hula halau performed a spiritually beautiful hula, couldn’t be held any longer. Today, Isabel and many, many friends and family said goodbye to her loving dad, Eduardo Pires Torres de Sa.
The chapel was packed and overflowing, and I recognized many of the people I have met and grown close to through triathlon, and through Boca and and through who I called “Uncle Duda”. I was not as close to him as many were, but he had a major impact on my life. His laughter and lightness and genuine caring were always right there for me to feed on when I felt down or nervous or simply confused about what to do about some little thing or another. He made me feel comfortable as a complete newbie and he made me feel confident as I considered tackling new athletic challenges. Best of all, he made me laugh with his silly gestures and actions and his little speedo’s.
The theme that emerged today was “Live Like Duda (a little bit)”. What an incredible legacy to leave to Isabel. And to leave to all of us. I know that my memory of Eduardo will give me more courage to embark on things that are not expected. Avenues that are scary. Or actions that are just plain silly.
Thank you, Uncle Duda. I for one will strive to emulate your beautiful spirit and help your daughter know what a wonderful man you were. Much love and I’ll see you at the finish line.