His name was Pedro, but since he spent a while in the US during the war, my nickname for him was always Pete: 'Abuelito Pete'. I was barely seven, and yet he left a rather profound mark on my current existence. He and I, we shared birthdays - so we celebrated them together. The hall outside his room was my first personal gallery: he would be prouder than my mom to hang anything I gave him to hang. He taught me to love animals (perhaps a little too much...?), he encouraged my love for reading and made me feel incredibly special every time I learned a new fact and shared it with him. He even got me a math book as a gift. I actually read it.
He taught me to love history: particularly WW2: When I was six, he sat me down and together we watched "Operation Daybreak" (Siete Hombres al Amanecer): he explained to me who the nazis were, and how was it that they took over almost all of Europe. To this day, this intro is permanently fixated in my memory:
He loved the sea, and tried to teach me how to swim. I failed miserably, but made it a pride point to learn. I'm a proficient mermaid nowadays (Well, I'm out of practice, but...). He would often listen to Agustín Lara, but my mom tells me he also danced the swing tremendously well. I just remember dancing with him where he would go particularly slowly so I could keep up.
He died of cancer in 1994. He smoked too much. He's the reason I don't. And yet, I know he's around proud of me everytime I make nazi jokes or achieve something special. And I know he'd be thrilled to know of my current life, and would've probably visited by now a couple of times.
Ahí te encargo, abuelito. Te quiero.