The Daily Stoic for October 12th, “Always Love”.
“Hecato says, ‘I can teach you a love potion made without any drugs, herbs, or special spell—if you would be loved, love.’”—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 9.6
Curiously enough, this week my parents renewed their vows. They’ve been married for more than 40 years. Some weeks ago, my father retired. My mother has been retired for some months now, after surviving a cancer.
It seemed like the perfect occasion to celebrate life and love again. Don’t you agree.
As I told someone at the wedding: “You cannot love anyone until you accept and love yourself”. As the Beatles put it: “In the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you made“. In my case, being a gay teenager growing in a military family in a military town, it was not easy.
But I made it, and my parents were fundamental to this.
Thus, I would like to write, for the daily stoic, the translation of what I read at the ceremony.
To My Parents…
I have few memories of my childhood. Maybe, they say, because I was a happy, carefree kid. My parents here are the ones responsible for that happiness, the ones I need to thank…
One of my first memories is being in front of a Commodore 64. For those of you who happen to not be geeks, it was one of the first computers of the 80s. There I was, on the lap of my father, while he was telling me “Look Nacho, this is the future…”. And he was right. It was the future.
At that time, being 4-5 years old, I didn’t care if it was the future or not. All I cared about was making those pixels that were supposed to be the bullets of the big pixel -that was also supposed to be a cowboy- hit the enemies. This contact with technology, encouraged by my father, was the biggest influence in my professional life, and would forever mark the career I chose. A few years later, I was already buying the “PC Game” magazine to copy and modify the source code of games to build my own variants.
Another one of those few childhood memories is the love of my mother for her books and her library… How her eyes sparkled while she was talking about them, and how her fingers gently stroke the books as she enumerated them. This love for reading and writing was the reason why, when I was 10, instead of being sleeping at 1am-2am, like any normal child, I was eagerly reading the pages of “Ghosts” by Dean R. Koontz, or “IT” by Stephen King.
But perhaps the most vivid memory I keep is a not an actual memory, but a feeling: the love that my parents had for each other. I speak here of love at all levels: physical, emotional, intellectual … When two people really love each other you can really feel that love every day. My parents have always loved each other, and they still do.
All relationships, all couples, go through good or bad times. But keeping that level of affection, commitment, and love of the first day, after years, is remarkable…
I firmly believe that growing up in that environment of love is one of the best gifts I have ever received. And it has deeply influenced how I face my own relationships, like I always observed at home: with communication, transparency, affection, and blind trust in one another.
My mother told me once: “Your partner has to attract you in every way, of course physically, but also emotionally, intellectually, in all ways…”. And I know she has always followed that advice. She has always been by my father’s side, without hesitation, with that blind trust that I mentioned before.
And what can I say about my father… He is a saint… especially with the temper of Ms. Francisca … With his little details, his breakfast every morning, his flowers every anniversary … He’s been there in every moment, good and bad, with a smile even when smiling seemed impossible.
For all that, besides thanking you for that love, I wish you a thousand more years of love, affection and respect together.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Always Love”, is all about love. About being able to love and care for others, above all. I truly believe in that ethos.