A Cat With Nine Lives Is No More

A cat with nine lives is no more... January 24th 2021


Devastating news... Everybody who knows me, knows that I have a daughter, Betiana. In fact, and not many people on here know this, officially she's my stepdaughter. This means that she has a real, biological father. I know this man quite well because he is not only our daughter's father but also a great friend of mine whom I've known for over twenty years. His name is Sito Barcala Diz, Spanish, a true Gallego as they come, of the same age as mine.


Sito died yesterday from other complications after recovering from COVID-19. A 'simple', hard-working man. A man with modest education and of not many words. A man with hands that build anything his eyes see. Sick or not sick, always working in the housing construction business. A true mathematician without that formal education who is able to build a complete house with everything in it, plumbing, heating, furniture, the lot. His slogan: "if I don't work, I'm dead."


Despite the fact that he had moved back to Spain almost two decades ago, all of us, daughter Betiana, his and my ex-partner Rosa and Sito, we all remained intimate friends and looked each other up every now and then. Friendship is not about frequency but about quality. Sito was more than that. He was my family. We were the two fathers of one helluva great daughter, equally loving and proud of her. One big happy family across the borders.


One anecdote: many years ago we were in Galicia. Summer festivals raging in all the towns. Daughter Betiana, Sito and I decided to visit one of those festivities in the small village of Carril. Roaming the streets there, daughter in front, Sito and I, the two fathers a few steps back. Like two 'inconspicuous' bodyguards. Suffice to say that hardly any boy dared to come close to our daughter, LOL. Both Sito and I were willing to go to jail for our girl, I tell you.


This cat with nine lives is no more. Few people will realize how strong this man was. Losing one kidney years ago and having had dialysis on the other one ever since, climbing the construction work scaffoldings the same day of treatment, never complaining. After all those years in Spain still able to speak Dutch in his very own way. I call it 'Sputch'. I will miss his 'Sputch'. Sito, Hermano, Descanso En Paz. You may rest now. We have the watch...