Diego Gadea

Diego with surfboard
Diego with surfboard
Zeus, "Father of Gods and men" God of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart was Jupiter.
Zeus, "Father of Gods and men" God of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart was Jupiter.
Zeus cruise boat
Zeus cruise boat
View from our balcony in the Olympia Mare
View from our balcony in the Olympia Mare
Lunar eclipse
Lunar eclipse
Captain prepares our barbecue lunch, with Colin (in green) behind him.
Captain prepares our barbecue lunch, with Colin (in green) behind him.
Sunrise coloring the surrounding islands and trees in tones of pink and orange
Sunrise coloring the surrounding islands and trees in tones of pink and orange
Little Sofia in the Olympia Mare
Little Sofia in the Olympia Mare

I came to the island of Kos (Greece), on June 15 to accompany my husband to a conference. My sister Sonia called me from Australia on June 19 to tell me the bad news about you and I am very sorry, as I also have two children, Gisela, who will soon turn 20 and Christopher who is nineteen, or a year older than you.

Not even 24 hours have gone past since I first heard the news about you, but today I just had to get up, as I could not sleep any more. I quietly went to our balcony, camera in hand, to think and see the sunrise. I don't usually get up early often, but sunrises I have seen I recall clearly and I am sure to do the same with this one too. I took pictures of the sun rising and coloring the neighboring islands, hills and trees in tones of pink and orange. It was so quiet and peaceful! I could hear the waves breaking on the shore in front of the Olympia Mare where we are staying and I could also see that the moon was still up. Only a few days ago that same moon stopped being big, bright and yellow and its size was reduced, until it shone no more and the sky turned completely black! It was a lunar eclipse and a total one too, apparently! Everything suddenly became silent for a while, but sure enough, the moon continued making its reflection on the water below again and soon it was back to being big and orange one more time.

As I watched the sunrise I reflected on the fact that the small waves will keep on breaking in front of the Olympia Mare hotel in Kos. Little Sofia will continue going down to the beach with her parents and bathing on the beach, under the watchful eye of her mother Monica. There will always be guests interrupting Nikos to ask him to recommend a restaurant in town, do a search on the Internet or ask him for some salt, just like I did! The many small birds will keep on coming back to nervously fly from tree to tree, making it difficult for tourists like me, to take pictures of them as they take drops of water from the standing tap. Early in the morning, people will keep on jogging along the sandy beach; while far out fishing boats and the occasional cruise will also continue to go past our hotel, while every few minutes another jet will fly overhead as it approaches the nearby airport to deposit another load of tourists eager to enjoy the sun, beach, Greek food and hospitality.

Zeus

The day you decided to leave us we went for a Zeus motor yacht cruise with a small group of people around the coastline to the South of Kos. There was a blue sky that day and although windy, the Aegean had crystal clear waters and the most incredible turquoise color!

I saw a picture of you with a surfboard, but I don’t know whether you were also interested in windsurfing or not. I saw some colourful ones enjoying the wind on the way back to port and I even took pictures of them, not knowing I would shortly be writing about them!

The eight people that came with us on the Zeus cruise were mainly British, but there was also a couple from Belgium and the two of us from Austria. I got to talk to Marian and her husband Colin and he told me he is 75 years old, and hopes to have time to be able to finish the book he is writing about his family and his outstanding grandmother Rosetta, who is from Kenya.

Christopher

I also have a young son, his name is Christopher and he is 18, just a year older than you. Chris has done some windsurfing on a lake, as there are no ocean beaches near Austria, the place we now call home. As far as sports, he also likes football, snowboarding and going on skiing and walking tours. The last tour he did was to the Mariazell Basilica, a 120 km walk, which was organized by his school and which lasted for four days!

It was a pity I never had the chance to meet you Diego, even though we both happened to share the same surname: Gadea!

We are leaving Kos to go back home to Christopher tomorrow. I don’t know when or if we will return to Kos, or Greece again, but I am leaving your memory in good hands! Wherever life finds me next June, I will remember and think about you, especially when I see a full moon, hear thunder or see a turquoise color sea! May you rest in peace, Diego!

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