The affection that comes from dealing with those around us, brings about this feeling of friendship that is increased even more, if possible, when we are separated from them. When, 30 years ago now, our dear friend Pepe Serret unexpectedly left us for Heaven, it was a hard blow, there was no going back, it could not be "undone" or changed; it was a fact that had to be accepted, assumed and "taken advantage of".
After a few months the idea arose to collect the memories, the experiences, what he had left us, in a way as an inheritance. That is how the book was born: Pepe Serret. Memories of his friends. In record time, a hundred people -who all considered themselves to be one of his best friends- wrote down what it had meant to meet him, what they were grateful for, and what they had received.
Pepe was a man who knew how to love and to make himself loved. A good man, in the language we all understand.
The contact with people revealed in Pepe all his vitalistic character. Those who knew him know how much he loved life and all its expressions. His joy and optimism, his cheerfulness and the happiness that always radiated from his generous and mischievous smile, his simplicity and generosity. All of this was the fruit of her faith in Providence, and of always feeling herself in God's hands.
If we can speak of a great friend, it is for the simple reason that, in his greatness of spirit, he was always ready to lend a hand, without reservations of any kind, without stopping to think about reasons of convenience or interest: without expecting anything in return, which is, I think, one of the facets that portray the true friend. He lived intensely the problems of his friends. Being at his side the problems one might have vanished, or at least were simplified.
Another great characteristic was his great love for his family. Many times I was especially struck by the immense tenderness with which Pepe loved his children. He knew each and every one of them well: he knew their joys and problems; he lived their worries, their joys and sorrows; he suffered if he saw them worried; he prayed for them; he prayed with them, ... And above all -this could be felt quickly- he loved them with a heart that was always young and determined.
The family motto he instilled in his children was; we have to do pinya! We have to be like a pineapple, make a pineapple... teaching them to live in unity, supporting each other.
His magnanimity was striking: a good professional, a tireless fighter. Prudent, delicate and at the same time audacious, witty, funny, with that endearing shamelessness, which we all appreciated, when he spoke to us about God, the transcendent meaning of our life and put things in their proper place.
At a time when people are valued more for "having" than for "being", the personality of a man who struggled to love God more and more every day emerges. He was a man of faith. Of a living and ardent faith that every day led him to struggle to live in fidelity to his principles in the ordinary conditions of life: generous dedication to his large family, improving day by day in his professional work, trying to discover the transcendent value that is enclosed in the little things of every day, in short, the desire to feel and behave in every moment as a child of God.
His inspiring life is not only for those of us who had the good fortune to know him, but also for people who are looking for testimonies of Christian life in today's world. Pepe is one of them.
Friend of Pepe Serret