Great, irreverent, anarchist. You have always been like that, my friend. You can’t imagine how much I’m going to miss you.
Brazilian cartoonist and playwright Millôr Fernandes said:
It is ridiculous to represent freedom as a beautiful woman with an eternally burning torch in her hand with delicate features and a serene and haughty expression. Freedom is a stray dogMillôr Fernandes, quoted in CD tribute to Silvio Rodriguez
You comrade, you are that stray dog. You didn’t care about social conventions, norms, you did what you wanted because you wanted to.
If you had listened to me, you would have had a great time with that attitude. If only you had let me open Tinder for you! You never left me your cell phone because of that, you knew I was in too much danger.
You didn’t give a damn about the opinions of others. You, with your authenticity, with your values, made a mark on many people. What a mobilization and repercussion your departure has had. What a bastard!
In an act of faith when we met you. Do you remember? Carlos Longarela, you and I started aroad trip. I know you hate anglicisms, I write it that way to fuck you in the hereafter. You would have liked that. 😉
Some suspicions we would have when we got into your van, a bit rickety. The appearance did not bother me. What made me anxious were the ropes, tools and a box of 4 liters of wine in a cardboard box that you said you “had for breakfast”.
My madriña as you already had your liver at that time. You were into the swing of things, that’s for sure. We are talking about the year 2017.
Neither Carlos nor I ran away. We were suspicious with the weird idea of an “older gentleman” riding in a car with those things in the trunk. But we enjoyed it very much. You conveyed kindness. We are confident of that.
It was one of the longest trips I have ever taken in my life. At that time you were rolling like a motorcycle. I grew my fingernails to get to Santander. Carlos and I were avoiding each other to avoid going in front, because you talked non-stop and the more you talked, the slower we went.
In normal conditions we would have arrived in 6 hours, with you it was 9 or 10. There were already three of us, but you insisted on getting on and off with BlaBlaCar. You talked to everyone, you were interested in everyone’s life. And it seemed like you didn’t, but you always kept all the details.
It was our first WordCamp, and for me that trip was the beginning of a wonderful stage in which we got to know this whole ecosystem thanks to Juan Hernando. What a guy, huh? How it has messed up our lives.
On that trip we got to know the community beyond our borders. To my referent: Fernando Tellado, I saw Ana Cirujano‘s first talk, I met Rocío, JuanKa, Pablo Moratinos, Vanessa, Lhosca, Julio and Fernando, Dani Serrano, Moncho, Lúa and since then we have not stopped. Especially you, you unreachable old rascal. There was no one to stop you.
We have had some incredible trips. We have shared beds in unexpected places. From places reminiscent of the oldest profession with lights, bathroom, condoms and built-in shower, to luxury suites.
I always joked to people that you liked to spoon and sleep naked. Everyone laughed, you laughed. A few of us will know the reality (thank goodness!).
Roads and trips, often accompanied by your favorite music. The one you regretted leaving behind over time. We talked about it on the way to Torrelodones. Do you remember?
You told me you would take up music again, listen to Queen, one of your favorite bands, Supertramp, symphonic rock with which we shared conversations and tastes: Rick Wakeman, King Grisom. Classics like you.
Did you do it, my friend? Or did you abandon that company? Now you have time for it, and above all, strength. So please don’t stop doing it.
When I bought my apartment and had no furniture, do you remember the bed I bought? A double bed so that you and Carlos can stay here whenever you want.
I would even put things on your pillow to make you feel at ease and you would tell me in your angry voice:
— Get those shits off my fucking bed!
Do you remember the GDPR era? There was so much confusion that you decided to bring out your website in full compliance with the regulations to teach people how to do it. That was always your way. Helping. There was no other way to understand you.
By the way, who will tune up Gerardo? You were the only one who could control it. Gerardo’ s discussions about translations will not be funny if you are not there to contradict him. He will miss you too.
I still remember my first message in the support forum asking for help for a bug with recaptcha and Contact Form. I wrote the message at 08:00 and an hour later you were calling me to tell me about another plugin I could use, that’s premium service and no one was paying you a penny for it!
You never liked the limelight, always in the shadows, but this time you messed up, chick. This time the community in unison has turned to you.
Haven’t you gone through Slack? Through Twitter? Did you see the album shared by Nilo? Many people are leaving photos of you(Álvaro, Pablo M., Verónica, Madrillano, Fernando Rebolledo, Tania, Carlos L.) of so many moments you gave us.
Hundreds of messages lamenting your departure, did you read the posts they wrote about you?
I was very moved to read Jesus Yesares with his post: I’m screwed. Pablo Moratinos (hasta siempre leyenda), Ángel Cabaleiro (Adiós Jose Luis), and of course, our comrade: Carlos Longarela with: WordPress is a little bigger today.
Did you read Tellado in that precious Twitter string? Fernando loved you very much and wrote about you. Everyone has dedicated beautiful words to you. It must be for a reason, right?
What a mess you have made for us, chickie.
How the hell do we do WordCamp now? The mailings to speakers, the organization to volunteers that only you knew how to do? If you are not registered, how will people know it is a WordCamp?
Your child will inherit part of the responsibility. Yesterday we saw him at your cremation, it was not a nice farewell, but he is proud of the father that touched him.
He is impressed by the outpouring of affection from so many people. It was nice to finally meet your brother from Norway, what a resemblance to you kid, but he is better preserved, you pushed your body to the limit.
Do you remember Berlin? I was not able to keep up with you. The endurance was incredible. We did a tour of the city with Weiko and when the night came you were hungry for more.
Even Jorge could be beaten by you, and look how “a person” has an endurance like few others. Do you remember your “Jagermeister” pétanque? You surprised us at every turn.
Look at this picture, we met María, Víctor and me in the SEO Galicia group, organized by Eoghan and from there we recommend you to go to the WPPontevedra group. This photo is historic mate, your first meetup in May 2017:
There you met the group that was being created, Jose Ramon, and the rest is history.
How did we get here? What happened to make you want to leave? It’s okay, you have become a legend as Pablo said. Today you are immortal.
Yesterday we gathered in your honor, a good idea from Sabela. I’m sure you would have liked the idea.
As in every meetup, we gather to talk, to toast, to celebrate. You were more present than ever.
The hardest part was having to explain to Suyán, my 6 year old son, that we would not see you anymore. That you had gone to the universe. He with his innocence and vision of the world dried my tears and told me:
— Don’t worry Dad. Jose Luis will become a baby and we will see him when he grows up again.
I don’t know where I got that idea but it seemed like a nice way to say goodbye.
You have become more powerful because you are in each one of us. Every WordPress group, every WordCamp will have a part of you and that my friend, is immeasurable.
You got away with it, you bastard. Here you will always have your room, my friend, never forget it.