The Grandma of the Warrior
Genny has been kind enough to translate another article for us.
by Ángel G. Muñiz (as translated by genny_ss)
Isabel. Bel [that would be a nickname for Isabel]. “It does not matter. As you wish.” 82 years old. She has lived everything. She has seen how this Spain in which we live and suffer was built up. For something she has the name of a Queen. She has seen how the best athlete that our country has enjoyed since the walls of Altamira were painted was forged. For something she is the grandmother of Rafael Nadal.
Well, the grandmother, the mother and the wife. “The true Rafael Nadal is my husband, the first. But in the family we have my husband, my son, my grandson and another grandchild. All are Rafael Nadal. We call Rafael ‘the tennis player’. And my husband, who is the one who liked his surname, has been left with ‘the old’”. Piano teacher and conductor. Genes of genius.
She has lived for eight decades, but she is talkative as a teenager and has the kind of memory that is enjoyed by those with an iron health. Not even one minute has gone by in her interview in the program “El Partido de las 12″ of the COPE radio and you adore her as much as you adore his grandson. “Very well, very happy. This year has been important. Because when he started after having the injury he had, or still has somehow, doing what he has done has impressed all of us.”
Isabel recalls the seven months her grandson was injured and only then her voice hardens. “It was a very hard time, because he was nervous. What he does is his life. He loves it. And being stopped is what tired him most.” Yet, as a good grandmother, she finds the positive side to everything. “Last year we all got together for the Three Wise Men, as there are 13 grandchildren at home and they always bring a lot things and there is so much joy. When I made the toast I said: ‘well, it’s the first year that we are all together. May Rafael be here again next year’. And he told me: ‘No, grandma, please. I have had enough with this year.’”
And what kind of gift does a grandmother give to a grandson who has almost everything? Surely the gift that elicited his biggest smile. A curious set. “Instead of giving him a gift, I pulled his leg. I bought a basket and, as he has to make a new house, I put some ugly junk for his new home. Because I never know what to give him as a present.”
And the point is that Rafa Nadal is a grandson proud of his origins. There is no tournament, city or continent where he does not fail to find a moment to phone his grandparents. “He calls us many times. And I’m very grateful and very happy with him. Besides, he never leaves without coming to visit us. The first thing he does when he arrives at home is come to see us. He is very familiar.”
And when Rafa does not come, it’s because Isabel and Rafael go. To Roland Garros or Wimbledon. To the U.S. Open or the Davis Cup. What better reason for sightseeing than to watch a grandson succeeding. The problem comes when the matches are watched from home. If things are not going well, Bel spends more time in the terrace than in the lounge. “And I watch many matches delayed. Many. Because, when watching live, the anguish is stronger than the desire to watch the match. On the contrary, when it is delayed, I say, ‘How good he is!”. And what about watching live in a box at Roland Garros? “I cannot go to the terrace, but I take a Orfidal [a sedative] and in that way I feel calm.”
Grandma, grandma. Always with an answer for each question. Whatever it is. And proud of her grandchildren. Of the 13. Of Rafael Nadal Barceló. The student. And of Rafael Nadal Parera. The tennis player. “Truly, he is a good person,” says Isabel as a goodbye. Long live the grandmother who raised you. Nothing more to add.