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Book Review

Carlos Gracie: O Criador de uma Dinastia

Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2008

By Reila Gracie

Reviewed by Roberto Pedreira  

Posted  June 28, 2013

 .

Chapter 18

 A Morte de Carmem

 

Carlos and Carmem had five kids. They were Carlos, Robson, Geisa, Roseclair, and Sonja. By the time Sonja was born, Carmem had become very weak and was slow to recover from pain in her back, which was thought to be due to having bent over so many times while taking care of babies. Unfortunately, an examination indicated that it was an advanced stage of tuberculosis, at that time a terminal disease. Sonja was immediately removed from her mum because TB was contagious. Carmem was confined to her room and not permitted to go out or have contact with anyone, including her own kids. Carlos, having been raised without dialog with his father, raised his kids in the same way.  And since they were so young, he didn't know how to explain to Carlson and the other kids that they couldn't get close to their mum. Robson and Roseclair cried without stopping. Carlos' sister Ilka, tried to help in her free time so that Carlos could go to work.

It was a dramatic time for Carlos and the kids. Carlos stopped having sex with Carmem because she didn't want to do it, but he refused to not kiss her. He was confident that he would not be infected with the TB bacillus, believing that he was protected by a divine energy and the Gracie diet that he had adopted.

Carmem deteriorated and was transfer to a sanitarium in Campos do Jordão. The professor of the sanitarium was shocked to see Carlos kissing Carmem on the mouth and told him that doing that was "suicide." Carlos assured the doctor that he was immune to the TB bacillus.  The doctor explained that Carlos would be ingesting the bacillus directly into his lungs. Carlos said "thank you very much for your advice but I won't stop kissing my woman."

The doctors gave Carmem three months to live. There were 150 girls and women there, some young and pretty. Men were not allowed to sleep in the facilities. Carlos was treated as a hero because he refused to accept the doctors advice to not kiss his woman's mouth. Because he was clearly willing to assume the risks [but actually he didn't think there was any risk] he was the first man who was allowed the sleep there. Carmem died March 29, 1940. The doctors, impressed with his nutritional theories and his confidence that they would confer immunity to TB, offered him a job as dietician. Carlos declined.

Sonja was also diagnosed with TB. Carlos refused to have her treated by medical professionals, but instead treated her himself using natural methods. In a short time she was completely cured, to the perplexity of the pediatrician who had diagnosed her. [Indeed, medicine had no effective treatment for TB at that time. On the other hand, it is possible that she was mis-diagnosed.]

Carlos believed that death was a rite of passage to a new plane of existence. Like Buddhists he believed in reincarnation as the process by which the soul seeks the stage of maximum perfection or illumination. Based on this pattern of belief he conducted his life and formed relationships with the people that entered his world.  The most special of these were Helio and Oscar Santa Maria.  

With Carlos incapable of being a conventional father, the Gracie family descended into chaos. It didn't take long before he was involved in another amorous relationship. Here Reila appears to be relying on the memories of Geisa, who at the time was 5 years old, and being a young child, really didn't know much about what was going on, assuming that she could remember it 60 years later. Accordingly, some of the facts are incorrect, but the general idea is correct. Here it goes. Carlos noticed a young girl passing by his house on her way to work  in the neighborhood. She was Iida. Iida was soon pregnant. Carlos started thinking about maybe marrying her, since he was the father, after all. But one day to his surprise, Iida's mother filed a criminal complaint. Carlos thought she just wanted his money, so he refused to marry her. He rejected the idea of being obligated to anyone. It was like when George got a young girl pregnant, but in his case, he never even considered marrying her, he just paid what the court forced him to pay. Carlos was arrested [again]. He refused to take a paternity test because he said he definitely was the father. Because it was his first offense [of this type] he was sentenced to only 6 months in prison of which, according to Reila, he served only two. Iida moved to the city of Macaé, in the interior or Rio state, as a single mother with her daughter and apparently without financial means. Reila didn't mention anything about Iida's age, which in fact was a highly relevant part of the story.  More on that later.

Iida would have been useful in taking care of Carlos's five kids, and serving her purpose on earth as a woman, according to the Gracie philosophy of life and love. Taking care of kids was women's work. But Carlos' sisters couldn't help much. Helena was married and had her own life, Mary was in a convent, and Ilka had a paying job and shortly would be married herself.  

Fortunately, Oscar Santa Maria inherited money and built a large three- story house with two pianos, in Urca. Carlos was now 38 years with six1 kids and no woman, just out of prison, no fighter to manage, and no money other than what he could extract from Oscar Santa Maria. Oscar invited Carlos and his six kids to share his house. Probably he didn't mean forever, or to claim it as his own property, but that is a different story (later). Carlos, it seems, was able from this time to seize total control of Oscar Santa Maria's personality. And a lot of his financial assets. That also as another story (also later). The Peruvian higher spiritual entity Egidio Lasjovino became increasingly important. About ordinary daily matters, Oscar was content to hear Carlos' personal opinions. But about important matters, he needed to know what Egidio Lasjovino had to say. Luckily Carlos was there to tell him.

 

 

NEXT WEEK

Chapter 19. Helio Deixa os Ringues

 

 

(c), 2013, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Notes

 

1.Reila is confusing on this point. Apparently the sixth was Oneica, daughter of Iida. How she ended up with Carlos in Urca is not explained.

 

 

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