"Sergio, you have no vocation at all [to be a priest], you'd better go out and take care of your life," said a friend of Sergio who was a priest.
A while after she came back from Europe, Elsa married Dadi, as Zepherino Amaro D'Avila Silveira, a Rio Grande do Sul civil engineer, was also known. Sergio was 6 years old. Dadi was a childhood sweetheart, a distant relative of the Mendes de Almeida from southern Brazil who Elsa had dated when she was a girl and would go with her mother on vacation to the south. "He was delighted with my mother, though it was superficial dating." Later, when Dadi found out Elsa was a widow, he began courting her. Dadi was so passionate that when Elsa told him she could no longer have children, he said: "Why should I want any more if I already have three of them?". They were the sons of Elsa, among whom Sergio. "Dadi was wonderful to the boys," says Vera Beatrice, Sergio's widow, with whom he was married for over forty-one years, to the end of his life. Elsa liked to enjoy life, traveled a lot, and the greater responsibility in educating the boys ended up with Stella, their maternal grandmother.
Soon after the marriage, the family left uncle James' house and went to a village near the Santo Inácio school. They moved into in a big house on São Clemente street, 254. Friends of his grandmother had two houses and lent one of them to Sergio's family for them to live in. They stayed there a while. Grandmother Stella always took the lead in the boys' care. However, in 1936, at age 9, Sergio developed a serious illness that would take away the games and affect him permanently. One day he went to sleep and would not wake up.
Sergio's memories just before falling ill were good. There was a "June party" at number 254, the big house next to his, and at the Santo Inácio school, with much laughter and noise. But he went to bed early because of the firecrackers, which he hated. I was afraid of them, even of the small ones, and went to bed. He started dreaming in color, with many events. "With my eyes open as if I were awake, I looked ecstatic at the patterns on the curtains, which turned into Indians and dragons." He and his sisters, who slept in the next room, had made a hole in the wall to chat through. (Incidentally, it is Sergio who says that the hole that appears so often in his creations "started there"). In the morning, the day after the festivities, his sisters started calling their mother, distressed. "They said I was going crazy, banging my head on the wall, as if I were epileptic." He slept five days in a row, in a kind of coma.