June 14, 1982,
Argentina surrendered to Britain in the Malvinas war today. I usually try to stay updated on Argentina’s political sphere but I have been particularly worn out by it recently. I have also not been paying very close attention to this war as I have been working long hours at the hospital and spending as much time with my family as I can. People violently took to the streets today. Father says that this war was a last attempt by the junta to try to keep its hold on power and this failure is a sure sign of the end of military rule. I hope he is right. He has recovered well; he has been slowly working to get his mobility back and I am still amazed by his strength. While I have shied away from Argentine politics, Father has surprisingly engrossed himself in it. I was expecting it to be painful for him to keep track of the news but I should have known that very little can stop him from reading the newspaper every day. Every other day when I go to check in and make sure he is progressing normally, Father fills me in on his latest theories about the future of Argentine society. He harbors hope for great changes.
He is currently working on writing a book about his years spent in the Little School, one of the centers of torture run by the junta. He has taken it upon himself to tell us his story—that’s what it feels like, a story with many parts that do not fit in quite to one narrative but rather shed light on an almost unfathomable experience. He has taken the time to sort through his memories and present them in a way such that we can try to understand his daily experiences there. He remembers many details: the ways prisoners communicated among each other while blindfolded, the habits of the guards around him, the bits of food they ate, the procedure for using the bathroom. He recounts these bits of his story with a grace and distance that makes it feel he is narrating the story of someone other than himself.
Father has made it clear that he wants Lucas to listen to these details and truly hear them. He wants him to understand the terror of this time period he has grown up in with the intent of making sure it ends soon and does not ever happen again. When Julio and I talk to him about our worries that perhaps describing being tortured is too much to expose Lucas to, he replies, “We must work together to make him want to ask questions. I am simply telling him the truth, something that everyone who I know needs to know because I am lucky enough to be here to tell it.”