10.12.1983

Querido Papá,

The world is a quickly changing place, and it feels so good to be swept up in the fervor of it all. I do not think I have been so excited for something in years, except perhaps Enrique’s wedding. Today Raúl Alfonsín was sworn in as the new leader for Argentina, and the people flooded the streets in celebration. Everything has turned around so quickly, even the date of the inauguration was moved up so that it would fall on Human Rights Day. Alfonsín has said that he hopes to make human rights a priority to find justice for the victims. I have not yet decided whether I am happy about that. On one hand, there is something so heartbreaking to hear all of the people on the streets cheering after the announcement, screaming about how they will finally get justice. But on the other hand, I worry that this focus on the past will only bring up hurts that do not need to be reshared. This is not a time to be reflective on the past, this is a time to move forward as a country and become the great people that we were promised we would become seven years ago.

In the end, I suppose I support Alfonsín. Certainly, the juntas had not done their job in making things better for Argentina, and I can only hope that he will be able to do a better job. But not everyone is happy with this election. When I went to visit Rosa, to ask her if she would come see the people march in the streets, she did not invite me in. I only meant to try to relive some of the excitement that we’d had when we were younger, such as when we went out during the World Cup years ago, but she told me that she would not come out to celebrate. She said she is worried about what the change in leaders will mean for her husband’s job, and that she cannot celebrate because she does not know whether good will come of this. I feel like we are slowly drifting apart, like we are slowly becoming unknowable to each other.

Cristian, though, was all too happy to be celebrating. He has always been more concerned about the actions of the junta than I have been. Once, a few months ago, he told me that he had a cousin out in Córdoba who was one of the disappeared. He and the cousin had only met once or twice when they were young, but it still frightened him that someone could exist one day and be gone another. He is hopeful that Alfonsín will bring answers. He brought good bread and cheese over and shared with everyone in my family. He gave a bit of a speech about how excited he was to see what wondrous changes the next few years will bring. And then he turned to me, and asked me if I would be willing to marry him and spend those years with him.

Of course, I said yes! Mamá cried and Gabriel and Cristian shook hands for nearly a minute and everything was so exciting. And once everything had started to settle down again, Enrique and Sofía said that they also had wonderful news – they are going to have a baby! Mamá had only just finished drying her eyes, too.

It is beautiful to see everyone in the family so happy. If only you had been here to see it. Though I still feel that the future remains uncertain, this is the first time in a long while that I have felt comfortable with that uncertainty and optimistic that everything will start to work out.

All my love,

Malena

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