Querido Papá,

We held the one-year Mass for you last week. I miss you so much. Mamá says the best way to remember someone is to write them letters. She says you won’t be able to write back, but that’s okay. Even if you can’t send me letters, I know you’re looking out for me. The service was really nice. Lots of people showed up and brought flowers, and when we came home, Señora Vargas from next door had cooked dinner. When Mamá told her that she was too kind, Señora Vargas used her Teacher Voice and said, “Eva Ramos Márquez, there is no need to be ashamed to ask for help.” Then she and Mamá went into the kitchen. When they came back, Mamá’s eyes were red.

I’m glad that Señora Vargas isn’t my teacher this year. She’s kind of scary when she uses the Teacher Voice. I just started 4th year of escuela primaria. My best friend Rosa is in my class this year. Her older sister Rocio walks us to school so that Mamá can work at the hardware store. Rocio is in her 2nd year of escuela secondaria like Enrique, but he doesn’t like to walk with us because he likes to walk with his cool friends. Older brothers are so annoying.

Mamá and Enrique and I are all taking care of your hardware store. Mamá does the most work because she’s there all day, but after school Enrique helps neaten the shelves and I sweep the floors. Mamá says right now there’s not as many customers as she would like. But she also says we are doing okay for now. She says that our store has the best swept floors in Lanús, so if I keep doing my chores things will be better. Enrique says a lot of Argentina is having problems, but that I’m too young to understand. I don’t like it when he says that.

Do you still pray when you are in Heaven? If God and the angels can hear it when we speak normally down here, I wonder if you have to do it in a whisper so it doesn’t sound like shouting. Anyways, if you do pray still, please pray for us. Mamá looks very tired a lot. I think she misses you as much as I do.

Te extraño, tu hija,

Malena Acosta Ramos

2 thoughts on “27.2.1968

  1. Carlota says:

    Hola Malena,

    I have an older sibling too, just like you. When we were younger, growing up in Rosario, she used to make fun of my hair (it isn’t as long as the others girls’ hair is) and tell the boys that I had crushes on that I liked them. Now, we are good friends and live together in Buenos Aires, but we still disagree on certain things. I hope you and your brother grow closer with time! I’m sorry to hear about your father; I can’t imagine what I would do without my papá.

  2. ssvolk says:

    Hola, Malena. Thanks so much for sharing this letter to your papá with me. I’ve lost both my parents and feel adrift in the world, so I know how you’re feeling. At least your mamá is there to help you see your way through. How old is Enrique? What do you like to do in school? Tell me more and write again soon.

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