I have just received the best news a mother could hear on her birthday, Diego, my little boy, is getting married. It was a sudden announcement. I had been downstairs preparing a meal for Jorge and I when I received a call from Diego. I picked up and before I could even say “hello” I was bombarded by Diego’s joyous voice as he fought back tears of joy, “Mama, I have great news, Sofia and I are getting married!” I could not believe that he was getting married to a women Jorge and I have never meet before. During the phone call Diego talked about how they met in his Inorganic Chemistry Class at Federico Santa María Technical University where he is pursuing his Masters in Chemical Engineering. She must be a smart girl to be pursuing a Masters in Engineering. I trust that Diego has made the right choice.
Now that my child is out of the house and beginning to start his own life I am beginning to feel as if my generation is passing on. The experiences that have developed our personalities and worldviews have already occurred. I can feel as if I can only speak for my own experiences, but being a member of my generation I also feel as if I can speak for all members of my generation. We all shared the same experiences, just from different points of view. A historical event, the Coup of Allende, occurred in our youth and we experienced that event and its ramifications if different ways. I experienced these events through my parents, through a soup kitchen in Santiago and through my husband. I also experienced them as a child, a women living in poverty and as a mother. I learned and understood major events from those around me making the events communal experiences. I also experienced events through my individual identity making the events individualized. Honestly, I don’t like thinking of things where both types of analysis are correct. I want to be able to take a stand on things but I simply cannot do that when thinking of historical experience. The experience is both communal and individual and nobody can tell you your opinions are inherently wrong. As much as I wanted Jorge to stop his hatred and rage towards Pinochet and the entire Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings I cannot tell him that he was wrong. That was how he reacted to the events based on his previous experiences.
Unfortunately, this is the final page of this diary. I got it as a birthday present when I was ten years old. I am fifty-four now. I am torn if I want to start a new diary. This dairy contains all my saddest and most frightful days, like the ones following the Allende coup, when my family and I was cowering in our house fearing for our safety. But, it also contains my happiest ones, when I was falling in love with Jorge or when we filmed the commercial for the NO campaign.
I am unsure what I want to do with this journal. I could give it to Diego to allow him to understand the past, at least from his mother’s point of view. Would he even read it? He is about to begin his own career, his own family. He has his own generation; his own historical events that he needs to make sense of in order to build the future that he wants.
Words cannot describe what this diary has meant to me. Some people express their feelings through music or art or athletics. I have expressed mine through this diary, a private means of expression. Although it is a private expression of emotion and opinions generated by historical events that have affected me, this diary is no less a part of history then a great work of art or a famous speech simply because it is private.
To my Mother and Father, I thank you, to Jorge, I love you, and to my son Miguel, I wish you the best.