I can’t believe it: I’m turning 50! I can’t believe how the years have gone by. But I feel as young as ever. But I see it in my family, how the time has past. My parents are both so old now. They have moved into my house and live with us. And to think that my children, Francisco and Daniela, are 24 and 22 now respectively. Daniela is studying business at the Catholic University in Valparaiso. And Francisco is studying to be a doctor. It’s so good to have them still at home. It’s good to have the whole family. Although not for long, as Francisco is engaged and plans to get married and move to La Serena with his wife who he met at the university. That’s where she is from. Another thing that assures me that much time has passed, is how much things have changed politically and economically. The dictatorship has lasted longer than anyone ever imagined. My children and those of their generation are not happy about it. They don’t understand why we supported Pinochet and I explain how important he was to Chile and hat chaos we were facing with Allende.
But in some ways, I agree with them. The hints of returning to democratic rule that Pinochet gave at his speech at Chacarillas have not proved to be true. And that was almost 10 years ago. We have a new constitution, but that doesn’t really affect me either way. It has been really disastrous for our family since the economic crisis a few years ago. It was been really horrible for my father and his friends and colleagues. Many of their businesses have gone bankrupt. It seems like there’s a new generation of businessmen who have come out on top. We did not expect this from Pinochet. He was supposed to protect these businesses from Marxism. But, I guess it must be hard to predict an economic crisis. Despite my qualms with the duration of the dictatorship, I appreciate the attempt to keep order. There have been so many unruly protests in the last few years. It’s really draining. It’s so dangerous because it always escalates to violence. I don’t want people like that running my country. I have been fortunate enough, that whatever their complaints, my children have good enough heads on their shoulders not to participate.