Looking Back – Inès in 2012

Many people of my generation, if they had my wealth and ability, left the country. Neighbors of mine in Las Heras left when I was still living at Home, helping Mama and Papa. Why didn’t I leave? That’s a question I rarely ask myself. I think being an only child, a rare thing in Argentina, kept me close to my family. I am glad I didn’t leave though. Argentina is my country,
Thinking about my own history and experiences, it is sometimes hard to reconcile my past thoughts with my current self. I wrote to you a while ago, when Maria was just 13, and I was working hard to present a balanced Argentina, a balanced Inès, to her. I didn’t want to shove anything down her throat. Now she is 20, near the age I was when I saw the Junta capture Professor Diaz. Maria doesn’t have the same lived experience as me. If anything I’ve realized in raising her, that it is impossible to translate a trauma in words. If there is any connection strong enough to breach the gaps created between language and trauma, it would be mother-daughter, but honestly it isn’t good enough. We live our daily lives so happily, and so calmly, that after a certain point I realized that translating that part of me wasn’t worth it. Why push my pain on to her? I’m sure that 25 year old Inès would be furious with me, but that is what mother hood does. Besides, now Maria is in the United States, finishing up her degree in math at Georgetown. Her head is far away from Argentina now.
Instead, my existence in Buenos Aires, my connections to Mona and Sophia, these are what carry the memories, the heart ache and the sorrows of the past. Gus is nearly retired, he and I have been so lucky in this way. He has made good money, enough to help us through the recession and support my father in his nursing home. Mama’s been gone almost 11 years now, she was alive just to see Maria grow up. They never did get politicized like I did. It was only after I married to Gus that I finally told them about Senor Diaz, Selma and Senor Baez. Even then they didn’t quite understand. This is another thing i’ve realized in growing older. When we are young, we turn everything into our own problem. Perhaps it’s a form of narcissim, or maybe it’s altruism at its finest, but during my college years I took everything I learned and sought to change it. I didn’t even want to really be a mother, remember? Yet here I am, 25 years later, complacent. I think that what I’ve learned is the biggest solution to these traumas, (granted I faced much less than others), is both time and friendship. Without my two lovely best friends by my side, I don’t know where I would be.

1 thought on “Looking Back – Inès in 2012

  1. ssvolk says:

    Thank you, Inés, for letting me ride along on your life’s journey, if only through the pages of your journal. I have learned much from your life and experiences.

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