MEMORIES. My mother was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) last August. She is already permanently in a wheelchair. I drive to Bilbao every week to visit her. When she was young she used to drive herself. She did drive since she was eighteen, very unusual for a Spanish woman in the 1950's. She used to take my sister and me to the studio of a painter to pose for portraits and then to pick up my father from the train that arrived in Hendaye, at the French border, from Paris.
My father left us for a Parisian woman soon after that. And then he left that one for another one and then another one.
We did have a hard time. My mother suffered, and then she was hard on us too, there was no joy, and we all suffered. She started to work as a teacher and to give piano lessons. We lived on that while I was young. I studied in a Public School and with scholarships. Then, after my grandfather died and we inherited some money (from one of my mother's uncles too), things improved.
The portraits hung placidly at my mother's place now. But in the worst moments, when in a crisis, the worst fear is still abandonment.
Mi padre nos dejó poco después por una mujer parisina. Luego a ésta le dejó por otra y luego otra y otra.
Pasamos malos tiempos. Mi madre sufría, y luego era dura con nosotros, no había alegría, siempre era como si faltara algo, y sufrimos todos. Empezó a dar clases en un colegio y clases de piano en casa. Mientras yo era joven vivimos de esos trabajos solo. Yo estudié en un Instituto y con becas. Luego, después de que muriera mi abuelo y que heredaramos también de un tío de mi madre, las cosas mejoraron.
Los retratos cuelgan ahora plácidamente en casa de mi madre. Pero en los peores momentos, en las crisis, el peor fantasma es aún sentirse abandonado de todo.