this tuesday my friend Rafa Cabeleira was in SER counting How have you adapted to living after a heart attack? The news of that heart attack hit the gang like a bomb; for him, of course, but also for what it meant for the rest: since then, when we have gas, we all find ourselves in the ER. Nacho Carretero, present on the program, told how he told us: “Friends, it already happened”, which reminded me of how Eduardo Haro Tecglen received the news of the death of his son, Haro Ibars, in this concise way: ” That’s it”. Of course, Cabeleira was exaggerating: no one expected his heart attack. But at the same time, the way of communicating reassured him: it was understood that he was already out of danger.

“Friends, it already happened” is a fantastic phrase, the kind of phrases that build worlds, or describe them, or give them away. In Family Lexicon, Natalia Ginzburg tells how her brother was arrested at the Italian border loaded with anti-fascist propaganda and, in a moment when the guards were distracted, escaped from them, jumped into the river and swam towards the Swiss border. Her mother, upon learning of such an adventure, joined her hands “between hers happy, admired and scared”, and the first thing she did was exclaim in amazement: “To the water with the coat!”. It seems to me that fleeing from the Nazis by throwing yourself into a river and having your mother say, disregarding Hitler and Mussolini a lot and putting her hand to her forehead, “get into the water with your coat!”, shows a purer love than the mother who praises only heroism: she is a mother who is in everything because there is no mother, even if the Holocaust is involved, who is not in everything.

When Amador, the protagonist of what burnsHe gets out of prison after several years and comes home to find his mother working in the garden and the first thing she says when she sees him is: “Do you fame?”.

When my friend Rafa Cabeleira was brought up to the floor, it was the turn of Claudio Jabois in the room, a man in his seventies from a parish in Sanxenxo whom I did not know, a cousin or third uncle of mine, namely (the last name Jabois , Javois in the original French, underwent a mutation in the church registry centuries ago and the town is the cradle of whatever Jabois has spread throughout the world, many of them emigrants in America). I called Rafa to see how my heart was doing and he gave me the phone to see how my family was doing. I asked Claudio Jabois about his heart attack and he described it to me in a brilliant way: “A hug, unha rare arrhythmia”. Then he asked me where he was and I told him that in Madrid, and then he asked about the only thing an old Galician asks when he discovers that his interlocutor is outside Galicia: “And what time was there?”.

I automatically thought of my father, my grandfather, and the parents and grandparents of my friends who, if one day any child calls them from Stockholm to tell them that they have collected the Nobel Prize, the first thing they will do is ask how long they have been He does there, while someone is heard in the background: “She should wrap up.” And that is the only thing that matters to a family of a daughter or a son, even if they escape from the Nazis: that they don’t get cold, that they don’t go hungry, that they don’t get wet when it rains. And that’s how it always has to be.

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