Dear Alvarete:

When you were little, I would come home after long days at work, take off my shoes, and before I could reach down to pick you up, you were already running down that narrow hallway. I would react quickly, I would drop to the ground and start crawling after you, and when I finally caught up with you, you would laugh and tell me: “You uterus, dad”. At that time everything was perfect.

When I think of moments together, you always appear in them laughing, with that contagious smile of yours. It’s funny, but that’s how it is. Even when I reflect on difficult moments, like after your operations, in my mind you are always smiling. I remember once in Grenoble, France, after one of those surgeries, you had bandages like a turban and your eyes were swollen so much that you could hardly open them. Your grandfather Rafa was sitting next to you on the bed and at one point you put your bandaged arm around his neck, you drew him to your chest and you sank your incisors into his head with a smile from side to side. As if you were the one who had to encourage him and not the other way around.

Memories could come to me in many ways, but fortunately they come to me that way. I guess it’s the way my mind sweetens reality and protects me from my own memories, wrapping them in your smile. A smile that you bring out more times than anyone in this world and that shows that there is a lot of life inside you; Probably different from the others, even difficult for some to understand, but, after all, life, pura vida. Which makes me feel immensely sorry to see the indifference with which they can treat you, the result of fear and ignorance that ignorance generates, as in so many other things. I hurt first for them, who are the ones who lose the most, but also for you and those around you, who can come to feel abandoned by the environment.

This feeling of abandonment could lead to hopelessness that leads us to think that our life is harder, more unfair and more difficult than that of those who ignore us, but that would lead us directly to nothing. In addition, objectively, we could not be sure that it was true, proof of this is that I would not change my life for any of the ones I know.

It would be understandable in these situations to end up bankrupt; It is very hard not to be able to escape from a reality that constantly pressures you and does not give you a moment of rest. And I’m not talking so much about physical rest, which is also mental, which is the most important. Having the ability to escape from reality and disconnect is essential. Unfortunately, there is no recipe that will help everyone.

In my case, my medicine is your mother, we form a team that works together, that supports each other and where each member sacrifices for the other, doing for him what he doesn’t even do for himself. Logically, we have our little frictions, but they are not capable of leaving a mark on us because we quickly forget that we are fighting, since we understand that these are not the result of our feelings but of our fatigue.

We assimilate living with enjoying, as if the mere fact of living implies having a good time all the time; a world of rights without obligations. It should not surprise us that sadness and depression are the evil of developed civilizations and that four children in the middle of nowhere enjoy more behind a punctured ball than the children of well-being with all its comforts. Today may be ours, but tomorrow is lost if we do not change and assume the sacrifice that it implies in the short term. Even to enjoy something as simple as an omelette, you have to be willing to sacrifice time to go for the eggs, beat them and cook them. How can we believe that a bright future awaits us if we are not capable of striving for it?

Alvaro Villanueva and his son Alvarete.
Alvaro Villanueva and his son Alvarete.

One of my greatest privations comes every night, when loneliness knocks on my door. Facing an empty bed, sleeping apart from your mother so that one of you can take care of you, makes me feel incomplete, but then I realize that it is rather the opposite. That empty bed is the result of an effort that denotes more affection than all the caresses put together.

The path that I began to follow with your illness has led me to meet extraordinary people that I would not have met on other paths, or at least in such numbers. People who change the world, not only with words but with actions and all of them with a common engine: love for others. Without going any further, the other day I met my now friend Juan Antonio, father of seven children and two of them with difficulties; We were talking for a long time in which I did not hear a single complaint, he only transmitted love and pride for his children and his wife, Cristina. At the end of the conversation he seemed more concerned about me than himself and he even tried to convince me to let him take care of you some weekend so that your mother and I could rest.

I live an intense life, very intense, but a very enriching life, which leads me to know and understand very different realities; to be a friend, a very good friend, of people from whom, in other circumstances, my ignorance would have separated me. People that only has infinite love in common and that is why I know I can count on them.

it sounded slightly What a Wonderful World In the living room, it was ten at night and there you and I were, tired after a long day. We no longer have the strength to run through the corridors, so I decided to hug you tightly, lift you up and take you from one place to another, drawing a path in the air with your feet, while your mouth outlined a smile that the brightness of your eyes ratified. . Everything is perfect.

I love you,

Alvaro Villanueva

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By Nail

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