OTONO-11With a pale face, trembling legs and holding the baby car seat, Susana was in front of the hospital doors when her friend Irene came to pick her up, to take her back to her apartment. The tragic news of the collapse of the little train was resounding in all the media, while in Susana’s heart it echoed like an explosion of anguish and fear for what might have happened to her family.

Trying to calm Susana’s visible concern, Irene spoke to her in a gentle voice, “Do not worry in advance. We will go to the scene of the accident. You will be waiting in the car, while I look for your family. You will see that they are fine, the news always exaggerates events. “

OTONO-12Feeling how her maternal heart was pressed within her chest, Susana sensed that something bad had happened to her family.

When they arrived at the crash site, the situation was chaotic. The police had blocked the passage of vehicles, so Irene parked her car six blocks away. Susana remained silent watching her friend walk away from her in the direction of the accident site. Her body trembled feeling that she was burning inside with feelings of pain, sadness, and anguish.

Making her way through an agglomeration of people desperate to hear from Susana’s family, Irene managed to get closer to where the paramedics were treating the injured. With a tremulous voice she asked a firefighter that was holding a list of people who had already identified themselves. After carefully reviewing the list of names, the firefighter told Irene that Juan and Nora were not listed among the injured. The firefighter explained Irene how to get to the people who did not need medical attention and the bodies of the deceased. Hoping that Susana’s family would be well, Irene went to look for them where those who did not need medical attention, but she did not find them there either.

OTONO-15Then a chill began to run through Irene’s body, as she slowly walked towards where the bodies of those who died in the accident were. She saw them lying on the pavement of the road beside all the metal and concrete debris. Stunned by the different noises around her Irene did not understand what a firefighter was explaining to her. While he prevented her from advancing towards the bodies of the deceased. Suddenly the screams of a woman who was crying inconsolably hit Irene’s brain, making her react in such a way that she could understand what the firefighter was saying, “To get closer to identifying a deceased, you need to be a direct relative of the victim and present an identification that confirms the relationship, otherwise you can’t go near the bodies. “

After listening to the firefighter, Irene started walking back to where she had left the parked vehicle. When he arrived, Susana was deep in her own thoughts, her arms crossed as if she were praying. “I looked for them among the living, but I did not find them. Now it’s your turn to look for them among the dead because they didn’t let me do it since I am not a direct relative of any of you. I can’t accompany you because I have to stay behind to take care of the baby. ” Irene said, while some tears slid down her cheeks.

OTONO-10Susana turned her head to where Irene was, looked up and with a slight smile on her lips said, “Don’t worry, I’m going to look for my daughter.” She then got out of the car. With a firm step, she began to walk, feeling that everything around her disappeared from her sight, while her ears were closed to all the noise that surrounded her. As she approached the scene of the accident, Susana’s eyes captured images that were stored in her brain like photographs, but without processing any type of feeling. Everything around her was a whirlwind of pain, screaming, crying and despair. However, Susana was still blind to her own pain, submerged in a bubble of desolation that paradoxically kept her walking, following instructions, searching among the deceased and wishing not to find there, the bodies of her granddaughter, Juan and Nora.

OTONO-14Susana’s heart broke when she realized that her wish was not fulfilled, when the firefighter who accompanied her asked her, “Is this your daughter?” Susana did not reply. She suddenly fell to her knees to the ground. With a shaking hand, she stroked Nora’s hair. Tears from her eyes began to fall on her daughter’s lips. Then she with surprising force she held onto Nora’s shoulders; lifting her to accommodate her in her arms and merge into a hug that stopped time. The aroma of Nora’s perfume invaded all of Susana’s senses, freeing her from the oppression that she was experiencing to free her from suffering her pain. Tearing up inside her Susana cried inconsolably over the death of her daughter. The entire world vanished in that instant because a part of her life was extinguished along with the light that illuminated Nora’s eyes.

During the following days, the sky was covered with autumn colors at sunset during those spring days; faithful witnesses of the silent suffering that tortured the heart of Susana during the process of the funeral of Juan and Nora.

OTONO-05The little body of her newborn’s granddaughter did not appear, the rescuers found the baby chair, the bag that contained her clothes, but they did not find the little girl. The investigators continued to believe that the newborn could still be among the rubble. While the police and rescuers debated conjecture about what could have happened to the body of the newborn, Susana tried to live normally. She knew she was responsible for her granddaughter, to whom she had not yet given a name. Susana did not worry about the economic situation, since Juan, despite being a young man, had life insurance, where she and Nora were the beneficiaries. As Nora was gone, Susana was the only one who was entitled to the benefits of this insurance. So, she was able to collect it without any difficulty.

Once her financial situation was resolved, Susana could dedicate herself completely to raising her granddaughter. Nora’s middle name was Mariana. Reversing the letters of her middle name of her daughter, Susana decided to call the little girl, “Ana Maria.”

OTONO-09For several months, that soon turned into years, Susana went to the police to inquire about the results of the search for her granddaughter’s little body, which had been lost in the rubble of the fateful little train accident. Until one spring day, from a window of her house while she watched the sky cover itself with the colors of autumn at sunset; Susana decided, “I will no longer look for the little body of my granddaughter who was lost in the accident”, as to forget the painful events and keep alive the most beautiful memories of her family in her heart. Thus, she could dedicate herself to creating new memories full of happiness with her granddaughter, whom she simply called “ANA”.



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