Don’t Forget to Breathe Again by Yeny Carolina Guerrero Aguilar


Papi, remember that day I came to this country, that trip full of pain and what happened next. That disappointment I felt when I saw that you had another family. The ones next to you were not my mother or my brothers. At the age of 22, I came to really know you. I was not mature enough to understand that you had a new wife and a new son and I only knew how to run away.

I always wanted you to stop and make up for the moments of my childhood when you were not by my side, to ease the weariness I felt from the painful journey I experienced; not because of the thorny path that I walked, but because of leaving my mother and my brothers and because of the price I had to pay to get to a country that was not mine, but you didn’t stop me, you let me go.

Today I come to see you, I see you lying there, an illness takes you away from me and, at the same time, shows me where my pride and my resentments remain because I always wanted you to come back. When I see you, I become a girl who loves her father. I would like my love to be a balm to ease your pain, but time is running out, my feelings betrayed me, my emotions, my wishes to have that family again.

I see you tired and my desires for you to stay are stronger than my resentment. But a certain disease shows me the fragility of the human being who is by my side. Like when I left, there is no pride in my heart. It hurts to see you like this. I see you and I do not see you, there is no arrogance, only a human being suffering.

I see you, and although it is late, I accept your decision. Inside me, a cry “don’t leave me again!” Your body is not the same, your voice trembles on your white lips that, a few times opened to utter delirious words. I see that your lady is no longer the woman who fought for me to stay away from you, I see in her eyes pain, anguish, fatigue and I ask myself, what have we come to not value life, loyalty, understanding, love? 

A virus taught us that every additional day of living is a lesson, an opportunity for you to release that thorn that stops you, and to realize who you really are, as a man or as a woman, as a son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother, as a friend.  

Many left without enjoying, without forgiving, only the hope that our creator gives us remains in his mercy. It is that light that we see at the end of the tunnel that hates bitterness and turns it into love. A consolation when hugging your loved ones, or simply the stranger that life puts you in your way and that today is all you have.

Breathing together, hugging each other again and filling ourselves with love, drowning all resentment and, most important, all fear. Embrace love, laughter. Papi, be happy and don’t… don’t forget to breathe one more time.