What to ask a mother who lost her only child? What to say to him when he has a wound that will never heal? How can you not be moved by her tear-filled face when she remembers what happened that day when her life changed forever? ... It is difficult to answer these questions because it is impossible not to be moved by the presence of Graciela Santilli, the mother of the remembered Guido Falaschi. His face is marked by sadness and pain. And those feelings are enhanced when you let your heart speak. A heart that is broken; shattered. A heart that cries. A heart that seeks the answer to a simple question: why?
It is February 14, 2012. Three months and one day ago Guido left for good. Three months ago and one day that Graciela was turned off "The engine of his life", as she says. However, she is sitting there, ready to go back in time and talk about everything that happened after that tragic noon on November 13, 2011 in Balcarce. And to tell what their days are like, what their mornings are like, what their nights are like ...
His voice is cracked. His eyes can't hold back crying. He does not care about the flashes of the camera. Neither does the recorder with the red light on. She, with reflective and emotional phrases, tells her ordeal; an ordeal that wishes no one. “Guido was our only son. And even if I were five or six, no child replaces another. But in this case, perhaps, it is worse because it was unique. We lived for him. Our life revolved around him. And the truth is that we are alone. We are left with nothing. And it is very ugly to have nothing. It is getting up in the morning without giving meaning to life. It's like that for me. But hey, we will have to get used to surviving ... Not to living; to survive this way ”.
Graciela's first sentence marks the course of a talk that took place in the businessman's offices Fernando Hidalgo, owner of the ex HAZ Racing Team and now PSG16 Team, in Belgrano. That meeting lasted "on" for an hour, but was extended "on off" for as long. "It was my psychologists", I would say after the thanks of rigor for having spoken about something so painful.
-How do you get up every day?
-Guido is the one who is giving me strength… If you ask me why I am getting up, it is to know the truth of why my son died. It's the only thing I live for. It was the only thing I had and they took it from me. I promised Guido that I was going to find out why. That's why I always tell him every night: “Wait for me, Guido, when I know why I'm going to go find you. I know that we are going to meet again and that no one is going to separate us there again ”. But first I have to know why. And it is not so crazy what I am asking. That's why when they tell me that it was an accident, that it was fatality, that it was the ball ... What are we talking about? It seems to me that a sport is governed by safety regulations and not by fatality and a ball ... But, let's leave everything as it is and nothing ... That the president of the category (by Oscar Aventin) said that nothing failed, when a A 22-year-old boy, I find it extremely rude… So I wonder, for something to go wrong, what had to happen? That half category died? Just because there is a death means that something went wrong ... I know that Guido is with me. That accompanies me at every moment. I'm sorry, but I can't see or touch it. And that's what hurts the most. And it makes you wonder why it left me at 22. Or what did he do wrong. The truth is that dying doing a sport does not enter my head. That is why I want to know why he died. I sent my son to run knowing that he was doing a risky sport, because one knows that at 240 km / h the possibility of an accident is always latent. But the Guido thing was not an accident. Guido's thing was a summation of negligence. That's why I want to know why Guido died. And if it was not due to negligence, let them show me the opposite. I know what my son died of, because that came out in the autopsy; but why is something that no one could explain to me. And it seems to me that it is not so crazy that they give me an answer to that ...
-And what is it like when the day ends?
-Likewise. I wait all day to be able to sleep. And morning comes and I say: "Again in the daytime" and I wait again for night to come to go to bed again. And so my days go by. Mine and my husband's. Because Guido was the engine of our life. One lives in function of the children. And live for the children. That is a reality. That is why it struck me when Mr. Aventin came out to say that all parents are prepared to receive our children in a wooden box. And the truth is, I wasn't ready and I'm not even ready now. I know that I will not get Guido back. But I always hope that this is a bad dream ... Maybe he (for Aventin) is ready for that, but I was not ... And I am not ready to face his death.
Graciela, despite having an anguish that invades her, has no qualms about remembering what she experienced that Sunday. "I was at the racetrack… I never watch the races, I'm in the box… I was, rather, always praying and looking down. I assumed something had happened to Guido because I heard them say, 'Guido, do you hear? Guido, answer! ' But I did not imagine that something so serious had happened to him. There I called my husband, who was not in Balcarce, and told him to come because something had happened to Guido. Then I got into a car owned by a person who was there and we went to the hospital - no one in the category came to take me - and when we arrived I found out that my son was killed by a member of the HAZ. Because not even the doctor came out to tell me: 'Your son died.' From that moment my life changed forever. And it will continue like this until I finish figuring out why and go find Guido… And I keep what I promise. And if one day I have to say 'sorry' because I named someone who did not correspond or because I hurt someone, I will too ”.
Throughout the interview, Graciela speaks fluently, although heartbreak invades her from time to time. The cigarette I was going to light is still waiting for the fire. While the disposable tissue that he took as soon as the talk began, it serves to hold back the tears. Anyway, he repeats, with a firm voice, that he just wants someone to explain why Guido died. And then he lists several questions, such as the minutes of the hospital where Guido was treated. “There it appears that at 14:14.09 p.m. they received a call saying that they were going to take a serious pilot, when the accident occurred on 14.50/15… In addition, the death certificate says that Guido died at XNUMX:XNUMX p.m., while the doctor on duty noted that at XNUMX he finished doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation exercises ”...
It also bears the status of the Balcarceño circuit and the Dr. Rodolfo Balinotti, doctor of the ACTC. “The people who enabled the track must have seen that the tires, which were old and not as indicated by the FIA, were untied and that the meshes that covered them were dismantled at the mere touch. That is why they did not fulfill their function of absorbing the impact ”. And then, she affirms tense: “How can it be that the doctor treats you with sunglasses on and with pilot gloves! The doctor acted as a pilot. Guido was taken out of the car with bleeding from his nose and his mouth was covered, which was his only way of ventilation. That is not the way to help a person who is wrong. And if not, let them come and explain why they help him like this. Why did they put him in that ambulance, which had no equipment. There are many questions that have no answer ”.
These sayings do not vary from those that Graciela said in recent days, when she gave her testimony on television, radio and newspapers. In her words there is a strong indignation, although she prefers to call it disrespect. “I have nothing but questions. The answers must come from elsewhere and do not come. And the answers that come are 'nothing failed here', 'we are all prepared', 'it was the ball' ... And it is not like that. They are not logical answers. I feel a lack of respect, when I do not disrespect anyone. Not me, not Guido ... I want to know why there were so many failures. Before, during and after the race. There are a number of mistakes and someone has to assume those responsibilities. When something fails, it fails. And if you do not recognize that you have a problem, it is difficult to find the solution. Unfortunately, until it is recognized that there were errors, this will continue to happen ”.
Graciela also does not avoid mentioning that email her brother received a few days after the tragedy. It was from someone from the ACTC. They asked for the details of a bank account to make a transfer. But he did not say in concept of what ... “My claim is not for money. I just want to know why, ”he emphatically clarifies. And then tell a recent experience. “A few days ago someone from the ACTC asked a close friend of mine what I was looking for. If it was revenge. But it is not revenge. One thing is the truth and another thing is revenge. I do not want revenge against anyone because Guido loved motorsport and from where he is, I know that when the races start he will be watching them ... Is it so difficult to say why? I do not think so".
The only times Graciela's face lights up is when she remembers her son. “My 22 years with Guido were happy. He enjoyed being with grandparents, my nephews… Guido was a happy boy. I feel like it was happy. When I was 13 years old, one night he came, threw himself on the bed, hugged me and said: "Ours would be a happier family if there were no school." He was like that. He was always a good boy; just some challenges because I didn't want to study. Around there we would cross each other on the stairs to go to the bedrooms and he would run races on me and he would tell me: 'I'll pass you inside, I'll win the rope'. He was super affectionate, cuddly… All our moments were pleasant. And then you say, why is it that because of someone's negligence, a family loses all its happiness. The truth does not close me… But I will have to get used to living with this: pain and loneliness ”.
A loneliness that is also reflected in your home. “My house is no longer my house. Guido's trophies are all saved. All I have are the two simulators he used. Of the rest, there is nothing. His bedroom is closed. My house was always full of people. And now it was empty. Only Guido's true friends go, who will keep me company and who, thanks to them, fill my heart a little. It is not the house in which I lived with Guido for 22 years, nor will it be again. That's why I want to know why Guido died, nothing more. Why were things not done right ... Who did things wrong. Because obviously something was wrong. My pain will not subside when they explain to me why Guido died. My loneliness and my pain will continue until the day I die. But maybe I can give my son an explanation when he goes to see him at his grave. "
There is no minute of the day that Graciela does not evoke Guido. Either with that tattoo that was made on his right wrist 20 days ago or those beautiful moments that he recalls over and over again. Of course, none of that fills that hopeless void. So he decided to write her some letters. There are already four. “I wrote to him for Christmas, for New Years, in January and another yesterday (on February 13), when three months were completed. I don't want to disturb him, I want him to rest in peace. But in the last one I asked him to come over and give his dad a hug and a smile when he can because he is worse off than me. But I asked him to do it when he can, not to feel pressured. Because I want you to rest and be calm. And as for me, I said, 'Let me find out the whys. I am going to take them to you and there we are going to meet again '", he affirmed with a contained cry. But one thing that is strange to Graciela is that she still could not see her son in her dreams. “I am not mad at God because He is taking care of me. But sometimes I tell him: 'Che, God… Don't be so selfish and lend it to me for half an hour a night so I can hug and kiss him.'
After hearing his last sentence, silence invades the small meeting room. It is a silence full of emotion, a silence that serves to try to hold back the tears. "It's not that I leave you speechless ...", Graciela says. “It is that one cannot find words. I don't have them as long as I can't find why ”.