When I was born, my mother was already very ill, suffering from tuberculosis. In fact, it was a pulmonologist who assisted her when I was born. Tuberculosis was not only a deadly disease, but also a socially shunned one.
My family had decided that my mother would stay at home until her death. As the house had two stories, her bedroom was on the top floor, and from her window she could watch me in the afternoons when she felt a little better.
Sometimes, just like when a photographic flash hits our eyes, I seem to remember her hand, long and thin, half-opening the blinds and her looking at me. Those moments, like visits, happened frequently, without rehearsals. I had to be dressed nicely – new dresses and ribbons, and I had to say to her what my aunt would tell me to say.
“Mommy, how are you? And always I would throw kisses at her.
It happened that one day I was running around, and I fell and hurt the little finger on my left hand. It was very badly disfigured. They warned me that my mother was very ill, and that she must not see my bandaged hand.
My mother died not long after that. She never knew that my little finger would be the ugly finger of my misfortune and the source of many an adolescent complex. I always hid it and I kept saying to myself: “When I grow up I’m going to make it nice again.” I invented so many ways to hide that little finger that my habit of hiding it lasts to this day.
That was when I understood that I had to learn to act so that my mother would not suffer. Eventually I began to love my little finger and even show it with pride every time whenever, out of habit, I would try to hide it. Perhaps that discovery is what made me love the art of acting, just like children do.
Teresa Maria Rojas