There was once an old woman named Carmen. She was 98 years old and for years that loneliness was her only companion since she was a widow and her children had migrated to other cities in search of work. Carmen, just received visits of Mary, the sister of her daughter in law who helped with housework and offered her all the love her children and grandchildren could no longer give him, because rarely have time to visit her and spend some time with her. Her grandchildren were always busy and usually at Christmas had commitments, much more important than going to visit an old lady who was thousands of miles away.
One Christmas Eve, she was sitting at the dinner table, with a blanket wrapped around his legs, warming with a brazier that was right under the table. It was a pleasant winter day, low dark sun filtering through the window, dimly illuminating the room. Despite being a sunny day, it was too cold.
The Christmas holidays had arrived, Carmen (or mom Carmen) watched the comings and goings of people traveling on the cobbled streets of the small town where she lived. The streets were decorated with colored lights, forming the Christmas figures: holly, fir, sledding ... People walked the streets covering their coats, scarves and hats, chatting and preparing holiday shopping. Carmen absorbed, watched all this bustle from her window while gently stirring a big bowl of thick hot chocolate, accompanied by pasta rolled in sugar. She was giving excessive treat for her health, but the pleasure of that cup of chocolate replacing the emptiness of her heart. With the first sip of his coffee, my grandmother closed her eyes, reveling in the feeling of wellbeing that invaded his body and mitigated her sadness. She opened her eyes and looked out the window, she noticed something different in the air.
There were wooden carts circulating through the cobbled streets, led by mules and ponies. The houses were made from clay, stone and plaster and were plastered with lime. People were dressed in old clothes. Children played in the street with snow, made snowballs and threw them at each other. Carmen was impressed. She rose from her chair and walked outside.
In the distance, she saw some children playing in the street and one of them shouted:
- Carmen, come and play with us!
My great- grandmother recognized those girls. Puzzled, she looked at her body. Everything about her had changed, now looked like a girl of 8 years.She had stepped back in time! The girl who called her was her older sister Francesca. A great joy and overflowing joy invaded her infant body. Without thinking, she ran to her sister, and started playing with snow. There were Incarnation, Isabel, Rosario and Sorrows, her little sister (3 years) tried unsuccessfully to keep up with all those girls twice her age.
Carmen, fatigued by the game, sat on the steps of a portal. After a few minutes, the great oak door opened and heard a sweet voice say:
- Dear Carmen, call your sisters. I have prepared a snack: a big bowl of hot chocolate and pastries. Come and rest a while.
Carmen stunned, acknowledged that sweet and beautiful voice in his heart.It was her mother! She turned her head and saw her. The tears wet her face. She had preserved in her memory the image of her mother as was seeing at the time. A tall, thin woman with white skin immaculately dressed in black with a large white apron tied to her, greasy and chocolate drops waist. She had dark, shiny and silky hair in a bun and a very tender and loving smile.
My great- grandmother called her sisters and took Sorrows in her arms. She could not stop kissing her and pamper her. Sorrows knew her match her with emotional hugs and sweet kisses. She returned to taste those delicious snacks that prepared her mother.
Her mother reminded them that it was Christmas Eve and that night estrenarían their new wool coats, which she had woven with care, and their new shoes, and that they would be ready to stroll through the streets of the town asking for the bonus and singing songs .
This Christmas Eve, Carmen returned to dinner with her parents and sisters. On the table was a large pot with broth and several plates of sardines, sausages, bacon and black pudding, a carafe of red wine and a loaf of bread. Everyone enjoyed the meal and waited, anxious, the arrival of dessert: those shortbread that her mother always prepared with such care and affection.
After dinner, came her friends and neighbors who will sing Christmas songs and playing the friction drums and tambourines, entered the house to find Carmen and her sisters. They took shelter in their new coats and shoes, grabbed their friction drums, and excited, took to the streets in search of donations from their neighbors.
That night, people were very generous and collected all kinds of sweets, shortbread and nougat. In each household were offered a sweet exchange for listening to a Christmas song. After spending all night singing, my great- grandmother and her friends were distributed and collected, tired, went each to his house. My great- grandmother closed her eyes. Sleep overtook her at the time. A feeling of being invaded her tired body and her old but beautiful soul.
My great- grandmother does not reawakened. She fell asleep forever, in that chair by the large window in the dining room. When I was little, she always told me that her childhood was the most valuable treasure of her life, her mind struggled for years to remember those moments of past happiness with her family and remember those people who was always in her heart . Her long life ended as she always wanted as a child, being happy, remembering those years in which nothing scared him, without war, without loneliness, without sadness. She was happy and dreamed.
Merry Christmas Great Grandmother!