The eighties were going by fast, and in those days,
like today, apathy and disenchantment were slowly swallowing my country. I left work early and went to greet Eva, a friend whose house was on the way.
When I arrived unexpectedly, as happens between good friends here, her sister in law Maria was reading Tarot cards.
— Sit down- she told me, — I’ll give you a reading.
— I never did this before — I answered.
My aunt, who was skilled in the art, never wanted to give me a
reading, saying that these things are not for children. But taking advantage of the novelty, and the fact that I was now an adult, I sat on a chair while she quickly shuffled a pack of cards, asked me to cut them into three piles, and so began this story.
–You’re the daughter of Oshun- she said.
— Me? — I said a little shocked– as far as I know I am the daughter of
Josephine. I do not know the lady you are talking about.
–The Virgin of Charity– she pronounced.
— I’m glad– I assured her — My mother is devoted to our patron
virgin, and since I could first remember
I have seen that image in her house. Also, my sister is named in her honor.
–That’s nice – she continued — as the daughter of Cachita you will never need money.
-Wow,– I interrupted. –Right now I am once again without a nickel.
–Look, friend, in order to never be without money– she continued
unperturbed,– you need to bring her into your home and honor her. With a prayer card or image, it doesn’t matter.
— And where will I get one of those? – I asked pointedly– since the images are no longer sold. You know how tough
they have been with all religions, particularly Catholicism. Although — I
thought — my mom has a pair of beautiful images, carved in wood, let me see if she would give me one of them.
That night I dreamed I was walking down Reina Street, asking everyone I met if they knew where the Virgin of Charity lived. Some shrugged their shoulders and stared blankly, continuing on their way. Others, the minority, pointed with a finger and said, this way….
I was walking through old mansions, in a complete state of disrepair, on both sides of the street. I asked neighbors, searching, until an elderly man, short and fragile-looking, said, ‘Go, she’s here. Go to the courtyard, there she is.’
I crossed the threshold through a beautiful door with iron bars half-open, and I walked into a courtyard in the shadows, with only a few weak, lingering rays of the sun. I was gripped by the smell of moss with lilies. And there, at the end of the room, I saw, full size- it was she! I approached with awe and wonder at her long and glittering hair–I could not resist and took one lock of hair between my hands to see if it was natural. At that moment the figure came to life, and embracing me
said, “Take me to your house.” The shock woke me up.
This happened during the holidays, and as usual, for many years, I was without any spare money to even take my son for a walk. At the point of becoming depressed, a Chilean friend who was staying at a hotel in Havana called me and said “Come and bring your son to swim in
the swimming pool and keep me company.”
That’s what we did. It was one of those afternoons, and as I was watching my son enjoy himself, there blew towards me what I thought was a guest card that a careless tourist hat let go of, and I opened my hand and captured it effortlessly. But to my astonishment I saw that it was a picture of the Virgin of Charity. I had found it! Later, when
I told my mother, she gave me one of the carvings, which I still have and care for with love.
From that moment I got a better job at something I enjoyed and my salary improved. My life changed completely, it has all become true. And whenever I feel most in need, when my world is sinking or when many
questions seem to be without answers, an opportunity appears.
Story based on a dream,
Rebecca Monzó Mieres