“Grandpa, tell me again what Grandma looked like?” Main Street soaked in the dawn sunlight. Smell of dough, salt sea and sun oozing up the street like an overweight tram.

“She was a revolutionary.”

“Did she carry a gun?” Pablo laughed at his grandson. “Why are you laughing? People have told me she was friends with Cilia Sanchez?”

“Toni, I am your grandpa, I laugh at you because I love you. I laugh at life because I am old. When you are 80 you can laugh, in fact you must promise me to laugh as often as you can. Go on promise me.” He nudged his grandson until Toni’s face lit up with a smile. “The bus is late this morning, grandpa”, the boy said after a while.

“It’s always late on a Monday, no one likes getting up on a Monday. Friday’s always easier. Then Saturday, when you want to lay in bed, your body wakes you up anyway!” The boy chuckled.

“Maria was happiest making bread.” Toni looked at his grandpa who was now staring at the empty sun drenched road. “You know, 10 people can make bread in exactly the same way but each loaf will be different. You know why, Toni?” Toni looked at his grandfather and shook his head. “Because only some know the secret ingredient.”

“What’s the secret ingredient?” The boy asked.

“Love. Love is the secret ingredient Toni. Some people have the gift of putting it into their cooking. The way they knead the dough, thinking about the passion of their soul. Or add the water, with a prayer perhaps? How they summon up the secret ingredient is not important, as long as it is true and delivered with kindness.”

They heard the bus chugging up the hill from Malecon. Toni stood up and swung his rucksack onto his back. “I should like to have met her.” He said, looking down the hill towards the bus. “I know.” Said Pablo. “I miss her everyday. But when I am with you, I feel like she is with me,” said Pablo. “She must have found her way into you, like she found her way into the bread.” Toni smiled at his grandfather and he boarded the bus.

©DMM “Malecon”

#cuba #love #mothers #grandmother



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