... I used to go to my granny's house during the summertime. It was a magical place that smelt of sugar, bread and cakes. Sometimes the smell was so strong that it made me a little giggly and high.
There were no toys around so, my cousin and I used to pretend that my granny's playing cards were dolls and acted out "torrid" near soap operas with them (well, as torrid as a kid can make them).
There was no toilet nor even a shower, which meant that we had to use potties and a big vat filled with water, I even remember going to the public baths as a very young child. Year later when my granny finally got her very own bathroom (it was in fact an outhouse), she still kept a potty under her bed... couldn't be bothered to go outside at night
My granny was didn't have much and to support herself she used to sell home made ice creams, cakes and lolly pops to the local kids. As a means to gently "force" the kids into buying her sweets, she used to play cards with them and would bet against them... They never won and always left the house with empty pockets but, fuller tummies. Somehow I think that they all knew that my granny did in fact mark the cards, I guess that they liked the challenge, there wasn't much to do in such a small village in the middle of nowhere.
She made the most amazing bread, huge and tasty, guaranteed to last for a whole month if kept in a wooden chest. She ate everything with it, including fruit and coffee and it was because of that bread that I nearly got eaten by a flock of geese.
Every year, she would give all of her grandchildren 1000 escudos (Portuguese currency) in 50 escudos coins and even though I never liked getting money as a present, I loved that. I eventually found in her house, hidden away in a cupboard huge jars filled with coins ready for the next Christmas.
I used to sleep in a bed with a hay mattress, in a little room just of the kitchen. Awhile ago, I read about how these kind of mattresses where supposed to be uncomfortable, but to be honest I don't remember that.
These are just a few of the memories that I have from her, cloudy and faraway but, lovely none the less. The last time that I saw her, she wasn't the same anymore. Gone was the carefree person that took me and my cousin foraging in the woods, replaced by a sour depressed being, who sat in a bitter silence angry at everything and nothing at the same time.
That was 8 years ago...
Three weeks ago she got into a coma and today her outer shell died.
I hope that she went to a nice place filled with light and left her burdens behind, no more depression and sadness, just bread, a pack of playing cards, kids and happiness.
... Oh, and chocolate, she loved chocolate...