(en castellano: aqui)
Marichu. I liked that there was a Marichu here, in Castilla. I liked to call her and say hello, pronounce her name. ‘Marichu you’re dropping your bottle’. ‘Marichu, what do you want?’ And, eventually, simply ‘Marichu, how are you?’
Whenever I took my parents out to walk in the garden, she was one of the few who were out too, sometimes with her son, sometimes with her daughter. ‘Hello Marichu, and company!’ Marichu always smiled at me, every time I greeted her.
Indoors, in the care home hall, she would walk with her frame, alone, looking for her cushion, who knew where the assistants had placed it while cleaning. ‘Shall we put away Marichu’s cushion?’ ‘No! Or else she will go looking for it all morning.’
When she found it, she would bring it to her chair. ‘Do you want to sit here, Marichu?’ ‘No, I only want to put my cushion there, for later’. And she would take another walk, and after lunch she would find her chair with her cushion on it, ready for her to sit. Then I would arrive, at the afternoon visiting hours. ‘Would you go buy a bottle of water for me? I can not find mine’ ‘If you do not mind tap water, I can fill this one for you, and that way you will not have to wait for me to come back from the supermarket’. And she smiled and thanked. Her face changed in a way that it looked like she had seen the sky open. Her smile changed her face, and she smiled every time I spoke to her, or I did a huge favor to her, like putting her frame, or her handbag, next to her, or her little bench under her feet.
On the summer days she was always in the garden with some of her children, sometimes with grandchildren.
But not anymore. There is chair where Marichu alwas sat that no one sits on. The whole living room is more empty without her, and in the summer the garden will be, because Marichu is there no longer.