A composite story of realities for the elders

He stopped and looked up the hill towards his home.  The path felt steeper today.  It certainly was taking him longer than usual to climb it.  Wearily, he painfully shuffled forward.  He rubbed his hands as he walked trying to ease the ache; trying to wish something into their emptiness.  He hadn’t found any work.  He’d walked all day talking to homeowners, vendors, waiters, anyone who’d listen.  “A little work, please.  I’ll take food as payment.  Please, is there anything I can do?”  But there had been nothing.  
The steady rain added to the dreariness.  He shivered and pulled the thin jacket tighter around his body.  His shoes with their cardboard inserts provided no protection from the wet mud and the coldness of it numbed his toes.  The slow uphill journey finally at an end, he hesitated at the door to his home.  “How do I tell her I failed again?”
Trembling, he pushed the door open and was greeted with “José, is that you?”  and for once he was grateful for her blindness.  It gave him a momentary reprieve as she couldn’t see that he carried no food.  He put his hands on her shoulders, gently pulling her to him.  “I am sorry.  I could not find any work today.”  
She released a soft sigh and whispered “Never mind.  Rosa likely has some leftover tortillas.  Go next door while I boil the herbs you picked yesterday for soup.  We will be fine tonight.”
Her calm acceptance pulled the tension from his body.  He sat down.  Looking around their one-room home, he marveled at the 68 years they had spent here.  Always, she’d believed in him.  Together they had worked to provide food and clothing for their 6 children.  It had always been a struggle and now, they struggled on alone.   
Later, tiny meal consumed, he laid the cardboard and blankets on the floor.  To save the candles, they would go to bed early.  He gently squeezed her gnarled fingers as their bodies moved together for warmth under the shabby blanket.  He said “Tomorrow will be better.  It will.  And I have you.”  She smiled, “…and I you.”   

With your help, couples or single elders living under similar circumstances can enjoy the richness of a traditional Christmas Eve meal with tamales, hot chocolate of "Caliente", a fruit punch.  Please provide a tamale basket for just $60 that will provide that special meal as well as a week's food.  Go to:  www.fundamayacanada.ca/donate or send your donations via e-transfer to lois@fundamayacanada.ca.  

May the blessings of the season return to you in kind.