Monday, 24 December 2018

A Heart-Warming Story for Xmas


This is based on a true event that happened a few days ago.
     Our son-in-law and elder daughter came to stay with us six months ago, partially to help us care for ourselves in our dotage, but also to start a new business.
     After much research, they chose empty premises close to our town’s basilica, a Roman Catholic Church of prominence. The choice of business was a retail shop, specializing in upmarket clothing and aromatic soaps. It is going great guns and the locals have taken our sociable couple to their bosoms, especially the Spanish with whom they are integrating.
     One late afternoon, during the traditional two hour siesta period, my son-in-law had closed the front shutters between the shop entrance and the pavement, to enjoy a nap, hidden and undisturbed behind them. He heard young adult voices outside, possibly of two couples, speaking in Spanish and mischievously joined in the banter. After a while, one of the women asked him, “Excuse me, but do you speak English?”
     “Yes, I am in fact English,” he replied.
     “We are from Venezuela,” she asked. “Do you know anything about the church by you, in the plaza?”
     “Yes, I am a Roman Catholic myself, and the priests there blessed our shop.”
     “Well, it is a beautiful church and the minute I saw it, I chose it as the place where I want to get married.”
     “To me!” one of the men laughed, joining in the conversation.
     “Then speak to one of the priests there. I am sure they would be delighted to conduct the ceremony. Father Josef is the young priest and I regard him as a friend. He is learning English.”
     The woman said, “Thank you for your help, we’ll go there now. Goodbye!”
     They departed, never having met face to face, the young woman intending to confirm a date for her proposed wedding.
     When our proud owners of their new shop first came to Spain, their knowledge of Spanish was negligible, but with the help of a female assistant who was brought up in Spain, coupled with their need and determination to succeed in Spain, they are coming along in leaps and bounds as they integrate with the locals. My hat is doffed to them in admiration.
     For those of you who do not know about the current situation in Venezuela; it is an oil-rich, disastrously run, strife-ridden and economically bankrupt nation where people are starving. I have no doubt that these youngsters fled it as needy refugees but will make the transition successfully. My son-in-law may never have met them, but I have no doubt he will be monitoring their progress and we hope to see at least one couple walk down the aisle.