Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rosy, the cousin from Cuba. Return to Montrondo.

Rosy outside the gates Constante walked through when he left Montrondo never to come back again.
Hi again

I just have to include a midweek post to report this piece of big news for Eladio’s family.

This week we met Rosy, the granddaughter of Constante who came to find her roots in Spain. It is thanks to Juan, my nephew who visited Cuba last year and to José Antonio, (Eladio’s brother) his father, who has spent the better part of this year getting all the paperwork together for Rosy to come to Spain as it is very difficult for Cubans to go abroad. How can I begin to explain who Rosy is?

Once upon a time, in about the year 1900, in Montrondo, a small and remote village in the north west of Spain where my husband’s family comes from, there was a couple called Clotilde and Alejandro who were the parents of Eladio’s grandmother (Licinia) on the side of his Mother.

Clotilde and Alejandro had 3 children, Elías, Licinia and Constante. Like many Spaniards at the time, Constante, the youngest, emigrated to Cuba in about the year 1920, never to return to his beloved Montrondo.

However he never forgot his village, the city of León and Spain and corresponded regularly. He married a Cuban girl and he himself had 5 children, all boys, including Alejandro. Alejandro is Rosy’s Father. Rosy always remembers her Grandfather with a map in his hand showing her where Montrondo was. Little did he know she would ever visit. But she did; she returned for him.

Rosy is the first relation to return to Spain nearly one century later. She is an attractive modern Cuban woman in her 40’s and journalism is her profession although right now she is writing a book about one of Che Guevara’s co revolutionaries. Genes being genes, she is similar in looks to my sister-in-law Pili. She is also the Mother of 2 youngsters, Fidel and María Clara.

Our meeting the other night at José Antonio and Dolores’ house was quite emotional and a very beautiful experience. Rosy then visited us here at home yesterday and my Father promptly fell in love with her, as we all did.
Rosy flanked by Toño (left) and Eladio (right)
Rosy with Oli (left) and Suzy (right)
But what must have been even more emotional was her visit to Montrondo this last weekend. There waiting for her was the whole family (except us – we had to stay at home to look after my Father after his operation) and the reunion was a huge success. Alejandro played the accordion and they all danced which is just so typical in Eladio’s family.
The family reunion in Montrondo
There too was Eva, now in her 80’s, the daughter of Elías, and her family who also welcomed Rosy “home”.

Rosy explored Montrondo together with the family and walked where she knew her grandfather had one day walked. She posed for a photo at the main gates of the family house which Constante walked through when he left the village to go to America; so Eva told Rosy, In a way Rosy came back for Constante and walked through those gates again to the warmth and love of her grandfather’s family in Montrondo.
Rosy in Montrondo
Rosy pouring over old family photos with Ernestina, Eladio's Mother
Rosy’s 2 week stay in Spain is over today and right now as I write she is on the plane returning to Havana. Now we have met her we shall all keep in touch. That I know. But who knows if Eladio and I, at least, may well go in the not too distant future to visit our new Cuban cousin and all the other sons and grandchildren of Constante.

Rosy. Fue un placer. Un abrazo desde “El Bosque”.


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