An Old Lady’s Reading


Frank caught in Cape Cod some big mackerel Fish and asked me to broil them in the oven with stuffing for today’s dinner… a recipe from Saint Michael’s Island, in Portugal (“Cavala Assada no Forno com Recheio”). While I gutted the fish and ripped away gills and clipped fins, I was thinking… Frank was really lucky he married me because I do not know many “raised in America” girls that would know how to do this type of job and food for him.

…This thought reminded me of an event 29 years ago:

In Saint Michael Island (Portugal) there was this old lady that would do predictions on people’s future by reading the bible to them. People all over the island would visit her and said her predictions were very accurate! Every time someone talked about this lady was in a whispering voice as if they were sharing a secret.

I was living in Saint Michael Island. It was my birthday, I was turning 16 years old, and it was also my first date with this boy I was so much in love with. He mentioned he knew where the “Bible Lady” lived and I thought it would be something interesting to do on my birthday and our first date – Get a reading for our future.

We knocked on her door. The door opened and the lady, with no smile or eye contact, told the boy to stay on the street waiting. She made a sign with her hand for me to come in. She closed the door and pointed at a chair in a corner of a dark room for me to sit on. She set on the opposite corner, rested the old bible on her knees and made a prayer…. and then she started flipping pages on the bible while praying and reading in a whisper. I felt like laughing out loud but I didn’t have anyone to laugh with and was felling a bit intimidated… so I waited.

Then she said – “You are not going to marry the boy waiting on the street…!”… She flipped more pages and said more prayers… and then she said – “You are going to live and marry in the United States…” – She closed the bible.


I dated on and off again with that boy for 5 years, and every time we broke-up the words of the “Bible Lady” would haunt me – “You are not going to marry the boy waiting on the street…!”. I tried to prove that the “Bible Lady” was wrong but we finally gave up on the relationship.

From the day of that reading until the day I moved to the United States, 18 years went by. During those years I changed address many times… traveling between the Portuguese mainland and its different islands, I never found the relationship that felt like “The One” or the address that felt like “Home”. …Until, in a Christmas trip to Massachusetts I met Frank, and moved to the United States!!!

Since that reading I never again went for any kind of consultation about the future, and I still don’t know what I believe on these matters… but after 12 years of “happily married”, it makes me feel very privileged that  the “Story of our Marriage” begins 29 years ago… in an old lady’s reading.

(In picture – My husband and our daughter in Cape Cod at low tide…)

6 thoughts on “An Old Lady’s Reading

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