Penniless and Largely Forgotten, One of the Spanish Language's Greatest Melancholic Poets Lies in Misery, Sinking to Under 60 Pounds

A man who with a whisper once galvanized thousands, can now barely raise his voice above a cough. Tomas Santana de la Cruz was in his better days known as General Larguito, and he composed some of the most emotionally powerful Spanish songs of the 20th century.
The General awaits his final, divine orders. El Caribe

General Larguito's signature hit, "Christmas without my Mother," is to many Dominicans away from home a song that instantly conjures images of magical pain and extraordinary longing. Beset by tragedy, General Larguito's house burned down not too long ago, forcing him to sell his pension in order to purchase new instruments and get back in the music game.

His musical prowess is still with him, but his health began declining, and without a home to crash a night, the elements soon got the best of the General.

Under the kindness of a doctor who loved his music, the General now lies in a hospital bed, waiting for death to take him to a better place, or for a kind soul to help him find a place to call his own and lay his head.

Few people listen to accordion music nowadays, but the General still believed that selling his pension and getting a new instrument was the way to recover what the fire claimed from him. It's April, but for some reason a Christmas song by an old man longing for his mother makes me feel like the seasons have changed and the cold has returned.