I Will Never Forget This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I Will Never Forgetby Elisabeth Bagatta, New City, NY As I walked through the empty hallways, I could only imagine what would be on the other side of one of those doors. I didn't really know what to expect. It was my first time working with physically handicapped people. I found Room 225 and knocked on the door. A tall, pleasant, middle-aged woman invited me in, and introduced herself as Joan.Toward the center was a long, wooden table encircled with fifteen seated women. Joan politely introduced me to each. There were so many names, I wasn't sure how I would remember them.After the brief introduction, Joan explained what each woman suffered from. Some were deaf, others were slightly blind, some had Down's syndrome; others were just slow learners, who were able to work in society.I was still a little nervous, but I decided to sit down and talk to someone. I found an empty chair next to a small elderly woman named Margaret. She told me all about her brothers and sisters and their families.By the end of this conversation, I felt much more at ease. I walked around and got to know most of the other women. Some were a little difficult to understand, but I sat and listened carefully.For several weeks, I returned to the home. Each week, the women and I worked together on small projects. My favorite was the Popsicle reindeer. The ladies had some trouble trying to stick the pom-pom balls onto the popsicle sticks; but when they mastered it, they were proud of the end result: a stick with green pipe-cleaner antlers, googly eyes and a red pom-pom nose.We ended our visit with a snack: a cup of bubbling soda or a bottle of apple cider and two home-baked cookies. I enjoyed watching the women laugh and joke. Sharing the snack and small conversation transformed these lonely, alienated women into a vision of their possible selves. It brought out who they truly were.When I had completed my necessary hours, I was sad to say good-bye. Not only had I helped those in need, but I formed a special bond with these people whom I will never forget. fl

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 9 at 11:13 pm
i love this so much!
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback