Tales of Adolfo

February 10, 2012
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“This doesn’t remind me of a hospital as much as I thought it would” is what I first said to my friend David as we walked through the glass doors. I just wanted to get this whole volunteer service thing over with and back to school. More like wanted to milk the time we have out of school and hang out with my friends.

David and I slowly got off the bus, dreading the work to start. We were glad to be out of school though. When we looked around at our group and could not understand how content they were to come here and help out. Even the people we wouldn’t expect to be ready for this were not against this trip. David and I knew that it was going to be a long day.

We walked through the field of Glen Croft retirement home. I was given a different area to work in than my friend David. The Alzheimer’s center was where I was sent to. There I met Adolfo.

“Hello sir. Would you like some help making an ornament?’ is what I first said to start our long conversation.
He went on and on about his life back in Puerto Rico. We got along just fine like two kindergarteners who just started school. He told me his whole life story about how he came to the United States from Puerto Rico. I did not believe how much suffering that he had went through. He lost his parents in the trip and he was separated from them until he was given his citizenship at the age of 25.

“I bet I can beat you in chess” is what he told me.
“Is that a challenge?’ I playfully replied
We played about twelve games.
“Nice move”
“Can you do that?’
“Are you done getting beat?” is what he asked me after about six games of me losing. It was his birthday and my group gave out cake and juice to the people living in the center. We made ornaments and hung them on the tree and the Christmas spirit entered the room. It was a joyous experience and it was all thanks to Adolfo.

I ended up going back another few times to see him. Each time he remembered me, but he could not remember his story for the life of him. It was sad that he could not remember the good times because he said that his life was lived to the fullest and he did everything he wanted to do before reaching old age.

After those trips to visit Adolfo, he taught me that I should enjoy the smaller things in life and not worry about the future as much as I do.

“Young people are allowed to live too, right? Was what he told me every time I had to go away. I still remember him to this day. It goes through my head all the time because he was somebody I could actually look up to that was not in my family.

Til this day I still stop by the building to say help. Sadly he does not remember me anymore, but it is good seeing his face light up that somebody comes to see him.

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