Thursday, October 20, 2011

juntos para siempre

There is one couple in Las Palomas. Candelaria and Abram. I am not sure how many years they have been married, but they are both around 86 years old. They do not have any kids, but sometimes their nieces and nephews come to visit. They have been living in Las Palomas together for just about 3 years. I don't get to spend a lot of time talking to them for a couple of reasons. The main one being that they keep themselves pretty busy either napping or talking amongst themselves. Also, they have a whole different language that only each other understands, so it is not always effective when someone sits down to ask how they are doing. However, from time to time, I will help Candelaria walk to her table so she can either eat comida or cena (dinner). I only get to do this occasionally because most of the time, even though Abram uses a cane and struggles walking himself, he grabs Candelaria's hand and leads her to the table. Whenever Abram walks away to go to the bathroom, you can see the distress on Candelaria's face and she will just repeat, "Abram, Abram, mi esposo (my husband), mi esposo" over and over again until he sits back down. They clearly rely on each other, and it has been fun and heart-warming to watch them interact these past two months.

Candelaria and Abram are not allowed to sit at the same table for desayuno (breakfast), comida, and cena. This, at first, seemed odd to me. I understood that they cannot share a room because all the women are split between 4 rooms and the men between 2, but I just couldn't understand why they didn't have places at the table next to one another. I recently found out my answer. Candelaria will eat a little bit of her food, and promptly hand over the rest to Abram. If one of the workers was not looking, Abram would take the plate, and eat his second helping of his wife's food. This apparently went on for a while until they found out how much food Abram had been eating and how little food Candelaria had, and they had to move places. She does this because she wants her husband to be happy and well-fed, almost a self-less act. Whenever someone comes in and hands out suckers or small little sweets, she will maybe take one bite, and right away offer the rest to her husband. It can be frustrating because I personally want her to enjoy whatever she has been gifted, but she actually enjoys handing it over to Abram more than eating it herself.

Today, I watched a whole new form of their love. Abram had walked away for a little bit after comida today to his room, either to change clothes or go to the bathroom. Candelaria and Abram love sitting outside together on a nice patio at Las Palomas, so Candelaria was anxiously awaiting for her esposo return. I was helping someone walk to their room which is just off the outside patio, and Abram comes walking out, slowly with his cane. I normally don't hear him talk much, because he keeps to himself or talks to Candelaria, but as he was approaching his wife, he started belting out a song at the top of his lungs. He started singing this really cute love song, and very loudly, as he was getting closer to sitting down next to Candelaria. She just sat there, smiled, and let him sing to her. I had never seen this before, and neither had the woman I was helping to her room, so this may have been a fluke, but a beautiful one if that. For them to still love each other enough to hold hands and take naps, miss each other when they are gone, and sing at the top of their lungs a song of love really means something to me. They truly are "juntos para siempre" -- together forever.

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