Best Experience

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Today was by far my best experience as Raggedy Ann. I still can’t stop smiling. I went in tired from midterms and worried about everything that I had yet to finish today. I hadn’t gone in three weeks because I went home and then I got sick. Anxiously, I began dressing and as I was doing so I kept trying to sink into my Raggedy Ann character and truly become her but I wasn’t very successful. I had to get out there anyways, so I went.

I was thinking of visiting a lady whom I had talked to last time I was here but the first person I saw was the man I had visited last time as well. He was the one I waited with for his wife. Today, he was out in the hall outside of his room waiting for her again. I said “hello” and began talking to him. Right away he lunged into a great conversation. We talked about his wife and his life.

Somewhere along the conversation he began to cry. He told me he didn’t know what he was doing there and that he wanted to give up. He didn’t understand why they didn’t let his wife be with him. I listened and told him that I cared about him, and reassured him that I would wait with him (his wife comes to dinner every day) until she got there. This made him brighten up a little and so we went into his room to wait. In there I saw that he had a lot of pictures of his family, he started telling me who each one was but he kept getting them confused except for one, his wife. He told me, “I’m old and I get them all confused, I’m forgetting, but her (pointing at his wife), I’d know her anywhere.”

The rest of my two hours went on like this. I spent my whole time in there with him waiting and hugging him as he cried and told me about her. When she arrived he just lit up. I have no words to describe the joy and love I saw between the two of them. They live apart because of health problems but she comes every day to see him and eat with him.

I introduced myself to her and Mr. R., ecstatic, turned to me asked me my name and thanked me even more (he was thanking me throughout the visit, telling me what a beautiful person I was and how much love I had in my eyes) and told me a few last things about our conversation.

He doesn’t know it, but today he helped me more than I helped him. He thinks I was doing him a favor and being kind to him but it was he who lifted my spirits. I was down going in, I was worried and anxious. I was a mess. Coming out, it was because of him that I smiled all the way home. I know it was only tonight but I feel as if my outlook on life has changed. I saw true love today, it was real and I can’t even explain what it has done to me.

I wish I could explain my experience better but words are failing me. All I know is that those two hours as Raggedy Ann have been some of the best two hours of my life.

—Daisy Rivas

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