Mercedes, Older Adult Program Participant
Mercedes is a 75 year old woman who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. After many years living in the Dominican Republic, Mercedes moved to Boston where she has been living for more than 10 years. As a child, Mercedes loved to play games with other children such as doll games and hide and go seek.
Living with her family and siblings, Mercedes loved to eat her mother’s cooking. One of her favorites was rice and beans. She would be able to eat that every day if she could. Growing up, her favorite age was 15. This was her favorite age because it is when most cultures celebrate in grand styles, such as a “Quinceanera.” Although this was her favorite age, she shared that she in fact did not have one because it was something that her family could not necessarily afford, but she enjoyed turning that age.
In her youth, her favorite family tradition and holiday was Christmas. On Christmas Day she would be able to celebrate and spend time with her entire family, and now that she has grown older she enjoys it just as much because she is able to just relax and spend time with her family and have a glass of beer.
Now that she is 75 years old, Mercedes has made it her goal to try and take care of herself and her body, so she attempts to only have a couple of beers for special occasions. Mercedes favorite phrase for the weekend is “Hoy Se Bebe” which translates to “Today we drink!”
Furthermore, if Mercedes were to write a book about her life experiences, she would like to highlight her family life and history, while also sharing about the people that she had met in her life that were good friends. Although one of her favorite and fondest memories was her first marriage by church, she would like to share other experiences about her life because she feels as though her other marriages have taught her a lot.
Mercedes has lived through many experiences, such as surgery for her eyes, which have left her with one eye that is blurred. However, after all the difficulties that she has faced she is still an outgoing, happy, and caring person. One lesson that I learned through conversations and spending time with her is that in life one has to accept what comes, but that at the same time you have to be the person that you have always been in order to feel at peace with yourself.