A tribute to Manuel

This is a repost from February. Manuel had a stroke a few weeks ago and remains in a rehab center. So quickly our lives can change.

Manuel is the kindly older gentleman who does the maintenance in the hotel. He is always busy taking out trash or vacuuming or making repairs. Manuel does not speak English however, and I know little Spanish so I use a lot of universal sign language and he responds with Spanish words I’ve never heard before. It’s worked pretty well for us, that is until last Monday. That was the day that we moved from the 1st floor to the 3rd floor.
You see, our room had a lazy boy chair in it. (not the real name brand one but a cheap, vinyl recliner that we called Lazy Boy). When we saw that our new room had a plain old motel chair in it, we asked if we could swap them.
So Manuel came to the room with a dolly and a smile and proceeded to attempt to load the chair onto the dolly. It was heavy and awkward but we got it loaded and moved to the door but the door was too narrow. So after more unloading and grunting, we got it onto the elevator and moved to the 3rd floor.
Manuel kept saying something to me in Spanish and pointing at the base of the chair as we struggled to get it in place. I just didn’t get what he meant. My two years of high school Spanish were seriously failing me at this moment.
Then the light bulb came on as I realized what he meant.  This is what he was trying to say in his Spanish language. “Stupid lady, hold the bottom of the foot stool part of the chair because it keeps popping out to recline and that’s why we can’t get it moved where we are trying to put it!!!” He only used a couple words but I figured out what he was saying.
Now he smiles and waves each time he sees me, he’s such a friendly guy…..I bet I know what he’s thinking though.

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