SHARYLAND, Texas – When an autistic Texas man’s favorite video store closed, his parents surprised him by bringing part of it home.
20-year-old Hector Zuniga visited the Blockbuster video store in Sharyland, Texas, twice a week since he was 13 to rent his favorite movies. When his parents were told the store was closing, they thought the news would be devastating to Hector. So, they decided to buy some of the store’s inventory to recreate it at home.
Hector Zuniga Sr. brought his son to the store on its final day Sunday in order to give him closure. When they came home, Hector Jr. was surprised to find a Blockbuster rack stuffed with his favorite DVDs.
“We took him home. We brought my son over (Javier) … and covered his (Hector Jr.) eyes and we tried to bring the effect of Blockbuster as much as possible. My son was pointing at the thing (shelf of movies), and his eyes were big and round. It was almost as if he was afraid to touch it because he thought he was imagining things.”
Zuniga Sr. said his son then began moving the movies into the position he remembered them being in the Blockbuster store. His son knew where they belonged because he went there very often.
“Blockbuster was his anchor to reality … to happiness. Because he would take a couple DVD’s and he would put them in his backpack and take them to school. It was like his life preserver if you want to call it that.”
The moment has been heavily shared on Twitter after it was posted by his younger brother, Javier.
1080 KRLD’s Amanda Guerra asked Zuniga Sr. if there was a bigger message here he’d like to spread from this special thing his family did for their loved one.
“It wasn’t my wife and I (Zuniga Sr. said before choking up) … We didn’t really do much. We just did what we felt was necessary,” Zuniga Sr. said. “But the takeaway here is that his baby brother is happy and he loves his older brother. He tweeted it because he’s proud of his older brother, he’s proud of his autism, he’s proud to have him in his life. And he just put it out there and it took on a life of its own. The real credit goes to my son Javier. Not my wife and I. His one act of kindness went all over the world. That is the big message.”