I never knew how much my mother meant to me until it was almost too late. My mom cooked for me, cleaned for me, drove me everywhere and she did all that with barely anything in return. She was like a personal servant. I didn’t realize how my mother impacted my life until she ended up in the hospital.
It was a regular Friday in February 2020. There was a bug going around in my family. My brother had thrown up the day before and everyone felt unpleasant. Because of this, we did a movie night and connected it to a projector on a wall. About 15 minutes into the movie, my mom went upstairs for a bit. She came back downstairs and told us that she wasn’t feeling well and that she was going to take a cold bath. My dad came home from work shortly after.
As soon as the movie finished, we had to go to bed since it was late. When I woke up the next morning, it was as if my mother and father vanished in thin air. A quick phone call later, I found out that they were in the hospital. My dad told me that 95% of my mom’s lungs were shot. They were infected with pneumonia. He also said that since mom had asthma, her health was getting worse rapidly. When my dad came home, he did not say much of anything except that my mom was extremely sick, and we could not see her which made me disappointed.
A couple of days later, I was able to FaceTime my mother and she looked like something from outer space. She was full of IVs and bruises. There were huge circles under her eyes giving the effect that she had been sleep-deprived for a year! It was really scary to see my mom like that since she wasn’t her cheery self.
“How’s everything been at home?” She asked me.
I replied, “Okay I guess, though when will you come home?”
“I think,” said my mother, “That I might be here a while.”
“Oh, hopefully you will come home soon,” I mumbled.
Everything felt out of place. Things were different without my mom. First of all, the house slowly turned into a mess. People were not cleaning up after themselves and it was starting to get overwhelming. Also, my dad was not always available to drive me places so I either had to get a ride from a friend, miss the activity or go old-fashioned and use my bike. At least I would play games online with my mother from time to time.
After what seemed like years, my mother finally came home! I couldn’t wait to see her. It was absolutely not what I expected. I thought that if you were out of the hospital, you would magically be healed. That was not the case. She stumbled in with an oxygen tank and the whole mood of the house shifted. She mostly slept, and when she was awake, she didn’t do much of anything. Slowly, she got better but she still wasn’t back to normal.
My family had planned a trip to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Aquatica in Florida months ago. We would go to SeaWorld the first day, then Aquatica the next and Busch Gardens the last. My dad took days off from work and everything. We were scheduled to fly to Florida on the last day of March. Since my mother just came back from the hospital, there was lots of debate on what to do. My dad wanted to cancel the trip, my sister and brother wanted to go without her, my Mom wanted to come with us and I wanted to go with my mother but still wanted her to get better. Andree, my little eight-year-old sister, found a website called www.monkeyhelpers.org. Her idea was that she would buy a monkey and it would help my mother while we went to Florida.
My mother had always been a stubborn woman, and she persisted to tell us that she was fine to go. She decided to come in a wheelchair with us since pneumonia affected her lungs and she couldn’t breathe if she did too much walking. The vacation was finally here and we drove to the airport. That was when I realized how annoying it was to haul around a wheelchair! First of all, the wheelchair had a mind of its own and it would never obey your orders despite your best efforts. Second, there were the looks of judgment from those passing by. They would either glance and avert their eyes or just stare. It made me extremely uncomfortable. Lastly, you would be surprised at how few wheelchair ramps there were in an airport! We had to walk around aimlessly for hours trying to figure out how to avoid stairs.
At least we were going to Sea World the next day! I was jumping up and down with excitement. I couldn’t wait to go to Sea World! It would entail rides as far as the eye could see, shows every hour differing from dolphins to turtles and numerous exhibits of exotic animals! It was like a dream come true! Aquatica and Busch Gardens looked incredible too! The next few days passed in a blur and before we knew it, our departure from Florida was approaching. Once back home, everyone stayed positive even though life was still rough. My mother eventually continued to get better, and everything slowly went back to normal.
I was so grateful that I was able to have a positive experience despite my mother’s temporary disability. Luckily, she does not use a wheelchair or an oxygen tank anymore. Not everyone is that blessed. I will remember that life lesson. Keeping a positive outlook in a midst of a negative situation is the best thing you can do. Hence, a new law of life!