In Reminiscence

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I am learning, both through first-hand experiences and observations within my surroundings, that many mishaps in life, which seem to be unexplainable and unfair, have devastating consequences. Car accidents are no exceptions. Its atrocity does not stem from the fact that it is a rare or uncommon occurrence, since vehicle collisions and accidents pervade our lives as we hear numerous stories of individuals who unexpectedly coincide with them. However, there is a marked difference between reading in the local tabloids or entertainment magazine that Shia La Beouf has been in a car accident and discovering that your own mother has been involved in a severe car collision.
Undoubtedly, the most influential people in my life have been my family. It is to them that I credit many of my accomplishments and successes. However, I share a bond--envious by others--with my mother. Throughout my childhood, my mother has always fostered and encouraged me in all my endeavors. At all my piano recitals, speeches, concerts, and countless other activities, she has always been there to support me, front row and center. My mother, in conjunction with (seventeen years and counting) the Christian faith, has also instilled in me a sound belief in sustaining a firm faith in God. It therefore should not come as a surprise that the news of my mother’s devastating car accident, followed by a desperate need of medical attention, would greatly alter my entire outlook on life. Where was my God?
My mother was involved in a severe car collision that evidently impacted her emotionally, psychologically and physically. The immediate moment followed by the accident, my mother was rushed to the ER due to her excessive bleeding on her right knee. The
Hospital contacted my father who did not hesitate to pull my brothers and I from school that day. I remember the doctor informing my father in a professional manner that my mother had torn the condyles of the femur, particularly in the popliteal region and needed to undergo surgery right at that moment. Having to undergo unexpected surgery for the first time, my mother would tell me later that she seemed to have felt calm in her heart and trust that the operation would be successful. Months of excruciating physical therapy and counseling would do little to improve my mother’s well-being as she had to undergo yet another surgical procedure. The physical therapy would continue and my hope would slowly shrivel as I watched my mother’s wealth be at risk.
Every subsequent achievement and every honor bestowed upon me has been inspired by the recollection of my mother’s determination and perseverance through her surgical procedures. I look to her as a driving force of motivation. In her I see the firm, enduring qualities of courage, strength, hope, and especially love. Whenever I feel discouraged or dispirited, I remember the example set by my mother and soon become encouraged to never be stalled by any obstacle or challenge. Instead of groveling in my sorrow, I think of all the pain and suffering that my mother had to endure and am revived with new energy after realizing the triviality of my own predicament.
For instance, during my involvement in the Belize mission last summer, just as the day was coming to an end and I was waving bye to the children as they loaded onto the school buses that would transport them safely home, I was suddenly attacked by a stray guard dog. The German Shepard’s razor sharp teeth sunk into the back of my right leg, just above my knee, tearing my skin open and piercing my flesh, instantly oozing blood. Traumatized by the incident and upset for having been injured by a household pet, I was immediately driven to a nearby clinic and treated with mounds of gauze pads and exited the building with four stitches. At the time, I was completely absorbed in my own anguish, I refused to talk with any of my mission team members and instead lamented in the corner. But then I remembered something that my mother used to say to me whenever I encountered a struggling obstacle or challenge: Everything that happens in our lives has a purpose, a purpose God intended to happen for a reason. I recollected my mother’s stories of her childhood during the time her father had been affected by a stroke due to hypertension. She had always explained to me how painful it had been for her as an adolescent watching her own father become emaciated as his personified robust figure slowly disappeared. I could then reminiscence back to the past when my brothers and I would see our mother lying on the hospital bed—weak, drowsy and prone to puking—after her surgery. I remembered my mother going through several procedures on her knees and undergoing immense physical therapy and unable to walk without the assistance of crutches for months, yet having to worry about her family during the process. I immediately felt shame as I reflected upon how unnecessary and unreasonable I acted over the “accidental” incident. I accepted what I had happened and rather than sulk over the ruined appearance of my leg, I believed in my heart that the incident was no accident but rather a purpose. A purpose that God had intended for me to endure in order to prove to the Belizean children and their families that no struggle, not even a dog bite, can interrupt my mission of instilling the word of God within oblivious individuals and enhancing their faith in Christianity. The next day I appeared front and center on the stage, as I had normally did, and sang and danced my heart, sturdy left leg and limped right leg.
I am proud to exclaim that my mother is absolutely able to walk, hike and even jog for miles and even capable of dancing for hours on end—no matter how “sync” she may be with the rhythm of the beat. Those several years she had endured through three different surgical procedures on both knees and countless months of severe physical therapy, never affected my mother’s confidence in living life as she had always wanted. Nevertheless, her strength and courage will remain a constant source of inspiration to me; I am confident in moving toward the future with a resolute sense of optimism and hope.





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