Hey it is Kim here, and I am back in the same place but for a different reason. The place where I am normally the happiest gives me a great fear and sadness because of what is revealed to me here. Most of my friends think I am in Peru to have an endless summer filled with adventures, happiness, and laughter. If only they knew the real reason I was here, maybe they would see Peru differently like I do. I am walking the same roads I walk every summer, but this time it is not the same. Peru is a place you would see in a movie. There is happy people everywhere, people playing instruments on buses for money, women carrying their children in blankets on their back, random fruit markets everywhere, the beach, and family. Sadly, I do not see this anymore, and I wish I could be in that movie liked I used to be every other summer. Now there is a gloominess and sadness to the air. The sky is polluted, gray, and cold, which perfectly reflects how I feel. There is no longer a welcoming feeling that I normally feel when I am here. This particular time, I am in Peru to help my mom with her illness and pain that she endures everyday. Today is the day that I am going to the hospital, and I know that this day will forever change me. The moment the doctor says he does not know what is wrong with my mom is what makes me freeze. It is hard to hear that the doctor does not know what is wrong with my mom. I walk to the bathroom, and think of how my life is already changing. The doctor saying this makes me pause and think of all the good times I have had with my mom. I already see how I am appreciating my mom more and how I need her in my life.
I stay at the house in Lima most days alone while my mom is at the hospital all day with my aunt. I am becoming independent, but this is not the way I wanted to learn independence. I find it hard to go about my day when I know my mom is not getting any better. I remember when my mom first started to not feel well. It was one year before this trip in Peru. We were having a great time celebrating my 15th birthday by ziplining, four wheeling, and white water rafting in Lunahuana, Peru. My mom did not feel strong enough to participate in the activities, but I did not think anything of it. Now a year later back in Peru, I wish I would have paid more attention to her. Now she is not acting the same and no longer eats as much as she used to. Sometimes when I walk with my mom to the park near my aunt’s house, I see how she is not fully there. I talk to her, but she seems to be in a world of her own. She does not hear anything I say, and it appears as if someone else is in my mom’s body. Everyday I wait anxiously for my mom to return from the hospital, but there is never any good news. The doctors can not figure out the reason for her pains. She aches in her knees, back, and hips. All this worrying has brought back my mom’s awful stress and anxiety. My mom tries to hide her pain from me, but I know her better than my own self. It hurts to know there is nothing I can do to help her. I see her shaking due to her anxiety, the pain in her face, and when she is not eating. We are here, in Peru, to hopefully find a cure for her. The doctors have run multiple tests with no positive results. Even though there are no positive results from the tests, my mom stays strong and does not let her illness get the best of her. The things that used to give me joy here now give me a feeling of emptiness because my mom is not fully happy. In Tottus, I push the heavy, green cart because my mom no longer has the strength to do it. As we pass all the multiple fruits, I am the one to grab them because my mom finds the apples to heavy to carry. She can no longer hold her purse or carry small groceries that I find light. Tottus used to be my favorite store, but I now I surround it with these bad memories of how weak and fragile my mom is. My world revolves around my mom and sometimes seeing her like this makes my world stop. I try to act like I do not notice her like this, but she does not know the trips I make to the bathroom to cry because I can not bare for her to see me like this. My mom has her own health to focus on, and I do not want her to know the reason for my crying is her. Suddenly, we decide to stay an extra month in Peru so my mom can enjoy herself while also receiving treatment. Now that she is getting a little better, the sky is blue and weather has warmed up. I even get the chance to scream in sand buggies going up and down sand dunes with my mom. We also take walks in a pentagon shaped park in the mornings and do yoga at night in a bright, shining studio. All that seemed dark is now full of light. Now the city is fast paced and my family here in Peru is rejoicing with us. My once skinny mom is finally eating and gaining a little more meat on her bones. I am happy once again and forever thank God for blessing my family. I notice the birds fluttering in the sky and the rhythm of the city but then it all stops. My mom has once again fallen ill. My mom’s period of wellness was short lasted, which I had rejoiced in. My never ending summer in Peru caused me significant amounts of pain with no one to share it with.
In the midst of all this sadness, I learned many life lessons and experiences. I now know to cherish every moment with my mom whether good or bad. For example, my mom loves to hug me and give me kisses all over my face. I normally try to squirm away, but now I take all of her love in happily. You never know when the one you love the most will not be there. I rely on my mom for all, but I am slowly learning to do things on my own. My mom’s conditions have shaped me to be a more loving person and to take every little nice deed as a blessing. My mom is my best friend, and I love making her happy. I send her funny pictures throughout her day to give her a smile. I know that the littlest things makes my mom happy and seeing her happy makes me happy. I tell my mom everything about my day, and she tells me about her day. She has always taken care of me, and now it is time for me to care for her. I am taking care of her a lot earlier than I expected, but I do not mind. By caring for her, I grow closer to my mom each and every day. I do not take my mom for granted and know that the conditions could be much worse. My mom’s illness has, in a way, provided a positive impact. My love for my mom is stronger, and I am nicer to her. Not only am I nicer to her but to everyone. You never know what someone is going through, so it is best to give them maybe the only smile they see all day. Everyone has a mask that they wear everyday, but some people wear the mask better than others.
My mom’s conditions teaches me something new each and every day. I do not judge people anymore because I do not know what is happening in their personal life. I sometimes consider my mom’s condition as a blessing in disguise. I know that God puts difficulties in my life so I can rely on Him more, and to hand over my troubles to Him. We are all called to see our troubles as a way to connect with God more. As Dr Seuss said “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” I connect with the quote because I am relieved that I have left Peru, but I am happy that I am learning so much due to my mom’s condition.