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I was fifteen years old, sitting at a friend’s house having the time of my life. It was a bright Tuesday morning, and I was eating breakfast. I had been laughing all morning about something funny I saw on my timeline; suddenly my phone started to ring. An unknown number was calling me for the third time - strange. When I finally answered the phone, I remember feeling my stomach getting queasy. All I heard was my mother in a calm, yet distraught voice. I was faced with a heartbreaking situation that not only changed her life, but mine as well.

“Diamond, listen very closely. I am in a hospital in South Carolina and I‘ve just gotten into a car accident . . .” This was the only sentence I heard from my mother on the opposite side of the phone. My mind went totally blank. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t stay calm. All I could do was cry. I was hurt, confused, scared, numb, and a plethora of other words. At that moment, my main focus was my mother and her health.

The day of the accident was March 17, 2020, three days after my mother’s birthday. She was on the way back from Georgia. A friend of hers called and asked a couple of his friends, including my mother, to travel with him. I remember before she left for the trip, she explained how he went on trips often and how he would pay for the trip. Who would’ve thought that one favor could possibly shatter someone’s whole future?

Throughout my life, it has always been hard to survive: mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’ve always lived with my mother, father, grandmother, older brother, aunt, and uncles. My mother is a short dark-skinned woman with a beautiful smile and gigantic heart, who helps everyone, even if helping means putting herself at risk. She was certainly the breadwinner of the family. She took care of everyone, adults included! Anything we needed, she provided. Anything I wanted, she tried her best to get. Because she took great care of everyone else, she never had any time for herself. That is something I noticed often as a child, and there was nothing I could do about it.

After the crash, life took a turn. The common day-to-day was no more. The normal things we used to do couldn’t be done anymore. Her legs were damaged terribly. She couldn’t do the normal tasks that everyone else did with ease. For example, getting up to go in the kitchen was a struggle. It was painful to watch her be in pain, and this time, I really couldn’t do anything about it, except show her that I would always be there for her. Meetings with lawyers, hospitals, and therapy visits. All things I refused to let her go through alone. I mean, did she let me go through struggles alone? Even when things got hectic, I remained by her side, unlike many others. Because of the injury, she was unable to move around; therefore, she couldn’t do much. Even with her injury, everybody still expected her to do everything, which was unfair and selfish in my eyes. She almost lost her life and people acted as if everything would be fine again. All I knew was that I was grateful that my mother was even still alive.

Over the past two years, I've learned that truly anything can happen and I have to be prepared. This situation has definitely taught me that not everyone is on my side and not everyone wants what’s best for me. Even though my mother will never be the same as before, she still provides and cares for me just the same, if not more. I want her to know she does have a daughter who not only loves her, but looks up to her as well. No matter what happens with her injury, I will make sure to be there with her every step of the way.

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