My mother passed away on June 5, 2005. It was a heartbreaking day for me. And, sadly, everything that I’m going to tell you about the accident is a recollection from my brother; I remember nothing of the event. We were in a head-on collision with another car. I hit my head on the window and lost consciousness. I also had to get stitches in my lip because of the glass. My brother got a cut on his forehead. Unfortunately my mom died at the scene of the accident. The events following the accident helped me learn vital life lessons.
After the accident, my instincts kicked in right away to take care of my brother. Through helping him with his homework, and balancing my weekend activities and attending his, I learned how to take care of someone else at a much earlier stage of my life than I otherwise would have done. As a result of the experience with my brother I’ve used the same skills at camps where I’ve worked: I was in charge of younger children to keep them safe and entertained as a counselor in training. Skills gained in time management and compassion allowed me to take different angles on solving problems and helping others. Now I am at boarding school where friends often come to me looking for support; I listen to them and help them through their struggles. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I felt immediately after the accident when I wouldn’t let anyone help me because it hurt too much.
My mother’s dedication for me to succeed throughout life served as an example for me after the accident. For this reason a part of my brain won’t let me be second best. Very soon after the accident I assessed the weight problems my mother and I had been going through; as a result I continued with our plans to become healthier. I went home and worked out every day and changed what I ate, lost weight and became fitter. Later I achieved one of my goals of becoming a member of the varsity field hockey as a starter, resulting from all of the hard work I had put in getting into shape the previous summer. In addition I’m constantly looking for ways of maximizing my potential, and I’m willing to take any challenge that will enrich my future career goals and character. The school I originally attended for high school was neither challenging nor was it going to prepare me for college. I needed a change and I was willing to do the work to make the switch happen. As a result, I moved from a public school to my challenging private school. I started the year with mediocre grades because I wasn’t used to working so hard, but that didn’t stop me from bringing them up. I ended the year with all B’s. With the passing of my mother I trained myself to reach for the stars so that I could prove to her and myself that I would be able to continue with the rest of my life the way she would have wanted me to.
I don’t know where I would be today if my mother were still here, but I know she would be proud of the compassionate, honest, and dedicated person I have become. I share this with you not in search of sympathy; this tragic event does not define me but is an integral part of my story. I live life thinking about the past but looking toward the future.