As a kid, I always looked into passing cars and made up a story about the life of the passengers. With quick glimpses, I would make up what their profession was, what their hobbies were, what their family was like. The more traffic there was, the more I would create an elaborate story.
Of course the more we get to know others, the better we get to know their story. But the most fascinating part about these stories is the unknown. The only certainty in our life is uncertainty, not the storyteller nor characters nor the fate of their ending.
On the morning of May 7th 2013, my parents driving to work turned into a story I would have never imagined or wish upon anyone else.
I vividly remember the events of that morning, but soon became blurry throughout the day. I came out of a meeting to several missed calls from various family members trying to piece together what had happened to my parents. Living away from home at the time, my first instinct was to call home. My brother picked up the phone, unable to say a word as he was just greeted by the police minutes before my call. I was then informed my parents were involved in a car accident and both were in critical conditions.
The blur begins, barely catching my breath whilst searching for the quickest way to reach my parents. At the time, I kept telling myself they are okay, this can’t be true - either out of shock or a way to protect my heart.
The day got worse. I first headed to see my mom as my brothers were with my dad. Soon enough, I was escorted by police as his conditions got worse. What felt like an hour drive was less than 10 minutes. Two days later, my father passed away. We had to wait until my mother’s condition was more stabilized, then we finally delivered what could have been the worst news a mother could receive on Mother’s Day.
Something we can say about mothers is that they just know. Before delivering the news, she recalls feeling my father’s spirit around her, and that’s when she knew. But she kept her strength for us.
There are only a handful of moments I can recall my mother being upset, but that Mother’s Day she was heartbroken. Nonetheless, she pulled my brother and I in and said “Dad is still here with us and we have each other”. My brothers and I would not be where we are today without the strength of our mother.
What humbles me the most is how graciously my mom takes the uncertainty of life with so much positivity.
She lived a life of pain but showed it through a smile. From taking her first steps again to being able to digest a full meal— never once did she complain.
With such a generous soul, my mother wanted nothing but the best for us. She placed the priority of her healing for her children before herself. Thank you, Mom, no lifetime could ever repay you for that.
Often it takes an adverse event for people to shift their perspective, but there is no other way I could describe my mother for what I’ve always known her for— and that is joyful.
Now I can’t take credit for all these photos, but the woman my mother is today is seen as the same woman throughout all these photos.
My mother serves as a continuous reminder to have faith in the uncertainty and to choose love over fear.