The day I found out that I had to have surgery was a normal day after school in 7th grade. I walked into the kitchen to find my mom on the phone with a man named Dr. Hediquist. My mom looked extremely uneasy, and looked at me as if I was sick. She hung up the phone and her eyes started filling with tears as she uttered the words “I’m sorry”. I ran into my room and slammed the door as hard as I could. As I fell onto my bed, I buried my head into my blue fuzzy pillow as tears were streaming down my face. I was mad at my mom for being sad. I thought that my mom didn’t have any right to be sad as she was not the one who suffered the physically tolling steroid injections and the suffocating back brace for the last year. She was not the person who was going to have to sacrifice their summer in order to have a stranger carve into their own skin for hours. She didn’t have the right to cry.
The day I woke up in Boston Children’s Hospital, I asked for my mom. When she came to my room, she brought with her a red, fuzzy, blanket that she bought in the gift shop and a nice takeout meal so I didn’t have to eat the hospital’s food. She bought games for me to play, and gave me anything I asked for. After almost a week in Boston, we went in the car, and drove four hours until we arrived in NY. I had never been so dependent on somebody before that day. My mom would go to the store and get me gifts, and when she returned, she would make every meal for me. The simple, yet random acts of kindness were so unknown and strange to me. I was the most important thing on her mind, even though I never asked for the gifts, attention and love that she gave me. My well being was so prioritized by my family because of the immense amount of pity that they all felt for me. The love, the attention, and the gifts; they all stemmed from pity. Everyone felt bad for me and therefore they felt they had a strange obligation to be nice to me. People who wouldn’t normally talk to me would approach me and ask how I was doing.
Once I was physically alright, the attention stopped, and I was back to being my independent self. I made breakfast for myself once again, and the showerings of love and gifts came to a halt. I was no longer asked how I was feeling, or if I needed any help with anything. I was not cleared to play tennis, and therefore I was not exercising, and lost myself. I was not being taken care of as my appearance was seen as alright. I was no longer asked how I was, and the random acts of kindness were gone. I began to realize that the reason I was being taken care of was because there was no other option. My mom was a whole different person while I was physically unwell, and then switched right back her old self when I had recovered. I started to feel that taking care of me after my surgery made my mom feel like she was making a difference and being a good person. I saw myself as her temporary charity case and began to resent any help that came my way. Although I understand that taking care of someone is viewed as selfless, there are many times when the motives behind their actions shine light on the person’s true values and morals.