I was nine years old, but old enough to remember every second. I remember it like it was yesterday. The camera. The crash. The medics. The waiting. It was the spring break of 2012 and the family road trip began. My grandma, younger uncle, mom, sisters, brother, and I all went down to Panama to visit my uncle. My youngest sister Umaiza, just barely a year old, was still in a stroller and diapers. My brother Mohammed, not much older, was just under three. And my other sister, Muneeza, was 7. We got into our greenish-silver Honda Odyssey and drove to my uncle's house in Panama. I still remember sleeping on the inflatable mattress in the living room with my sister with the fan on high, because of the sweltering heat. On our first day there, we went to beach, and my seashell collection grew. I remember getting in the car and complaining about the sand in my pants, but we had to stop at Kroger. Driving back to the house we saw a little theme park and made our uncles promise to take us tomorrow. Tomorrow came and so did the theme park. The first ride, go-karting. We had to take turns going because someone had to watch the stroller and my brother. So my uncle and I get on the induvial go-karts, and I get to "drive" for the first time. Next my mom goes with Muneeza and my grandma goes alone. I stand with my uncle, next to the stroller and Mohammed. My uncle has the camera, taking pictures of the passing cars on the track. And then, CRASH! I look over and I see a kart has crashed against the edge of the track. I can't see the person's face, but I notice my uncle running over there, only looking back to tell me to stay put. I see a worried look on my mom's face as she drives past. She parks her kart next to the one that crashed and dashes out to go stand next to my grandma. I am not really sure when I realized that it was my grandma that had crashed into the side of the track, but when I did, I was paralyzed, not only my body but my mind as well. So many thoughts were going through my mind but at the same time I couldn't think of anything. The medics went over and took her to the hospital. The kids had to go home, which I thought wasn't fair. And then we waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally my mom gets a phone call and all I see on her face is pure shock. She tells us that our grandma had broken her spine. The very structure that held her upright, had failed her. We were told that at her age it would take some kind of miracle to get her back on her feet. So we prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more. I prayed for my grandma to be returned to me. I missed her enthusiasm and energy, her love and care, her soothing voice and radiant smile. I missed all of her. And that's when I realized how much I loved her. So we sat in my uncle's house, day after day. The week was wrapping up and it was about time that we had to go home. The hardest part of it all was having to leave my grandma in that hospital, not knowing when she could come back. About a week later she comes back home. Her recovery took a long time but every day she was getting stronger and stronger. Slowly she was able to walk again. It was truly a miracle, but the main part of it all that never ceases to amaze me is that she fell but she stood up even stronger. She has taught me in life to always stand up tall, taller than before you fell. Because of her I learned that if life makes you "fall down seven times, you stand up eight".
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