As a kid in high school, I never really stopped to be grateful for the little things in my life. In all the hustle and bustle of high school, I was always focused on what I had to do, which was what I was told to do. Never before had I stopped rushing, calmed down and taken the time to ponder and to reflect on how fortunate I was to have all the things in life that I have. That is, until my mom had surgery.

I remember the day that she came home from the hospital after an MRI scan with a grim look on her face. I sat her down and asked what was wrong. When she told me that she would need surgery, I was really concerned, but I assured her that she would be fine and that we have great doctors here. She would be fine, right? I remember sitting on the couch, contemplating what my situation was.

However, when she had her surgery and was finally ready for us to visit her was when I realized how truly blessed I was. One of the things that I noticed was how fortunate I was to have my body functioning well. After my mom's surgery, she basically had to learn how to walk again. Time and time again I had to listen to her cries and moans of pain as she struggled to even get out of her bed. As I saw her trying her hardest to fight through the pain and move, I thought to myself – wow, I really am fortunate. I don't even think twice about walking. Meanwhile, there are people in this hospital who don't even have the ability to move any body part below their neck.

I started to see other people around the hospital, each with a unique disability in their bodies that hindered their ability to do even the simplest tasks. I really began to feel truly blessed. I could walk properly, eat properly, talk properly and do other daily functions without a second thought. It was time that I stopped taking that for granted.

Another thing that I realized was to not take my mom for granted. After seeing all the pain she went through in the hospital, I noticed how strong my mom was. Despite the hardship she was going through, she continued to be the caring and loving mother that she's always been. She would smile through all of the pain and let us know that she was fine, even though she was clearly not. Her constant shows of mental and emotional strength taught me to realize that I should never take my mother for granted.

Having such a strong, loving and caring mother while other kids my age were deprived of one is truly a blessing. Spending that week in the hospital with my recovering mother was an eye-opening experience,and it's one I know I won't forget for a long time.