An Unforgettable Day 16 years have passed since my mother, a 37 year old woman, left her five poor children behind. Death brutally took her away from our world in a motorcycle accident which happened in Vietnam. I, her second daughter, was the only person to witness her sudden fatality and was helpless to do anything to save her life on that stormy night. May 20, 1992, on which my mother breathed her last breath, is the most unforgettable day of my life. That day, same as every day, while my sisters were still sleeping, I woke up at 5 a.m. to help my mother cook Pho, a traditional dish of Vietnamese.
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I tiptoed to the back of the house where the bathroom was to do my personal tasks. In the kitchen, my mother was starting the fire to boil the large pot of Pho. As soon as I finished, I went there to help her wash the herbs, put noodles in the bag, and get everything ready for the day’s business. The clock struck seven and we left the house. My mother carried the pot of Pho, balancing it with a long stick, on her shoulder. I held my bag of toys and followed her. Both of us were laughing and talking happily together on the way to the market.
After an hour of walking, we finally arrived to our destination and began our setting up for business. My mother put the pot of Pho down and started announcing “Pho here, Pho here, Pho here”. It was amazing; people came from everywhere to buy my mother’s food at our street corner stand. I, a 10 year old girl, worked tirelessly as a waitress, hostess, busboy and cashier. My mother poured bowl after bowl of pho. When the afternoon progressed, our clientele started dwindling along with our supply of food. My mother and I took this time to fill our grumbling stomachs.
As the sun began setting over the horizon, it signaled time for us to clean everything up and start heading home. My mother put the long stick with the empty pot of Pho back on her shoulder and I carried the same bag of toys in my hand. We walked back to the house together joyfully. My happiness was soon shattered by an accident that took my mother away from me forever. Half way there, it started raining. My mother and I began to walk faster, but it started to rain more heavily. The street was dark and the visibility was very poor.
A motorcycle came up on us without warning and suddenly slammed into my poor little mother. She fell down hard and hit her head against a rock. The empty pot rolled to the other side of the road. The motorist who hit her ran off like a roach running for cover. My mother did not move, and she did not say anything. Blood was pouring from her head. I was frightened; tears rolled from my eyes as I realized her time was running out. At that moment, I did not know what to do to save her except to run to her as quickly as my little legs could move and scream “Mommy, don’t leave me.!
I’m scared”. Then I sat down, rolled her lifeless body over, held her in my arms, and prayed somebody come to help. “Please, help my mom. Please! ” I cried. My wish had finally been granted, however, time was not our ally. From the distance, I could see the headlights of a large truck. I waved my arms frantically, flagging the truck down. The truck stopped. The driver of the truck jumped out and came to our aid swiftly. “She’s lost a lot of blood. ” He said. “We need to get her to the hospital right away. ” He continued as he lifted her up into the cab of the truck.
We drove to the nearest emergency room which was 45 minutes away. “Hang in there mom, we’ll be there soon. ” I whispered to her. Just then she opened her eyes, looked at me and said softly, “I love you. ” Then she died in my arms, right in front of the hospital. It was 8:30 P. M and still pouring. To this day, whenever it rains, I always think of the day my mother passed away. The memory of us selling pho is still strong in my mind and I will miss those precious moments that we had together. May 20, 1992 is not only the saddest day in my life, but also the last day I saw my mother alive.