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  • Eternal Flame

Eternal Flame Contest

By: Jordan Conde


There will be a point in your life where you will have to lie to a child and tell them that everything is going to be alright, all while you choke back tears.

I brought my mom to this point.

. . . . .

May 29, 2020 at 5:43 AM, missed call from Jordan

May 29, 2020 at 5:44 AM, 2 missed calls from Jordan

May 29, 2020 at 5:44 AM, 3 missed calls from Jordan

May 29, 2020 at 5:44 AM:

Hey Mom…I need help.

I-I can’t see. But, I’m okay - I think.

I got in a car wreck. It’s not good.

I don’t know what to do.

. . . . .

Original Graphic By: Jordan Conde

These are the words my mother woke up to over two years ago. On a day that was supposed to be like every other during the vast months of quarantine, I found myself upside down in a ditch. The car had been flipped and the roof caved in.

I should be dead.

I couldn’t tell you what my last words could have been to my mom. I would hope it would have been, “I love you, more than you could ever know. I am so glad I could be your son. I am so proud to call you my mom.” but I know it wasn’t.

That morning my parents tried their best to sneak out of the house. Unfortunately, my sister was a very light sleeper. I can’t imagine the conversation that could have unfolded between a 39 year old woman, devastated to hear that her child could be bleeding out in the car she first bought, and a 3 year old child, curious as to why everyone is up so early. All I know for certain is that on that day, the 3 year old went back to bed without a worry in her mind, while the woman kept her composure so that her daughter would never have to wonder if she would ever see her older brother, and bestfriend, again.

By the time my parents found me, I had crawled out of the car and my hands were cut from shards of glass, but I was safe nonetheless. There are multiple factors that contributed to the wreck. The car was old and the tires were worn down to a hazardous degree. I had overexerted myself beyond my limit. I was working tirelessly between school and work thinking that I was doing the right thing. I focused on slaving away in the name of responsibility instead of loving myself, and more importantly loving the people most precious to me. I paid the price.

Original Graphic By: Jordan Conde

There are many unforgettable experiences that have molded me into who I am today, and there will be more to shape me into the man I will become. But this car wreck has been the single most cataclysmic turning point of my life thus far. It was the beginning of a change.

Despite the wreck being instantaneous, my growth was not. Even immediately following the collision, I was foolish and continued my unhealthy habits of overworking myself by showing up to work an hour after the crash. Halfway through the shift I began to bleed excessively on the tile floor of my workplace, when a piece of debris that was lodged in my arm came loose. I let adrenaline push me to never compromise my pride rather than seeking professional attention for my well being.

I used work as a coping mechanism to escape any negative feelings I was experiencing at the time, and soon replaced any time away from work with committing myself to as many people as I could. Helping others with homework and personal projects brought so much joy to my life, but I realize now that it was me trying to find justification to escape dealing with my own problems.This isn’t to say that I am a completely different person now and all my issues are resolved. The effects of the crash still linger and I find myself avoiding all my problems time and time again, but the important part is that I’ve grown.

I understand my mortality. I know how fortunate I am, and I will forever be grateful that I can continue my journey. I have changed to become someone better. I may no longer be the guy that is always doing things, but I am still me. I am a happier me. I find myself getting rest, and I find myself expressing my love for the people that deserve my attention.

I can tell you today that no matter what tomorrow brings, at least one life lesson from this wreck will stay the same. Anytime I leave my mom, she will always know just how much I appreciate her and just how lucky I am to have her in my life. My last words to her will be “I love you, more than you could ever know. I am so glad I could be your son. I am so proud to call you my mom.”

Original Graphic By: Jordan Conde

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