This picture was taken the day I was picked up early from my UNCHomeschooled Chemistry class. What bewildered me, was the fact that is was my dad, who I pressumed to be at work. My father, as we all know, keeps his cool in dire situations. When’s was made aware of his early arrival, I looked to his face and worry, desperation, and pure fear soaked his skin. He didn’t say anything on the way to the car. I was truly worried, but I had no idea of what to expect. For my knowledge, I’d bet on a really rough day at work or a sick friend. I never imagined what I would soon see and learn to face. When in entered the passenger seat, I felt the urge to look into the back seat. As I did so, I felt my heart crumble and peel into pieces, settling in the darkness. My mom was sprawled across the middle row of the car, face soaked in tears and entirely vulnerable. You could practically feel her pain by meeting her gaze. The woman who never showed weakness, who was always the “stand up to life and kick it in the ass”. She was who I always wanted to be (and still do). She was crumbled before, deteriorating before my very eyes and there was nothing I could do about it. She sat where the child would; where a dependent soul would lay, whereas I was perched in the passenger seat; the place of a helper, a giver, someone who was capable of pulling another person together, even if it meant they fell apart. That was the first time I experienced pure, raw helplessness. It was the true last day of my severed childhood.