The Rock of Gibraltar

Write about someone you admire.


Whenever the world turns on its head and things don’t go as planned, my mother consoles me by saying “I feel like the Rock of Gibraltar.”

My family visited that monstrous slab of stone two summers ago. The sheer enormity of it was overwhelming. My attempts to compress the entire rock, its bulging corners and powerful presence, into the small frame of my camera proved useless.

Although I was hesitant, my family convinced me to board a rickety, tourist-filled bus that would bring us to the top of the rock. As we slowly careened our way up a narrow ledge, I could not help but look down in horror. The solid comfort of the ground was vanishing; the once looming buildings quickly became indecipherable specks. My father chatted unsuspectingly with an old married couple across the aisle, my brother pointed gleefully at squawking monkeys dangling from tree branches, and I gripped the arm rest, trying desperately not to let my panic morph into a full-fledged heart attack.

But as soon as my breathing became irregular and I started to fear the worst (after all, an ambulance certainly wouldn’t fare well on this dangerous road), my mother placed her hand over mine. She began rubbing smooth, comforting circles over my trembling palms, and my...

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