Mom bravely took her suitcase as we started up the thin trail. Lugging it like a deadweight, we stopped every few steps to catch our breath. Mom had recently informed me of the slightest heart flutter, and now I could hear her breathing heavily from several feet away. I told her to stop, convincing her that with my youth, I could take my backpack up to the top and return for her suitcase.
I took my backpack up to the top as quickly as I could. By that time, I thought my right lung had collapsed. But my mom was still on the mountainside. I turned around to see her halfway to me with her suitcase. I had to pretend to be disappointed that she had done it herself, but I know she could see the relief on my face as I wheezed and carried her suitcase for the last few steps.
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