After graduating from high school, I decided that I didn’t want to continue with university. So, with the help of my dad, I was able to open a shop as a car dealership depo. My name is Kerem. I’m 24 years old, and it’s been four years since I moved from my hometown called Mardin to Diyarbakir.

Business and life, in general, had been going well, but the last eight months were worse than a nightmare. In October 2020, my dad suddenly got very weak. A few days later, he started coughing heavily and showing fever. My family and I got concerned, booked him an appointment for the earliest available time, and took him for a check to a health center.

It was even more devastating when we learned my dad being infected in his lungs with COVID-19 wasn’t the only bad news. It was now our whole family who were suspected to be carrying the virus around. We all had to be quarantined and checked using the PCR test.

The problem here was me being the one who put bread on the table. My younger siblings are students without jobs, and my dad has been retired for years. I buy or sell cars from near and far cities all over Turkey. And all of our investments have been spent on this business of mine for years. My family’s life and future kind of depends on what I do.

I had loads of phone calls from people asking for their cars or money. My whole body was in severe pain, while I could do absolutely nothing about work. I knew by then that I had the virus growing in me.
Most of my friends were busy with university, so I couldn’t ask anyone to help me with my work. We don’t have many relatives or close friends in Diyarbakir. I knew I would have been in trouble if I left the house. I also knew I might lose lots of the gratitude that I had gained through all these years by not going to work, but what could I do?

Two weeks were gone then my dad passed away in early November. I was the first one to learn since I was responsible for taking care of him and giving him his medications. We couldn’t even have our last words or at least a goodbye. I then became the man of the house and the full responsibility of everyone’s life has been on me.

My family and I got through the illness, but we’re still healing from the heartbreaking loss of my dad.
I lost many customers, deals, and trust, but my dad had saved some money for a time like this. I used it for all the damages of my inadequacy at work and now my business is back again. My dad sadly left us but he made a real man out of me at this young age. I would never know how strong I could have been until I grew from this very heartbreaking situation.