This is crazy. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe this is all a crazy dream. I didn’t know why, but I was somewhat happy. Usually, this kind of thing scares people. I didn’t know a person could lose weight without trying. I was having slight dizziness and my headaches were constant. It was really hard for me to concentrate in class. My breathing was heavy, and my heart rate was abnormal. My hearing was worse than before, and even with my contact lenses on, my sight was blurring. My tongue was weak and I couldn’t speak smoothly without thinking about it hard. I didn’t notice the change in my body until I fainted that day, right in front of my terrified mother. My sight blurred like there was sand in my eyes, and my head exploded. My world just fuzzed up and left me in pitch black. It was dark, it was hot. I heard silence and I heard only silence.
Where was I? I woke up in a dull gray room. My headache was worse, and I was too weak to lift my arms. There sat my mother, her eyes red from crying.
I was tired, and my eyelids felt like they weighed tons. I closed them, trying to keep myself stable. What was wrong with me? It was like time had left me, and I didn’t exist. What happened? Did I have diabetes? My grandfather had diabetes, and it didn’t seem that scary, except for the fact that I’m scared stiff of needles. I would just have to give up my love for chocolate. He said when his blood sugar was too low, he would faint. Maybe that is why I fainted. But then again, I eat sugar normally so my blood sugar should be rather high than low. Or maybe I had a brain tumor or something. My friend had a tumor in her brain and she had surgery. She stayed in the hospital for a month, and she went through surgery two times. Her doctor was an expert, one of the best in the country. She didn’t go bald or anything and she is just fine now. Or maybe I’m just stressed out. I felt like this when I was having a really hard time with life. I ran fevers and I cried in my sleep. I saw hallucinations, I saw ghosts. I should see a psychologist or therapist. I struggled through nights, and I shook my fists during the day, but I never passed out. I was scared, yeah. But I don’t really know anything yet so I guess I was partially okay. Words circled my head as I fell asleep again, defenseless.
The next time I woke up, I was really awake. I was feeling so much better, and I was hungry. My eyes were bright and didn’t struggle to keep them wide opened. I looked to my right to see my arm hooked up to an I.V. They were pouring drugs into my veins, and that was why I was feeling better. I felt my head and found sore spots. Okay, so I hit my head on the process here. Oh. And my arms seemed to have suffered more. My right arm was in a cast. How heavy was I? Could you really hurt yourself this much by just passing out on wooden flooring? I looked to my left and found a white gowned man walking into my room in thin glasses.
The doctor came up to me and said, “If you only had one more year to live, what would you do?” I finally understood what was going on. I was sick. I was weak. And I had cancer. The genius on the honor roll, first from the top, karate girl who swam for the state swim team, was now on her way to being a wimpy loser. Maybe because I tried so hard to become the girl my parents wanted me to be. I thought I was doing a good thing. But God thought differently, apparently. Was I scared? I don’t know.
It was silent for the longest time. I sat there, listening to the sound of the steady rhythm of my heartbeat. The doctor’s question came up in my head. If I had one more year to live, what would I do? I stood there, blank, not knowing what to do next. What did I want to do? Now that I know that my time is limited, I had to think seriously about my future. I stayed mostly in my crisp white bed, and I didn’t have to worry about shampooing my silky black hair because I lost all of it. And after eleven months, I headed for my dream.
My dream was to go back to my home. My home is and has always been in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is one of the most beautiful places in the whole wide world. I have lived every day of my life believing that a part of me would always be there.
I hopped on- well I was wheeled onto- a plane. It was probably the first and last time that I would ride on first class. All of my family members were weeping quietly while I wrote in my journal. I grew tired after a few minutes and dozed off to sleep. I felt blankets being placed on me and hands holding mine the whole way.
A single tear escaped my eyes as I saw our big house sitting there the way it stood strong, years ago, the neighborhood pool still sparkling blue. I waved at my best friend’s cute yellow house, and whispered goodbye once again. My family took turns pushing my wheelchair slowly through the town, over the grass and concrete where I once ran barefoot as a child. I patted my horse’s forehead, remembering the times we had fun when we were both younger. I wanted more than anything to ride her once again, to the end of the acres. April neighed happily when I gave her an apple. It was her favorite treat. She nudged her head against me, wanting more. “I’ll bring you another one tomorrow,” I lied, knowing I would probably never return. I stared at the blue building of West Hills Elementary, smiling as I saw the swing set I used to love. I stepped into the old building of Maryville College, where I used to attend Japanese Saturday school, as I heard that familiar bell. My fingers brushed over my picture on the wall of our church. I chewed my last bite of macaroni and cheese at my favorite restaurant. I dropped my spoon, and I slid off of my chair. I just lost it and I couldn’t keep myself together. I braced for the pain that would strike my back. But I felt no pain, and I opened my eyes to see God walking toward me. He held me in his arms as he carried me. It was pleasant, almost like the time you carried me home that rainy day, but this day was so much warmer. I heard my spoon drop to the floor next to me, and I heard panicked voices, but all the noise faded away. I felt safe, and I wasn’t afraid. My dream came true after all. I got to see my home one last time. And I was the luckiest girl on Earth. I grew up in the best town in the world with the best parents. I had people to love and people to thank. Take care of my little brothers, people, because they are awesome and they deserve a better sister. I love you. Someone out there loves you. God loves you.
P.S. Mom, Dad, I love you. Someday I wanted to bring you your blue-eyed grandchildren. I’m sorry I disappointed you. I’m sure my little ones would have loved you. That world is in my dreams now. Maybe God will send them through an angel. Until that day, hold on to my brothers. I’m sorry I made this decision. I was a selfish girl, but I know this is what I wanted. My last memories shine in me, and hope I never disappear in. Normal teenagers aren’t afraid of having to live in a foreign country. They don’t have to worry about the foreign country growing to become their home. They don’t have to worry about having to go to a whole new place and try liking the weird atmosphere that is supposed to be comfortable for their kind. And most of all, they won’t give up their life to live their last days in the place they love.
Human beings are born to die, and they are definitely born to love. I was a shy, independent girl. I never mentioned this, but I love you. Why am I saying this now? Because I might not have a chance to say so tomorrow or the day after. Tomorrows don’t last forever, you know. That is what I learned. But you’ll have a lot of tomorrows waiting for you. I want you to live the way you want. Do everything you want. Say whatever you want. Live freely, exist in joy and happiness. I want you to look in the mirror and say you’re proud of that person. I want you to look at that person in the mirror and say that person is shining, running to catch their dreams. I want you to be able to love the people around you, love every smell, every taste, every sound, every sight, and every touch of your everyday lives. Because someday, that everyday sensation will disappear. You won’t be able to see that smile you love. You won’t be able to hear that laugh on the other end of phone that calms you at the end of the day. Everything that you sense with your five senses will leave you when you leave them. When you feel like nobody understands you, when you feel alone, remember that you will never be solo. God loves you. Someone out there loves you. I love you. Stand strong. Walk Confidently. Love your life. If you want to love your life at some point, stop hating it and live up to that point. Every time it rains, run in it. My tears will wash yours away. Someday, I will be here. Someday, I will stand next to you. I love you. I love you. I love you.