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The Brightness of Black
There’s something to be said about fear. The way it can make you do anything it wants you to. The way it stays with you for the rest of your existence. The way it can control your life if your not careful. All fears add up to the same exact thing. The end.
In life, there is a beginning and an end- Birth and Death. That’s how it works. It always has been that way. It always will be that way. That’s all there is to it. Anyone who tells you otherwise is kidding themselves. Besides that, all life really is, is miniscule hopes, worries, and dreams. And fears.
Every fear adds up to death.
A fear of heights? Falling. Crashing. Dying. A fear of the dark? Black. Monsters. Screams. Death. A fear of spiders? Bite. Pain. Infections. Death. Death. Death. Death. Death.
It’s a simply known fact. We are all going to die. Each and every one of us will die. Weather it is tomorrow, next week, next year, or fifty years away. We will all die.
So why are we afraid of it? Why do we let it rule our lives? Because aside from the lucky few of us who really understand how to let it go, we are all too naïve to realize that life means nothing. That everything we do means nothing. That no one really cares.
There are so few soles that are not only able to understand and comprehend this, but able to live their life by this, and I think it’s harmless to say that no one is born with this insight. Among the minority who have this ability, I’d say it’s a safe bet that they have all had a single, dramatic, defining moment when they realized that none of it really matters anyways. Remy being among them.
As much as her head told her it was the worst day of her life, her heart told her otherwise. She had left the hospital ward and asked for a moment alone. A moment to think. A moment to fear.
When she was given the teary eyed okay from her mother, Remy quickly ducked her head, hummed a dawdling tune, and swiftly made her way over to the microbiology unit. Due to its quiet and fascinating nature, it had become a sort of paradise for Remy as of late.
For someone who doesn’t have it all that bad, a hospital can really open your eyes up to how dreadful some really do have it. In all of fifteen minutes, you’ve encountered the crying kid with the broken arm, the poor father who is undergoing chemo for the cancer that is tearing apart his family, the sixteen-year-old who is giving birth to the child she will never see again, and all this just while sitting in the waiting room.
Remy found comfort in the fact that every week, when she came to the hospital for her check-up appointments, there were people in that same waiting room that had it one thousand times worse than she. Every week, when she came back, the doctors would run test, but there was comfort in the fact that until the doctors could confirm their suspicions, Remy was no worse off than anyone she knew.
Because there is comfort in the unknown.
What you don’t know can’t hurt you. And until you know something for sure, you can make believe that it is anything you want it to be. Until you know something for certain, you can still hope. You can still fear.
That’s how Remy saw it at least. Despite the urging from her mother and the nervous habits from her father budding to the surface, she did not want to know that doctors test results. Final is a daunting word. They say nothing is ever set in stone. But death is.
Remy’s death was. Everyone’s is. Some just approach faster then others. The only way to make light of it though is to look at it like a race. If death were a race, Remy would be winning. The doctors had just confirmed that with the lab results. Those same results that say that Remy is a victim of cancer’s chase to rule the world.
It wasn’t a complete surprise. The doctors had been prepping her for this for weeks. Teaching them what it would mean if it Remy was in fact dying of cancer. Explaining what the possible treatments would entail, and what their possibility of curing her would be. They were slim if she had any type of leukemia. Now that they knew she had acute myelogenous leukemia, those same chances were close to nothing.
Remy had made it to the microbiology unit without any human interactions. As she entered the blue and brown wallpaper clad room, she slumped down against the closest wall. Her scrawny knees instinctively rose to her chest and her bony arms wrapped around them in a protective manner. Her silky brown hair cascaded around her round freckly face and her blue eyes scanned the room to take in her surroundings.
The room was almost completely empty save for a few scattered patients. A perfect escape.
Remy didn’t have many options. She had heard everyone’s arguments but ultimately, the choice was hers to make. Her mother and father said she would fight. They didn’t have a doubt in their mind that she wouldn’t. That’s how they saw it. Their ignorant minds. But the doctor understood. Doctors are the world’s only real truth-tellers. They won’t lie. They don’t know you well enough to do that to you. But at the same time, they know you well enough to understand what you fear.
Remy’s parents told the doctor what she would do. They had planned this out preparing for the worst. They had thought it through. Thoroughly examining all the possible options. Remy wasn’t like them. She wanted to enjoy her life and thinking about what might happen wasn’t her approach.
One of the many ineffective ways to deal with fear is to forget about it. If you are able to disregard what is causing that specific fear, then your mind is fooled into believing that you have overcome the fear. At least until the origin drifts back into your consciousness once again, and indeed it will. Life doesn’t forget things as easily as you do though. Patterns begin to form for those who pay enough attention.
All life consists of is patterns. In and out. Up and down. Hello, goodbye. Life and death. All these patterns consist of are fears. Fears are what caused these patterns to evolve and fear is what fuels these patterns and keeps them alive. Forget what they tell you in school. Fear is the basis of all living things.
In a moment of pure confusion, everything became exceptionally clear for Remy. She didn’t have to think twice. Once she was decided, there was nothing that could sway her verdict. Not even Remy herself. And the more she thought about it, the more sense it made.
Remy had never been much of a spiritual person. She didn’t spend her time thinking greatly about what miracles God could do for her or anyone else. Instead, she spent her time thinking about what happiness could do for someone. How you cannot feel truly happy until you are truly content. And that is something very few people stumble upon during their lifetime.
How many people can leave this earth feeling that essentially, they have accomplished everything they have wanted to? That they have experienced every aspect of life that they had ever dreamed or experiencing? That they did not let fear rule their life in any way that limited them? I’d say that number is overwhelmingly small.
Remy was not going to fight.
She was not going to fight the cancer that was flowing through her veins. The cancer that she had been warned would take her life away if she had decided not to fight. The cancer that was caught too late to have more than a five percent survival rate.
Remy was not going to fight the acute myelogenous leukemia because she would rather enjoy her remaining days here then spend her last few weeks undergoing various treatments with a exceedingly low success rate, and being miserable all the while. She was not going to fight because despite the looming death threat, she wanted to make the most out of her life.
And you can’t make the most of anything while being stuck in a hospital room all day.
It wasn’t the statistics that had changed Remy’s mind. It wasn’t the fact that she was doing the opposite of what her parents had said or that she didn’t fear their reaction. It wasn’t that she feared the treatments. It was simply the fact that she did not fear death.
And the only way to enjoy life to the fullest is to disregard those simple, yet overwhelming fears of dying.