The Unfilled Nuance

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I looked out the windows of Room 4202 as my English teacher’s, Mr. Evans’, voice inundated my ears with the incessant repetition that “being specific” was vital – all that didn’t really matter to me: I had more important things to worry about such as the upcoming AP Biology free-response test or the nine minute, forty-seven second speech that I had to memorize by Saturday for the Novice debate tournament. But none of that went through my head at all; I just stared at the lone tree outside the windows, shaking its naked branches from the piercing winds and hammering rain. Looking through the tinted-blue windows, I saw the different hues of the sky, the different nuances. The tinted windows caused the upper part of the cloud-filled sky to appear gray while the mid-portion had a navy blue nuance to it...different nuances.
Like the different shades of colors, life has its own palette of colors. As I continued to tone out Mr. Evans’ voice from entering my ears, as I continued to only hear wisps of what he said, as I continued to comprehend the words “life,” “impact,” and “future,” I thought about the people in my life. The people in my life give the different colors, different nuances in my personal palette. My life had aqua, strawberry red, carnation pink, jet black, robin’s egg blue, and even chartreuse, but there is an empty space that leaves my palette incomplete.
Gray—the unfilled hole in my palette: if I could assign any color to describe my Nanu*, it would be gray. She had been mellow throughout the late period of her life: her husband, my Nana*, at the age of forty-five, had died, all ten of her children had moved away, and she carried the burden of living in total solitude. Worst of all, she had discovered that she had a brain tumor, and after surviving her fourth heart attack, she found out she didn’t have many years left in her.
Gray—my Nanu would lie on her bed every time I went to go visit her. Running through the grass that would later on only speckle my five-year-old legs with red bumps, I would not be able to contain my ecstasy every time Nanu embraced me with a hug and a purple-wrapped caramel chewy—that was the only time I really saw her smile: usually, she would be overwhelmed with having to take insulin shots for Type II Diabetes or the encumbrance of having to take the gargantuan hill composed of pills.
Gray—I remember coming back to California from my trip to Bangladesh at the age of six. I remember looking back one last time at the mahogany-colored door in my peach colored frock and shiny, black-leathered Mary Jane’s ready to embark on the long flight downstairs from the third floor. I remember telling Nanu, “Nanu, don’t worry! I’ll be back soon! I’ll fix you Nanu!” I remember that was the last time I ever saw her again. I remember why my ninth birthday is so perfectly etched in my mind. I remember why November 5th, 2002 was such a relevant day—not being able to handle anything anymore, Nanu passed away from her fifth heart attack at the age of sixty-three.
Gray—the sharp, three-inch long needles, the silver, cylindrical tank of oxygen, the IV solution pitter-patting through the narrow plastic vessels are all so perfectly embedded in my mind. I can’t imagine what it must have been like—the coagulated arteries, thousands of blood cells rushing through them, and moments later, it all so suddenly stops. I remember why I want to be an Interventional Cardiologist: I remember why it’s so important that I become this. I have a promise to fulfill: I owe it to my Nanu. And as I navigate through the maze of life, all that reverberates through my mind is this unfilled promise. Being an Interventional Cardiologist will open me up to the world of the heart—the place where life revolves around. One ‘thump’, and you have life; no ‘thump’, and you’re lifeless.
Gray—it’s merely an unfilled nuance, an incomplete promise. I hope I can turn that all around and one day, save other people even though I could not save my Nanu.





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