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To Make a Difference
Fear. What is it exactly? We’ve all felt it: the wave of adrenaline, the shaking limbs, the pounding hearts, the increased breathing, the slowing of time. But…why do we feel it? Why does it overcome our whole soul? I’ve asked myself this question many of times. I have no answer. Do you?
Haha. Silly me. You can’t reply. Well, at least if you can I can no longer hear you. I wonder though…did you feel it? Feel fear on that day? Did your heart boom so loudly that you couldn’t hear over it? Did your breath catch in your throat or did it go so fast you couldn’t distinguish one from the other? Did everything happen so rapidly you couldn’t understand what was going on or did you see and hear with perfect clarity? Did you tremble as you stood there or did you square your shoulders and brace yourself? Did….did you think of me?
They say that your life flashes before your eyes. If so…what did you see? Did you see the pond water reflecting in the sunlight? Did you taste the tartness of the dew berries we picked as children? Could you smell the sweetness of those little white flowers and honeysuckles that grew around our houses? Could you feel my touch? Could you feel my love for you? Did you? Did you?
…Do you know that I feel fear all of the time? Do you know that I curl up on your side of the bed every night? Do you know I hold your pillow close and try breathe? Do you know that I can’t cry? I’ve tried and tried but it is frozen up inside of me. You know it was always you who could set my tears free. Without you they are locked away, rotting me from the inside out.
Why did you go sweetheart? I miss you. Do you miss me? I think of you every second. I think of you when I see your shoes neatly placed by the dresser. I think of you when I see your favorite cereal in the store. I think of you when I smell your cologne in the bathroom. I think of you when I see roses. I think of you when I see that burn mark in the kitchen when you forgot to turn the stove off. I think of you when I turn on the radio and your favorite song comes on. I think of you when I hear an acoustic guitar. I think of you every time the news comes on and they give us an update on the latest story…about the man who was shot during a hijack gone wrong.
They say that you ran after the thief who tried to steal a running car. They say that you grabbed him before he could fully get inside the driver’s seat. They say that you pulled him away from the car and you began to fight. They say that’s when the gun was drawn. They say that there were three fired shots. One hit the car. Another hit a nearby store window. And the last hit you…right in the chest.
There was a baby in the car. But you knew that didn’t you? That’s why you probably stepped in. That’s why you gave your life. That’s why I’m alone now. That’s why I’m draped in black and standing here looking at all of the fake flowers that surround a marble stone with your name on it. Everyone else left hours ago, left when it started to rain. But I can’t. I can’t seem to move from this place. My feet have grown roots and are trapping me here. I can’t escape no matter how hard I try.
Fear. It is what is pulsing through me. It is what is making me wonder if I’ll be able to survive today. It is what is making each breath so painful and so hard to take. It is what is making me make these strange strangled sounds from deep within. It is what is making my blood run cold. It is what is making me shake like a leaf. It is what is making me unaware of the pouring rain and the crashing of thunder.
Fear. It is what made the child in the car cry. It is what made you react. It is what made the bullet enter your heart. It is what made the thief run. It is what made me collapse when I heard. It is what makes me wonder if you are disappointed in me for falling apart. It is what is making me ponder what you would say to me right now. It is what is making me get off my muddy knees and stand. It is what is making the tears start to drip down my face and onto my chin. It is what is forcing me to live again.
I think I understand what fear is now. It is the key to our survival. It is what makes us act in desperate times. Like when you saved the child or like now as I find strength to move on for the thought of disappointing you. It is what makes the weak stronger. It is what makes the crippled stand. It is what forces us persist.
And right there, always intertwined with fear, is hope-the only thing that can beat fear. The thing that can only be felt after one tastes the bitter cup of fear. Fear is necessary for hope isn’t it? Like darkness is for light, like cold is for hot, like death is for life? I think I get it. I think I know why you made your finally stand that day. Your fear for the child’s sake made you move, but you wouldn’t have moved it you hadn’t hoped to make a difference. Fear and hope need each other.
I need the fear of disappointing you to help me stand but I need your hope to support me. You have the fear that I’ll crumble but I have the hope to endure until I can see you again. I hope I can see you again. Do you think I can? Do you hope I can? Do you hope I won’t forget you? Do you hope that I long for your touch?
Have no fear, my love; I won’t ever stop remembering you. I will always love you.
Love. What is love? We’ve all felt it: the wave of adrenaline, the shaking limbs, the pounding hearts, the increased breathing, the slowing of time. But…why do we feel it? Why does it overcome our whole soul? I’ve asked myself this question may of times. I have an answer. And so do you.