This I believe: ignorance is not always bliss, knowledge is power, and fear is a funny concept. I’ve been through a lot in my short life. I’m scared of a lot of things, spiders and snakes being at the top. Overall though, none of them are a part of the scariest part of my life.
I had to grow up faster than most kids my age did and I’ll never regret it. Why? Because those years that I grew up too fast were spent with my Grandma. When I was really young my Grandma was diagnosed with cancer–that’s the beginning of the scariest, yet most cherished moments of my life.
The reason this was absolutely, positively the scariest thing to me is because she was not only my Grandma, she was my best friend. I still remember the day I learned she was sick, my world started falling apart. Being innocent minded and young, I decided everything would be peachy and that nothing could happen to my grandma- she’s indestructible.
Time passed, my best friend was not as indestructible as I thought. She could no longer care for herself, so she moved in with my family. I took on the role of her caregiver alongside my parents. I didn’t care if I had to grow and mature, I just wanted her to be okay. The time I spent taking care of her were some of the best times we ever had together. As more time passed she grew weaker and weaker, chemo stopped, and she refused any more treatment. As I look back at pictures I see that I have never seen anyone so frail. I watched as she slipped away.
In the time following my Grandmother’s passing my mom grew very distant from everyone and my father clung to his bed for refuge. I had just moved, so I had no friends. I was all alone. This was the darkest, scariest time of my whole life. I refused to admit she was gone; I didn’t want to know anything… I wanted to remain ignorant. People say, “Ignorance is bliss”, but I promise you I had no bliss. I found only fear and hatred. After a while, I grew tired of staring at the wall and feeling alone. Soon, I took to books. I started reading the “Harry Potter” series. These books became my refuge. I read constantly to escape my life. Then, one day I came across a quote “Fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself.” This made me realize that remaining ignorant and fearful of my Grandmother’s death did nothing t to help me, it hurt me. This knowledge helped me greatly, it made me want more. As I kept reading, I came upon another quote, “Even in the darkest times, all you have to do is turn on the light.” Right then it hit me. I control my life and I can fix this. Those books, that series, gave me the knowledge to find me again. So, I found the switch and turned on the light and when I did I saw Joy. Knowledge truly is power; it gives you the power to be you. This I believe.
In Loving Memory of Joy Collins