This I Believe

Emily - Hingham, Massachusetts
Entered on September 15, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

I believe that fear can push us to new limits. I learned this from my father’s death from a malignant brain tumor five years ago.

One year after moving to Boston from New Jersey, my dad was diagnosed with a tumor on his pituitary gland. Further testing revealed a second tumor on his pancreas. Following two years of operations, hospitalizations, infections, and complications, we were told there was nothing else that could be done to save him. He slipped into a coma on my parents’ 17th wedding anniversary, and passed away the next day.

When I was told that I had to say good-bye to my father and tell him it was okay to let go, I thought it would be impossible. When I walked into his hospital room knowing it would be the last time I would see him, it felt as though all the nerves in my face had jumped to the back of my head, trying to deter me from taking another step. My entire body went numb and it took a full minute for a squeak to come out of my mouth once it was open.

There is no doubt in my mind that it was the right thing to do, but that does not make the fact the he is gone any easier. My fear of saying good-bye to him cannot compare to the fear I felt of not having the chance to say good-bye. And by conquering my fear of seeing him that last time, I had the most rewarding moment of my life.

After talking to him for a few mintues – he was unconscious – I leaned over to kiss him on the forehead. As I closed my eyes and the tears spilled from my face to his, he stirred, took a deep breath, and opened his eyes. My heart skipped a beat, could he be coming back to me? In a dry, raspy voice, he said, “I love you, bud”. That was the last thing he said to me, and he soon lost consciousness again.

After that moment in my life, I have done my best to weigh all my options when I am faced with a challenge. The question I ask myself is, “What opportunity might I miss out on if I allow my fear to control my actions?” After saying good-bye to my father, and having the chance to see his blue eyes one more time, I will always consider the risk worth taking.

Don’t act out of fear. Act out of fear of losing something if you don’t act at all. This I believe.