Dear Dad,

It’s been seven years since you’ve passed and it still doesn’t feel real.

Photo Credit: Camp Geneva

This past year has been one of the hardest years without you.  I had my first love and first heartbreak.

The only person I wanted after that heartbreak was you, but you weren’t here.  I needed you to be here, I needed your advice, I had no clue what to do.

I have no father figure to lead me and I am just starting to become a woman, I need your advice.

In just under two months, I am going to be 18 and you won’t be there.

You won’t be there for anything. We won’t have a father-daughter dance, you won’t walk me down the aisle, you won’t watch me graduate, and you won’t watch me grow up.  I will never know if you are proud of who I am becoming.

I know I shouldn’t be mad at you, but it gets hard sometimes.

I know it wasn’t your fault.

It was fated.

I need to let fate take over now.  You must have left me for a reason.

I am stronger than I could have ever imagined me to be by this age. I know how to fend for myself.  I know I can make it through anything now. I know you would be proud of who I am becoming and that is all that matters.

I miss you, but I know I can make it through.

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The Fight Must Go On

The night was pitch black. The minimal stars sitting up high in the sky only served as a reminder that we were still in the universe, and the distant street lights and sounds of passing cars were muted while walking across the field.

The grass was cold against my bare feet, and I held the neon pink glow stick inside my shaking hand as every single memory of my fifth and sixth grade years came back to me.

I wasn’t the only one there who had these memories rush into my head. Everyone who had cracked open the glow-stick had something about cancer to remember.

The whole field was silent. The occasional sniffle could be heard, and the tear stained cheeks were inevitable to avoid the longer you walked in silence.

The longer I walked, the more memories rushed into my head, and the more memories eventually made me break down.

I never enjoyed crying in front of people, and normally I don’t. I cry alone, because I’ve always hated crying in front of people and feeling pitied for my tears. But I was surrounded by so many people, and when I knew I wasn’t the only one crying, I didn’t hold the tears back anymore.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

I never had cancer, but the speaker last night was right. In a way, when a loved one gets cancer, it consumes you too. It affects you too. It takes up your mind and heart. My father got cancer, and it killed a part of me too when it killed him.

Cancer is the deadliest weapon of all.

It’s the cause of the pang in your heart when you first find out they were diagnosed.

It’s the weeks spent in hospital waiting room during examinations and testing.

Then there’s the news that the cancer is gone. You think they’re finally safe, until the cancer fights back, and it comes back worse and worse, until it eventually takes over and kills.

It’s weeks of watching the life in the eyes of your friends or family fade away. When they go from being healthy, lively souls, to being trapped in their beds with no energy to get out.

It’s the fight that soon becomes too hard to keep continuing.

The consequence of cancer isn’t always death, but it’s the long suffering before it.

Not every cancer story ends with a cure.

Not every cancer story ends in a peaceful death.

In fact, most of them don’t. The cancer eats up everything. It eats up their health, and their happiness, and their motivation until all there is left is remnants of hope and loved ones close trying to help continue the fight for them.

But that was what the walk was for. We were fighting for those who couldn’t fight anymore. I was fighting for my dad who was hoping for a cure, and didn’t get one. Who didn’t win the fight. Every year I walk with survivors, caretakers, and friends to continue the fight, so that one day, the war against cancer will finally be won.

“Like”

Where on earth did this term come from? I’m not talking about Facebook likes or Instagram likes.

I’m talking about how one will be talking to a new person, a potential new friend, and everything is going great until they say it. Or rather, they say it half a dozen times in one sentence. And all of a sudden you feel like stabbing someone, but not the person because you want to be friends with them.

Img cred; sodahead.com

I’m pretty darn guilty of this myself, but I’m definitely noticing it and am trying to fix this habit. But when I try, I find it difficult to find words to replace “like.” Sometimes I feel like if I use any other word or phrase other than “like,” I’ll sound too formal and/or weird.

I wonder if any “likers” don’t notice this habit of theirs. I also wonder how many are aware and just don’t care. And I also wonder how many other people feel the irresistible urge to lash out in fury after the sixth “like.”

Somber

The meaning of life.

Is death.

Face it, that’s the cold, hard truth. We’re born, we live, we die.

Meaning there is no meaning of life.

But hey, that’s just my take on it. Not everyone has such somber minds.

“Just think preciously of every moment or time.”

42.”

“Live life with no regrets.”

“To eat.”

“I think it’s a science. We are born and we die. The best we can do is be happy everyday and enjoy it.”

The answers will always be different, as people will be different, as situations will be different and as life will be different. The meaning of life is whatever you make of life, whether it’s to watch a thousand movies until you understand the “42” reference, or if you decide to just pursue happiness.

In the end though, death still overcomes all.

But hey, why spoil everyone’s fun?

Accidents

That time you found me on the ground, reaching for my inhaler, you picked me up and tossed me into the car. We drove to the hospital and arrived at 3am, but had to wait until 7am until we could go inside. I struggled with every breath, and with every breath I would think “finally…”

The times I was in a speeding car, watching the door handle, wondering whether or not it would open by some luck of fate. Perhaps the turn would be too sharp, or maybe my dog would jump onto it.

I lived on a tall building all my life. I often liked to look over it and wonder how long I’d feel the pain if I fell down. The window was tall though, and it would be difficult to trip and fall through.

Sometimes I’d walk through my woods. I called it my woods because nobody else bothered to explore it. I saw wolves, bears and mountain lions, but they all ran from me. Why would you run from me? Couldn’t you easily kill me? Wouldn’t you want to?

Old buildings were also fun to explore. The floors were old and rickety, and I often found myself stepping on particularly thin boards hoping to fall through. I was too light, that’s what everyone said, and the boards would creak and moan but I never did fall through.

I kept waiting for accidents. My aim is to disappear off the earth completely with no trace to follow or mourn over.

Guess I’ll have to keep trying.

Handing Your Heart Away

Everyone has a heart. The heart is a clump of muscle imbedded inside your chest, hidden behind your lungs and ribcage. Upon first glance, upon first experience, you plunge your hand into your chest and enclose your fist around your heart.

You’ll keep your hand enclosed around that heart. Maybe you will release your heart, sew up your chest, then wash the blood off your hands.

Or maybe something will happen, and you begin to pull your heart out of your chest. Strangely enough, it doesn’t hurt. Just don’t pull too hard or too fast, you could bleed yourself to death. No, pull slow, allow time to clot, then keep pulling.

Who knows how long it takes until you can hold your heart at arm’s length? Maybe it takes two years. Two years sounds like a good amount of time.

Your heart is enclosed in your hand, pumping, pumping, slightly connected to your chest and the rest of your body. You look up. There it is. There is the thing, the person, the place, the reason you pulled your heart out in the first place. Blood soaks your footsteps so you’ll always know the way you came.

You have two options.

The first option is to cut your heart away from you body. Hand it to that person, place it on the ground, do anything that shows that your heart is no longer your own.

They could crush it. Stomp on it, squeeze it slice and dice it up. They could do anything at all and you could do nothing about it. It is no longer your heart.

You have another option.

Turn away. Put your heart back into your chest. Stack your ribs on top and peel your lungs back into place. Sew yourself up. The heart is yours. It will stay yours. Do not ever let it go again.

The Watchful Poster

Three o’clock, sharp. That’s when the metro train always comes along. And yes, there it is, you can just see the bright headlights of the train. I glance at the ground, taking heed of the chipped yellow “CAUTION” paint. I put my feet squarely on the line and lean forwards slightly.

The oily, grungy, and smokey smell of the tunnels rush up onto my face as the train speeds by, missing my face by inches. I always feel a slight sense of ecstasy whenever I did this. “It’s the adrenaline rush,” I’ve been told, “you’ve probably turned yourself into and adrenaline junkie.”

Adrenaline junkie or not, this is what I did every day, and this is honestly what the highlight of my day is. Sad, isn’t it? That my life is so lifelessly boring that the only joy I feel is having a metro train decapitate me.

After sitting in the train for around four minutes, eight minutes tops, I would squeeze the horde of people and make my way up to my workplace. Well, not before pausing to look at a poster.

That poster had been there since I was just a little girl. After my parents died in that train accident, it seemed like that poster was the only family I had left.
She was a beautiful woman, with long raven hair and a shapely face with soft features. She was posing similar to the world-famous Mona Lisa, the only difference was that she lacked a smile. Her dress, though I could only see the top part, was a stunning emerald-green, still shining through decades of dust on the glass covering of the poster.

Her eyes were coloured out. I know now how or why, but I remember one day looking up into her eyes, the original colour I remember not, and seeing that her eyes had been scribbled out. It looked as if an infant had taken a chalky black crayon and coloured her eyes. The only issue with that theory was that the glass case was framed to the wall with solid steel bars.

Her eyes were so startling black against her milky white skin.

I loved that poster. Like I said, she was almost like family, as I had never missed a day where I would not look up to her beautiful face and give her a swift not, a curt wave, or even a rare smile. Every day was the same; boring, rut-like, and lacking of everything any human could ever want.

Her eyes would always follow me. Every once in a while I would lean in closer to the passing train, allowing it to clip my bangs or chip my nails. Every time I do that I can feel her unseen eyes burning onto my body, either as a warning or an encouragement, I do not know.

So I leaned closer every time. I began to get bruises on my forehead, my hands, even my shoulder once. I was called in for suicide attempts but was released, for there was nobody for them to call to confirm my personality or histories.

Her eyes had never felt so hot in my entire life.

One day I may have leaned in too far. Too soon. I may have fallen in. I saw the familiar headlights, the rushing of the oil-stench wind, but this time I felt the ecstasy before even the train reached me. My, how wonderful that felt.

Really, it only hurt a little.