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Cancer, as powerful and invincible as it may seem, is a mere fraction of a person’s life.It’s easy to forget when one’s mind and body are so weak and vulnerable.
Over the years, everything--even honoring my grandmother--had become second to school and grades.
As my shoes humbly tapped against the Earth, the towering trees blackened by the forest fire a few years ago, the faintly colorful pebbles embedded in the sidewalk, and the wispy white clouds hanging in the sky reminded me of my small though nonetheless significant part in a larger whole that is humankind and this Earth.
When my parents finally revealed to me that my grandmother had been battling liver cancer, I was twelve and I was angry--mostly with myself.
They had wanted to protect me--only six years old at the time--from the complex and morose concept of death.
Through my work, I can accept the shovel without burying my grandmother’s memory.
I am on Oxford Academy’s Speech and Debate Team, in both the Parliamentary Debate division and the Lincoln-Douglass debate division.
They covered the precious mahogany coffin with a brown amalgam of rocks, decomposed organisms, and weeds.
It was my turn to take the shovel, but I felt too ashamed to dutifully send her off when I had not properly said goodbye. I refused to let go of my grandmother, to accept a death I had not seen coming, to believe that an illness could not only interrupt, but steal a beloved life.
I want to be there as an oncologist to remind them to take a walk once in a while, to remember that there’s so much more to life than a disease.
While I physically treat their cancer, I want to lend patients emotional support and mental strength to escape the interruption and continue living.