The news crashed into me like a train. It made me stumble, fall, and crumble under the weight of it. It brought waves after waves of grief and tears that seemed like they would never end. I felt like I would never live again. As if I was the one who was gone; who would never return, who I would never see again. Years later, I would think that 'yes, that person is now gone.' As of now, my pain and tribulation seemed eternal. I looked at the messenger of the bad news, hoping, praying, even begging; was there anything left? Did he have, even an ounce of, good news, an ounce of consolation? He said a few incomprehensible words to me, words that probably made sense, but I could not understand anything. He seemed to realize this and handed me a sealed envelope, patted my shoulder and left.
What would a pitiful, insignificant envelope do to console my screaming, broken heart? I shoved the envelope deep inside a drawer, stumbled into my bed and sobbed until sleep pulled me under its shade. I spent days after days under a cloud of sadness and depression. I couldn't heal, I refused to. How could I, when the person who was my role model, who guided me through every part of my life was gone? I wallowed in sadness. Even though days went on, it seemed as if my life wouldn't.
After a month like this, my brother, Nick, came to me. He looked healthy, changed, almost happy. He saw me in this pitiful state and remarked, "Do you care at all about him? Do you even remember him?" His words cut through me like a sword. Of course, I cared! Of course, I remember! How dare he say something like that? I was going to retort back to him, hurt and angry, but then he said, " Have you even read the letter? The one inside the sealed envelope?" I looked at him, confused and baffled. Suddenly it dawned on me, the envelope the messenger gave. I looked at him and shook my head. He sighed and said "Read it, Jess. It will help. I promise." And with this, he left.
A day later, I decided to open the drawer. I could not get myself to find the envelope. The next day, I located the envelope. I could not stand to touch it. The day after, Tuesday, I held the envelope. On the front of it was scrawled my name in his handwriting. I could not bear to open it. The next day, I gently unsealed it. I could not make myself look inside of it. Two days later, I took out the neatly folded paper. I did not unfold it. On Sunday, I unfolded it. I could not read a word. On Wednesday, I made the decision to embark on this painful journey.
It started, "My dear, dear girl, I'm sorry. " These six words made me want to stop, but I pushed myself. "I'm sorry that I had to go. I'm sorry that because of me, your hurting. But you need to know somethings. First, I need you to forgive me. I could not control the time of my death. If I could, if anyone could, then this world would not be our world. This world is full of ups and downs. Embrace them. And with this in mind, forgive me. " This is all I could read. I got up from the floor and started to pace. Should I really put myself through this? I was not sure. Can I forgive him for leaving me in this terrible world? And I realized, at the end of the day, I could.
The next day, I started reading again. "Now that you have forgiven me, forgive yourself. There was nothing you could have done. Everyone has their time. This time, it was my turn. Nothing you could have done, nothing the doctors could have done would have saved me. I had to go, and I accepted it. Don't blame yourself for something you could not have controlled. I loved you and I know you loved me. If you still love me, then forgive yourself." I stopped reading. How did he know that is the way I felt. That deep down inside, I blamed myself. That I wouldn't let myself out of this depression because of this pain I felt, this guiltiness. But could I ever forgive myself? These were the thoughts spinning in my head for the rest of the day.
On Friday, I began reading where I left off. " I hope you have forgiven yourself. With all that sadness, depression and negativity, how are you? Be happy Jessica. Live in this moment because it will never come back. No matter how sad, happy, depressed, excited you are, take advantage of the moment. Don't be a plant that only grows only towards the sun. Grow in every direction and spread your leaves. Give your shade to all who seek. Let your wisdom be as deep as the ocean. Let your kindness be like rain that falls everywhere on everyone. Let your knowledge cover the Earth and beyond. Live your full potential. Don't let anyone stop you from being better. Cut through the world's prejudices and biases. Be someone who leaves a mark on this world, not someone who will live and die without anyone's remembrance. I know you, Jessica. You are a human, just like the billions on this Earth, but be different. Anyone can be, and I am telling you, go show the world what they need. Show them the truth and never give up. You will always see good and bad, but the bravest one is the one who rises from their past and creates their future." I stopped at this. Did he really believe in me that much? Did he really think I can do this? I reflected on these questions the entire day. Just before I fell asleep, I understood what he was saying. He knows anyone can do this, but it's his dream for me to do this.
I woke up the next day and started reading right away. "I hope you have realized what you can become. Fly higher than the stars. But how can you without wings? Remember Jessica, your wings are made of determination and balance. With determination, asses yourself and make changes. The world will change with you. With determination, make goals. The world will challenge you. With balance, attain perfection in the work you do. You, yourself will never be perfect, but let perfection shine through your work. With balance, attain peace because through unbalance we only have chaos. And remember, be who you are meant to be. I have one last thing to say to you, my girl, never forget about those who love you. This is all I have to give you, my girl. I hope my advice will push you to push the limits of the world and break through. Make this messed up world a better place, for yourself and those who will come after. I love you so much.
Sincerely and lovingly,
Your beloved father,"
I started crying. Could I do this? Can I grow? Can I live? Can I flourish? Can I fly? And the answer to all these questions is yes. Yes, I can. I can be better. And this is the advice that I am sharing with you that my father gave me. Will you fly? Will you soar? Will you change in order to make a change? Become better, become stronger.
Later, I found out my dad had died of cancer. He hadn't told anyone. I found out from my mom that he had passed away peacefully. I hope I will be able to fulfill his dreams. I hope you all will be able to. I hope we will all change the world.