He could feel his body slowly giving up. As he laid there, waiting for the radiations to hit hard, he closed his eyes. And suddenly, he saw a light. He saw himself blinded by that luminous light. In that vision, he screamed, “No! No, this cannot be the end! God! Is that You? No! It’s too early!” and he woke up, alarmed. The nurse came in a rush and asked him what was wrong, then said that the radiation was postponed due to technical difficulties, and that he was going to be taken back to his room.
It was ten o’clock, P.M.
He laid there, oblivious of the time, and he examined his surrounding, himself. He started calculating how much time he still had left, and froze. He knew his time was limited, but he was too fatigued to stand up, or do anything.
“Soon, I will be gone. Mother will be crying. Father wouldn’t care, perhaps. Or maybe he would, I don’t know. Oh, Mother! I’m sorry. Terribly sorry. I’m sorry I never became someone important. This is my life. I’m living an old and decaying man. I apologize for not doing anything, ever, that made you look at me with pride in your eyes. And, Father, I apologize for not being the son you’ve always dreamt of. I am not the manager of an international company. I am a simple elementary school teacher, and you know that was all I was able to accomplish. But don’t worry, once I’m gone, I won’t be your burden anymore. Good for you, I’ll be gone soon.”
Tears filled up his eyes, anger and pain filled up his heart. No, this couldn’t be the end. He didn’t want to die like this. He refused to die frail and swollen up in this cold hospital…
…but at that moment he looked at the mirror hung on the wall. He saw an obscure reflection of a man whose hair had abadoned him, whose hands were thin and bony, whose eyes teared up every few minutes, whose body would collapse and vanish any day from now. It could take months, it could take weeks, it could take days, it could be tomorrow.
“Now that I think about it…I don’t know why it’s worth living any longer, God. I haven’t done a single thing worth talking about, except staying alive, which I’m failing at slowly right now, God. I graduated, studied some literature, and taught a group of ungrateful brats. My mother never talked about me in public, my father sometimes forgot me in the car. They were ashamed of me. I wasn’t like Kevin, the neighbor, who was so great. Of course, he’s the CEO of a big company, and he’s rich, and healthy,” he thought.
“I never had anyone’s support, except my best friend Sam’s, who now lives in France,” he mumbled.
That was the moment when I heard my name. “Jeremy,” said the voice, and it was rather familiar. “Look at me, Jeremy. Look right.”
The blurry reflection of my body was calling my name. I must be dying.
“Jeremy, look at us. I, Jeremy, have failed you. I have failed to let you be whoever you wanted to be.”
I must be dying. Yet, I was puzzled. Was I apologizing to myself?
“Look, Jeremy. This is not a life, I know. We didn’t have that many friends. We only had Sam. We didn’t get married. We didn’t make anyone proud. Our hair is gone, our eyes are red, our skin is pale, our soul is exhausted, our body is weary. This is good bye, Jeremy. For you and for me. But, to keep a positive mind, I say that when it’s time for others, if any, to say good bye to us, they will be many.”
January 16th, 2012.
Mother was in a black dress with a handkerchief in hand, Father and Sam were in black suits and black ties.
Sam looked around, and asked, “Mr. Parks? Who are these people?”
Father had no idea, nor did Mother.
“We are gathered here today, to pay our respects to Jeremy Parks who…”
A man came up to Father and said that he was the head of an organization that helps children in need. This man had explained that Jeremy helped with the kids every Saturday during his free time, and the kids loved him. These children had cancer, just like Jeremy. He connected with them, and they always sang and played together.
“Mr. Parks, the kids and I are all here today to pay our respects to our beloved Jeremy, who warmed everyone’s heart”, said the man.
Jeremy was someone important. Jeremy was the idol of 20 kids who had no one to love, no families to take them back.
Jeremy may be physically gone, but in the hearts of kids he will always remain.