And as I began to consider my future, I realized that what I learned in school would allow me to silence that which had silenced my grandmother.
Upon our first meeting, she opened up about her two sons, her hometown, and her knitting group--no mention of her disease.
Without even standing up, the three of us—Ivana, me, and my grandmother--had taken a walk together.
Her face is pale and tired, yet kind--not unlike my grandmother’s.
I need only to smile and say hello to see her brighten up as life returns to her face.
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.I have been evaluated by the College Board and have placed within the top percentile. I am not a test score, nor a debater, nor a writer. And I became so when I realized three things:1) That the world is ruled by underwear.There is a variety of underwear for a variety of people.When I see patients trapped in not only the hospital but also a moment in time by their diseases, I talk to them.For six hours a day, three times a week, Ivana is surrounded by IV stands, empty walls, and busy nurses that quietly yet constantly remind her of her breast cancer.I write screenplays, short stories, and opinionated blogs and am a regular contributor to my school literary magazine, The Gluestick.I have accumulated over 300 community service hours that includes work at homeless shelters, libraries, and special education youth camps.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.I started to believe that academic perfection would be the only way to redeem myself in her eyes--to make up for what I had not done as a granddaughter.However, a simple walk on a hiking trail behind my house made me open my own eyes to the truth.