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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.
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.
However, I was focused not with learning itself, but with good grades and high test scores.
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.
For example, I have a specific pair of underwear that is holey, worn out but surprisingly comfortable.
And despite how trivial underwear might be, when I am wearing my favorite pair, I feel as if I am on top of the world.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.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.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.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.