Reflective Essay Model #1

                             Fear by Any Other Name…


In the dreariness of winter and without warning, my father’s heart decided to fail.  He was immediately rushed to an ICU at the hospital in Lodi.   I arrived on the scene breathless, more from fear then from running from my car to his hospital room.  There, I found the ghostly complexion of the man I so lovingly called dad.  A web of tubes enclosed his fragile body.  My own was absolutely overtaken by fear.  It ran through me, carving my father’s pain into my own chest.

  My father had been battling cancer at the time.  He had been winning.  But, on that fateful evening, he almost lost it all.    I remember my annoyance with the phone that night. It rang far too late for my liking.  I was not about to get it.  No one called this late at night that had any tact.  But, my husband could never stand to leave a phone ringing.   When he came to get me, I could not read the expression on his face.  It looked odd as though he had eaten something too bitter to swallow.    He told me it was my step mother, and she sounded strange.  All at once I felt a dagger sharp pain in my chest.  I knew it had to be my dad.  But, was it the cancer?  Had it spread?    Dear God, I prayed let him be okay.

  I answered the phone, afraid to listen.  In only a few words my mother weaped volumes to me.  Could I come right away?   I drove frantically, fear’s blade pushing against my chest the entire way. When I entered his room, my heart nearly stopped.  There in a hellish nightmare lay my dad.   Just looking at his pallid face made me believe that I was about to lose the biggest hero in my life.  I tried to be strong, while the blade whittled away at my heart.   I could not stop the tears from sliding down my face.  As I glanced around the room, I noticed that every single monitor was lit, like some evil Christmas display.  I wanted to run.  I wanted to hide.  I did not want my daddy to die.    My father was so weak it was difficult for him to speak.  My family soon left the room together to barrage the attending physicians.  A thousand questions loomed in my mind.  The only one I wanted answered was, will my father be okay. 

Six years have passed since that day.  I am happy to say my father is well now. His cancer is in remission, his heart is back to normal and he is still absolutely the biggest hero of my life. Yet fear has left its scar.   When I feel its cold touch, it reminds me of that day.  It tells me it must be acknowledged.  I realized it was fear’s deep wound that enabled me to understand just how profoundly I love my father.  Without its painful prick, I would never be able to comprehend the depth of my feelings for those I love.  Yes, fear does cut deep, and it certainly leaves its mark, but it does not have to destroy us. For when you acknowledge your fear, you acknowledge a much deeper feeling…love.