What would you do if the person you hold dearest to you slowly faded away right in your arms? Would you panic... scream... beg God? What part of you does Fear drag out to the surface and interrogate so ruthlessly? I think fear is a good thing... it keeps a man honest. It teaches one more about themselves than the sugar coated love ever could. Its very coarse and rough, this fear... stripped of all pseudo promises... no false alarms... no second opinions. That feeling of numbness... the shaking of the legs... the sweat on your skin... the racing heartbeat... the flashing of thoughts in your head... that's fear...Unadulterated Fear.
I have had my encounters with fear... most of which i have forgotten. I think its the brains way of keeping itself happy... but i remember one night. It seemed to be a simple... quiet night... until my mum screamed my name out at 1 in the morning. I ran from my room to my parents... and on the floor... lay my dad... unconscious. I picked him up and carried him to the bed... my mind searching for answers. The next thing i remember...i was running around on the street at 1 in the morning looking for an auto... and i found one...somehow. We put dad inside and told the auto to take us to the hospital as fast as possible. Now that i look back, i realize that we did not go to the hospital near by... but one that was quite far. Fear can stop you from thinking sometimes.
I held my dads' hand in my own...constantly rubbing it to keep it warm... get the blood flowing. I realized that he has high blood pressure... and maybe he missed his medicine... maybe that was it. As we neared the hospital i felt that everything would be alright in a few moments...and then it happened. His hands went cold. His heart beat slowed down. His breaths became long gasps as he seemed to struggle to breathe. And then his head fell limp. I remember that feeling... when his hand went cold...I was holding it. Its unlike any other feeling... not like touching ice. Feeling the heat drain away from a human hand is terrifying... its eerie.
I had never witnessed death before... and I feared that i was about to. My hands went weak as a chill engulfed my whole body. I panicked! I started yelling at the auto to hurry up... just get us to the hospital no matter how. I DIDN'T CARE! I just wanted my dad. Frantically rubbing his hand...i tried rubbing his chest... aiming for his heart. That damn heart... it better not stop. In my moment of fear... i closed my eyes and begged God to let him live. I have never wanted anything so much as i wanted him that night. I couldn't imagine a future without him... not now... not yet. But i did one more thing which i never understood. I threw away the chain of beads around my neck in that moving auto... and i remember telling myself... "they are only beads! Just beads...and nothing more!"
Not even until this day have i ever felt so weak as i did in that moment. I don't know how long that moment was but it felt like an eternity... before we finally pulled into the hospital. I screamed for help as soon as the auto stopped... and stood back and watched as the staff came out and carried my dad on a stretcher. Within moments, the doctors had surrounded him... asking me questions about his health and his habits. And then I remember him opening his eyes while being rolled away on the stretcher... he seemed alive. He smiled at me and said "its ok...im ok now...."...and that was it. With those words blood seemed to have rushed into my arms again.
I don't know which is greater... loss... or the fear of it. When you lose something, its gone. Sometimes so fast that you don't realize it... sometimes so slow that you don't even notice it disappearing. But fear is something different. Its an emotion. Sometimes it comes and goes... sometimes it lingers in the air... like a fragrance... like a noose. Sometimes it surrounds your very body... chilling it to the bone. Sometimes it just strikes straight at the heart. But that's the thing about fear... when it dissipates... it takes away all traces of its existence.
I stepped outside to breathe... felt the cold breeze on my head... i didn't realize i had sweat so much. On that summer night... while standing beneath the stars... I closed my eyes and whispered the quietest 'Thank you'.