Friday, November 9, 2007

The Jump

November 8, 2007

I stood at the edge of the cliff. Looking down I could see nothing by the mist far below.

“He will be back soon” I thought to myself.

“I have no other choice but to jump.”

So I did.

I fell for what felt like an eternity. Anyone who has fallen before knows that there is no real sense of time on the way down. I had a lot of time to think while my weightless body drifted down towards the abyss. It had been months since I first met Fear. He came disguised as a doctor I had met in Jerusalem. Nice old fellow with a gray beard, told me I was special, told me I was different. Fear has many disguises.

As I flew upside-down towards the bottom I remembered the next time I met Fear. This time I did not see him, but I could feel his presence. He sent shivers down spine, and I could feel his electrifying touch on my left arm. A feeling that stayed with me forever. But Fear, he went away.

I sent him away; I banished him and exiled him into darkness. “Leave now and never come back” I shouted as he glided down the dark hall. “Leave NOW and NEVER come back” I commanded him. And he left. But then he came back.

Before I jumped I felt his presence one last time. I stood with my back to the cliff, staring at my parents and siblings as they glared back at me from the distance. He was among them. I could see it in their eyes. I said nothing. Fear had no power over me, and after I jump, he will leave them alone. Or so I thought. As I looked at my family and Fear one last time, I smiled my last full smile at him, a sign of victory. But before I could turn around to jump, he looked straight at me with half a grin on his face, and that glance stayed with me forever. I jumped, and I knew he jumped after me.

I hit the ground quite hard, much harder than I expected. They never really tell you how the ground feels beyond the mist. They do not know, they have never been here. For a while I was disoriented. But then I felt the straps lay upon me and tighten as they fastened me to the ground. I was now alone, Fear was beside me, and I was too weak to resist him. He tortured me for days, maybe weeks; he sent agents and visions that are too bloodcurdling to talk about yet. But he had no power over me; I had already banished him before. As I got stronger, I felt him get weaker, as I broke away from my restraints he started to flee, and as I started to walk, he started to run. That is last I saw of him.

Two years have passed, and there has been no sign of him. From time to time he sends his minions at me, but I send them back with a shrug. They cannot hurt me now; now that I’ve discovered my ability. Lately I’ve met others like me who were told they were special. Individuals who jumped off the cliff when they were only kids. Heroes who had to expel Fear at a much younger age then I did. Heroes stronger then I can ever imagine, each with their own unique ability. We form an alliance, a team of champions, dedicated to keep Fear away from others who are special like us. Together we stand at the bottom of the abyss and put out our hand to those who arrive. We smile at them as they get to their feet, and ask:

“What’s your ability?”

I will face Fear again in the end. We will all face him in the end. We will meet at the cliff as old advisories, old friends. He will approach me silently, and I will stare him right in the eye. I will not flinch when he faces me with his half a grin. I will return his glance with a big full smile and turn around for the last time and jump into the abyss.


Anonymous said...

Hi There -
My friend's 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

We continue to search high and low for something that will help her. The average life expectancy is 1 year from diagnosis and that is unexceptable. I found your site while searching.

Her scans were sent to Spetzler -- and he said he could probably get 50% of the tumor -- but not the center of the tumor -- which means more than likely it will grow back. It is all or nothing.

I congrate you on the journey you have taken. It has made you the inspirational person you are today. You have fallen but you continue to get up, you continue to go on, and continue to climb mountains.

May God Bless You and your continued GOOD health.

Morgan S said...

It's always good to know that you aren't alone.
I'm very glad that I know you, and all the new friends I have made recently.
Talk to you soon.


Peter said...

Very inspiring. My neuro-oncologist told me that attempting to remove the JPA in my pons would be "incompatible with life". (My neuro-surgeon subsequently said he'd be willing to attempt to debulk it!) A complete resection sounds like a dream. I'm in the process of getting second opinions; I'm thankful to have found your blog and will contact Dr Spetzler.

Thank you for this gift of hope.

Peter (age: 25)

iPatchMan said...

Peter, we should talk. can you email me

all the best

Steffen said...

"The Jump" post is really cool. It makes sense to the way my brain seems to work.

Your fellow B-School CRM class-er

Yael said...

Hi AKiva,

Dear, I met you before you jumped and I think you are even more beautiful today and so courageous to be able to spread what you have learned to others so they can get stronger with your help. Lots of love even though we do not meet anymore. I get posted through YZ

The one you shared appartments with Summer 2004