Knowing someone who has a serious medical illness makes others think of their own mortality. We all, especially when we are young, to not think of tomorrow’s demise. We gallantly stride through today with the plans and worries of tomorrow. We worry about exams, papers, what our peers think of us and if the guy of our dreams even knows if we are alive. However, some of the people who walk among us are living in a different world. They may sit next to us in class, walk among us on campus and even be the person whose jokes we laugh at in class. Some people are dealing with a completely different reality.
We think our friends and the people we meet along the way are genuine in their words, but it’s not until they so subtly ignore us that we realize we are in this alone. Knowing someone who is seriously ill can be a dual dichotomy for one’s moral values. While most people honestly mean what they say, they do not say what they mean. They tell you they are there to help, that your bad days are something they can handle, but all of a sudden, as quick as they made those statements, poof…..they are gone! You make plans with them; they never get back to you. They try to reaffirm you that they are not bothered by what you are going through…and poof…they are nowhere to be found.
It’s extremely hard for the sick person to admit they need help, especially if that person has been forging through life all on their own and has been able to be self-sufficient since an early age. I, we, can’t manifest the words to you, because not only are we weak in immunity at this juncture, we are afraid of being turned down, we can not exhaust our perceived alliances, fore if we do, then we know we are truly alone, and that is worse then being ignored.
You may not know me by name. I may be in your classes. I may even be your student. I may have a pale complexion, hair that is shorter on one side due to the uneven loss the meds may cause. I may come across as sleepy, lethargic and sometimes grumpy. But just know, if your time should come, you can approach me; I will not turn a blind shoulder to your plight, as I have walked the corridor of uncertain, lonely fear!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Although it is normally not the policy of The New Paltz Oracle to print anonymous pieces, this person came to us and gave us permission to print their feelings only under the promise of confidentiality. We felt it was important that these words be shared.
Columns, op-eds and letters, excluding editorials, are solely the views of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus and university or the Town or Village of New Paltz.