Something to Remember You By

For anyone who has not read The Fault in Our Stars yet: do not read this if you don’t like spoilers.

There. Now I can’t be blamed if someone finds out something they didn’t want to find out.

Beginning rant . . .


Over the weekend, I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Now, I know, I’m months behind everyone else, but I, for whatever reason, never had the willpower to pick up a book all of my friends said made them cry. Last week, though, a friend finally convinced me to read the book.

And just like everyone else, I cried. I cried. I sobbed. I bawled. I stormed around the house in anger and I laid down on my bed in the fetal position questioning the meaning of life.

When Augustus had the pain when he was opening the elevator door and he said he was just out of shape, I texted my friend and asked if his cancer was going to come back because I didn’t see how Augustus Waters of all people could let himself to get out of shape enough to not be able to open an elevator door, even a heavy one.

When the friend texted me back, she said Augustus’ cancer did not come back.

Less than 30 minutes later, I called her, crying, and yelled at her for lying to me.

I think the hardest chapter to get through, though was the second to last chapter, Chapter 24. It wasn’t because anyone else died or Hazel’s cancer got worse. It was because she kept reflecting on Augustus’ death and that reminded me of someone I lost to cancer.

My great-uncle died a couple winters ago to lung cancer. I was always close to him and spent as much time with him as either of my grandfathers (which is a lot of time).

It was hard to loose him, but I never cried. Actually, I’m pretty sure that the first time I ever cried about it was while reading Chapter 24 of The Fault in Our Stars.

I kept thinking about how much I don’t know about him: what his favorite color was, what his favorite book was, what his favorite subject in school was. And while they are little things, they are still things. Things that make up our memory of someone. Things that make up who he was as a person.

But my great-uncle was more than just a great-uncle. He was a son, a brother, a father, and grandfather, an uncle, a cousin, a husband, and a friend. There was so much to him, but I wonder if anyone knew it all.

And I think Hazel said it best when she explained that no, nobody will live in your heart forever because you won’t live forever and saying things like that seems a little bit like you are bragging. So, no, my great-uncle will not live in my heart forever because I will not live forever. But I will try to remember him for as long as I can. After all, sometimes that’s the only promise you can make.

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