My Fear

Again – Chapter 15 – JohnA Passaro


Fear does not work as long as there is hope.

Catching Fire


December 9th, 2013

For eight days now Jess has received a very high dosage of the antibiotic Vancomycin.

Better known as the antibiotic of last resort.

She has not responded.

She is at the worst point she has ever been throughout this 4+ year crisis.

The stark possibility of losing her has started to seep into my thoughts.

I have never allowed it to enter before; I have always stood guard over what I allowed to enter my mind.

The thought of losing Jess has sneakily entered through a back door and has silently crept into the forefront of my mind.

That is what happens when you have too many fights happening at the same time.

The fever, the cold sweats, the circular contraction of Jess’s arms are all reminders that we are in the ICU.

Jess’s severe shallow breathing and her 170 bpm heart rate increase my fear that we may not be here for long.

That the fight may be nearing an end.

I sit here day after day waiting for a positive response from Jess’s body, but as each day passes, the opposite signs are all too glaring not to notice.

I am so desperately trying to stay strong.

So desperately trying to keep fighting.

I feel like I am fighting an impossible fight, chasing an impossible dream.

The Impossible Dream…

The song starts playing in my head…

To dream … the impossible dream …

To fight … the unbeatable foe …

To bear … with unbearable sorrow …

To run … where the brave dare not go …

To right … the un-rightable wrong …

To love … pure and chaste from afar …

To try … when your arms are too weary …

To reach … the unreachable star …

This is my quest, to follow that star …

No matter how hopeless, no matter how far …

To fight for the right, without question or pause …

To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause …

And I know if I’ll only be true, to this glorious quest,

That my heart will lie peaceful and calm,

when I’m laid to my rest …

And the world will be better for this:

That one man, scorned and covered with scars,

Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,

To reach … the unreachable star …

I remember playing this record over and over as a young wrestler.

A young wrestler who so badly wanted to win a State Championship, but didn’t.

A young wrestler who came up significantly short of his goal.

A young wrestler who was so bitter because of it.

A young wrestler who felt that he got zero out of the sport.

As I am sitting here, so near my breaking point, it dawns on me that the sport of wrestling has rewarded me with a bigger prize than standing on the podium for a few seconds.

That the reward I sought, a State Championship, was not the reward I received.

I received something much greater.

Wrestling rewarded me with a way to live life.

A belief system.

To always believe.

To never give up.

That hard work wins.

It has taught me that the definition of never is “not ever, under any circumstances”.

Wrestling has instilled in me an inner belief that there is something inside of me that is greater than any obstacle.

It has taught me how to be able to keep fighting when I am physically and mentally exhausted.

And I am.

It has taught me to keep fighting, no matter what the score, or how much time is left on the clock.

To always have hope.

So I do.

I reach down and I fight some more.

That one man, scorned and covered with scars, Still strove, with his last ounce of courage…

That’s a wrestler.


Read the next chapter – The Greatest Asset In My Life


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