Grams had once told Gera that one of her biggest liabilities—which, in an odd twist of nature that only God above could understand, also turned out to be her greatest asset—was the fact that she was fearless. She faced her problems head on, never shirking from the possibility of a fight.
It was that head-on approach that landed Gera in the principal’s office, the second day of third grade. A boy tried to bully her, having had limited success with the same technique the year before. However, Gera would have none of it. She marched up to him on the playground on that second day of school, popped him in the nose, and watched the blood trickle out in a slow, red pool. The boy didn’t flinch when she hit him. But at the first sight of blood, he dropped to the ground in a dead faint.
She had no more problems from that boy, ever again. In fact, they became good friends, partially because Gera brought him brownies the next day, with enough extra for the whole class to enjoy.
That same fearless nature was the reason Gera adored roller coasters and scary movies. She wasn’t sure why the notion of driving down the winding mountain had frightened her, but now that she had managed it half-drugged, she knew she had conquered her fear. Head on, minus one or two sideswipes to her bumper.
And it was that fearlessness that kept her going when her mother died at an early age, and when Grams got the dreaded diagnosis of cancer. Gera fought the doctors, argued with the technicians, yelled at the nurses who poked her grandmother with needles and tubes and that horrible stuff they called chemo. What the disease didn’t kill, the medicine did. Grams succumbed to both, but Gera was a fearless warrior, coming to see her every day, right up until the end. She was a cheerleader when Grams got discouraged, a nursemaid when Grams got sick, a rock when Gram grew weak.
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