I’ve been a Nerdfighter since the moment I picked up a Maureen Johnson novel in fifth grade. To me, John and Hank didn’t open the portal to a lovely community called Nerdfighteria; it was Maureen—one of their close friends. But my participation of the community began two years later; as Maureen’s novel was beginning to be warn out by love, when I began watching John and Hank’s weekly videos.
Like any Nerdfighter, I could go on for days describing the community/what it means to be a Nerdfigther using not only John’s witty novel quotes, Hank’s silly lyrics, and Maureen’s sarcastic remarks; but today, August 3rd is a special holiday in the community—it’s Esther Day.
A few years ago, there was a girl who took our community by storm named Esther Earl. She had a very special place in the Greens/Nerdfighteria’s heart not because she was fighting cancer, but because she was the sort of spunky, intellegent teenager that inspired multiple decreasing world suck projects(one of the main mission statements of the community). John describes the history behind the holiday on the first Esther Day here.
The day she died, I was too absorbed in my own world; stressed by the start of high school and marching band, to really pay attention to the community but her cancerous passing still hit my life. The day she passed away was the day someone in my band the same age as her was diagnosed with Leukemia; bringing the loop of cancer to a full circle—the realization of the importance of survival and death…something that seems like the finite solution to everything. Death isn’t finite though, the dead will continue to live on as long as the living because when someone makes such an impact with their strength, it touches people—it teaches them the power of community, strength, family,friends, love, and life. Esther not only inspired a community to be better people, she also helped inspire one of my favorite books—The Fault In Our Stars which also happens to not only be a NY Times Best Selling YA Novel, but also dedicated to Esther.
If you still haven’t read TFIOS, I highly recommend you to do so as you’ll be overwhelmed with the brilliance of life captured in John’s humorously beautiful diction.
The eight months the guy in band battled his own cancer, a lot in my life had changed, including my perspective. When Nathan passed away on April 4th, 2011, two things instantly rushed through my mind:
- I need to be there for Nathan and I’s mutual friends…I didn’t know him that well so I need to be the shouldar others can cry on and help them through his passing.
- Which barely-sixteen year old was diagnosed with cancer today to complete this horrendous loop?
And you know what?
It sucks to know that it took the death of two of my peers to realize the importance/value of friends and family. Both their diagnosis’ and deaths struck their community in such a way that it changed them for the better—it brought them closer together with a deeper understanding of life and infinities they didn’t chose to be a part of, they felt obligated to do so.
August 3rd is celebrated in Esther Earl to do what she would’ve continued to do if she didn’t die an early death; decrease world suck by reminding our loved ones how much they mean to use/how thankful we are.
So do the world a favor today in honor of all teens who lost their battles to cancer and spread your appreciation to your loved ones.
And don’t forget to be awesome 🙂