WARNING: Possible spoilers if you haven’t read or watched The Fault in Our Stars
P.S. Shame on you if you haven’t read it….You should go to Barnes and Nobles’ website right now and purchase it.
After my first year of college, I decided that I was going to get my first tattoo. Now, as you can imagine, trying to come up with something that I’ll love having on my body for the rest of my life was really, really, REALLY nerve-wracking. After having constant battles with my thoughts for a few weeks, I finally came up with an idea; I was going to get my favorite line from my favorite book of all time.
And what was that line, you may ask? Well, it was a quote by Augustus Waters in John Green’s novel, The Fault in Our Stars. It was what he told Hazel to describe that his osteosarcoma was back when they were sitting on a bench in Amsterdam. He said, “I lit up like a Christmas tree, Hazel Grace.”
So, I have had many people over the past couple of years ask me why I chose that particular line because, in all honesty, it’s a really sad quote. I usually just tell them that it’s my favorite quote out of the book (which is true as you already know), but there is definitely a deeper meaning to it. And I’m going to explain it to you in this post…starting from the moment The Fault in Our Stars changed my life.
It was Christmas 2013 when I received my now beloved and cherished copy of The Fault in Our Stars. At first, I only wanted the book because I knew it was a love story about kids with cancer and those are two things I like reading about. However, as soon as I dived into the book, I was mesmerized and captivated; I fell in love. I cannot tell you how many times I have cried reading it. I cry in the exact same places every. single. time. It’s just a beautiful story that can touch every person in different ways.
Not only did I fall in love with the story, but I fell in love with Augustus Waters (I know, many girls do when they read the book). However, what I loved about Augustus the most was what he did for Hazel and how he looked at life.
While Augustus was alive, he was able to make Hazel live again and value life, no matter how crappy it was for her. And once he had been diagnosed with cancer again, Augustus still remained his life-loving self until he couldn’t anymore. No, Augustus wasn’t that person who tried to stay strong until the very end because that would’ve been impossible; he was accepting of his reality (for the most part) and I admired that.
And Augustus made me realize that that’s how I have to act if I ever get diagnosed with any kind of illness and, most especially, how I should act if I found out I had the BRCA2 mutation. He was one of my inspirations to be strong and to maintain the mind set that he has (pre-and post- diagnosis because both are commendable).
So “I lit up like a Christmas tree, Hazel Grace,” means so much more than being my favorite quote from my favorite book. It’s the turning point of the book. It’s the best way to break bad news. And, it’s the line the brings the whole essence of Augustus together.
Augustus was (and still is) an inspiration of mine (even if he’s fictional). And even though my Christmas tree hasn’t lit up all the way, one light is now on and it’s just a matter of time until the rest follows. By having this tattoo, it’s is a constant reminder to stay strong and love life. If Augustus could do it, so can I.