Thursday, November 13, 2008

There Might Not Be Any Tall Building Leaping, But There's A Hero Around Here Somewhere

Have you ever really thought about who your hero is? I mean, REALLY thought about it?

I'm not talking about heroes you've never met. I'm sure we all have those. Heck, I've got a couple of them maybe reading this now. No, I'm talking about the heroes who really, truly matter in your life.

These heroes have probably never done anything to warrant a write up in the local paper, or a special awards ceremony at the town hall. The heroic things they've done will probably never be known by anyone. Probably not even known to themselves, if truth be told.

My hero has been my hero for so long, it truly feels like forever. I can't think of a single person I admire or want to emulate more. My hero is the most amazing person I know.

She's determined. Some would maybe say stubborn, but we'll go with determined. It sounds nicer. (Although stubborn fits sometimes, too!) Her determination has kept her walking for a couple of decades past when her doctors said she wouldn't. Her determination got her through a disastrous first marriage, and has kept her from throwing in the towel for the last 26 years in her current marriage. Her determination pushes her to constantly redefine her physical boundaries, and then shift them again.

She's bossy and nosy and completely devoted. Those qualities aided her in keeping her kids out of too much trouble while they were growing up, and helped her push her kids to set goals for themselves, and to push them to reach them. That nosiness allowed her to intervene when needed with those kids, when it wouldn't have been the best decision to let them make certain mistakes. That bossiness taught her kids how to take care of themselves, so that when they did finally go out into the world they would know how to cook at least three different meals, wash and dry a load of laundry, and never leave home without a couple different ways to reach help (always carry enough change for the payphone, and know at least three different people you can call to come get you); it also made sure those kids knew how to take responsibility for their own actions. Or lack of. And the devotion? Was never in question.

She's strong, she's smart, and she just never gives up. She taught me how to give everything that I am to my children, and yet still retain the most important part of me. She has taught me how to find humor in the everyday, and beauty in the everyday as well.

It's not what you look at, but how you see it that matters.

Today, my hero is having surgery on her eyes. When she wakes up, she'll be able to take a look around and finally SEE her world again. She says that's the best birthday present she could get.

Didn't I tell you? Today is her birthday. I wish I could be there, so she could look at my face when she wakes up. But it's ok. She might not be able to look at me, but I know she sees me. She always has. And that's why she's my hero.

Happy birthday, Mama. I love you!


Carol said...

Mine is my great-grandmother. She's no longer with us, but she was a strong woman while she lived. She grew up in Austria until she was 17, then came over on a boat carting a couple young siblings with her.

She married and had one child with someone she found out later on was a pretty vicious bastard. After several years of abuse, she walked out on him, moved a thousand miles away and began her life over. A single mom in the 1930's.

She never remarried, never even divorced, but never went back to him. She raised her child and took care of her children's children and her children's children's children. She left us at the ripe old age of 100 and I often miss her.

Karen said...

What an awesome tribute to a hero. I hope that surgery goes well and is successful.

Kidzmama said...

You have learned so much from her. It shows. She sounds like a true hero.

I'd have to think long and hard about who is my hero these days. The only person that may come close is my grandfather. He died when I was ten. But what I saw in the short time I was with him and the stories I heard about him later in life may qualify him as a hero.

Shellie said...

Oh, happy birthday sports mamma's mamma! We're so glad she raised you well. She sounds amazing!

Amy said...

Yay for eye surgery. What a wonderful blessing. I hope you get to be face to face with her soon.