Later on I began to think of a hero as someone who put his or her life at risk for a living and for the sake of making the world a safer place. A hero was the fireman rescuing a complete stranger from a burning building, the police officer fighting to keep crime off the streets, the soldier serving his/her country and the surgeon saving a life with highly skilled and capable hands.
And while yes, I still agree (and who doesn't?) that all those people are heroes, I also know now that heroes come in many forms and I have been blessed with many in my life...
A Hero Is...
The mother who sacrifices her own needs over and over again so that her children will have a better, easier life than she had.
The father who vows to always tell his children he loves them and to never forget to call and send cards every single year on their birthdays.
The woman who welcomes her new husband's young daughter into her heart, home and arms and loves her as her own.
The woman who has to bury her youngest son, as no mother should ever have to do, yet still manages to get out of bed every day, put one foot in front of the other just as she always has and to make helping her son's widow and young children her number one priority.
The man who starts over in life not only by marrying a widow with two young sons but by also forming strong bonds with the parents and extended family members of her late husband.
The small town man who has to bury his youngest son, as no father should ever have to do, yet goes on to open his mind and his home to the stranger his daughter-in-law eventually meets and grows so fond of.
The divorced man with no children of his own who steps in and becomes like a favorite uncle to the young sons of the best friend he just lost.
A hero is the person who, no matter what harsh realities life has dealt him/her continues to press on...to carry out each day in an ever-changing world that is so full of unpredictable, terrifying possibilities...
A hero is the friend who is always there just when you need her most, the father who tries his best to never miss a game or awards ceremony, the single mother raising her kids on her own, the man who works his hardest every single day at a job he doesn't even like in order to support his family, the teacher who truly cares and is passionate about teaching and making a difference in the life of each and every child in her classroom, the woman living with a chronic illness/disability who still manages to smile and spread optimism and encouragement everywhere she goes, the man who volunteers his time at the soup kitchen, the woman who rescues dogs...
Unsung heroes are everywhere and I'm guessing chances are pretty good that you are most likely somebody's hero yourself. So thank you.
Thank you for being you.