I think the word hero is often times misinterpreted as something or someone who moves the earth, stops criminals with telepathy and webs and can be easily depicted in comic book form. Heroes, to me, are people who put others above themselves for the greater good and do not seek to be rewarded.
Our youth understand that firemen/women are heroes. They are directly taught this in school and hopefully by their parents as well. They understand that military personnel are heroes because they protect our country. Hopefully, as they get older, they understand that the men and women who serve our country, regardless of political beliefs also protect their personal freedoms.
There are many “known” heroes that we learn about as we grow up. Sometimes, though, we miss out on the best ones. Sometimes we don’t know we are living, breathing and eating in the same space as one of the greatest heroes of all.
My mom was an amazing, unstoppable, (hard-headed) hero. She was not just a hero to me. She was a hero to more people than even I knew. She was a home to high risk, medically fragile foster children and babies (at least 56.) She was the mother of 9 children, 6 of which she adopted (out of that outstanding number previously stated.) She was a mother to my friends, she was a wealth of knowledge, she was the kind of friend that cannot be replaced, she was the motherly advice you didn’t ask for but got anyway, she was a kind and honest heart , and she was, most importantly, our mother.
My mother’s legacy continues on because not only was she an amazing woman throughout her life, she gave life through death. She was an organ donor. My mom saved people’s lives the night she died. She spent her life saving children.
When she died, she brought peace to other families and fixed other broken hearts in ways only she could by giving the gift of sight, by alleviating the pain of ten years of dialysis, and by helping burn patients, cancer patients …. and the list goes on. There are some days I am certain I see her. I get real close… sometimes I want to reach out and touch the person, or just talk to them to make sure.. but I catch myself and remember~ she is gone. She is a hero. My personal hero who has left me with the gift of strength to deal with adversity and the ability to sing when I want to cry. That is my mom, today is her birthday… a true hero lives on.