Who’s Your Hero?

When I was a kid, one of my favorite songs was “I Need a Hero”. Likely because I grew up believing I needed a man for my life to be complete. The last six months have taught me…well, maybe not. My life still feels incomplete. I’m working around that, though.

People talk about heroes. I write about them every chance I get. 🙂 We all need our heroes. Someone to look up to and aspire to be. And anyone can be a hero. Firefighters and police officers and soldiers are often called heroes, and I think that’s right. In my mind, anyone who can override the “fight or flight” instinct to save or preserve the life of a total stranger deserves to be called a hero.

I’ve heard people ask, “If you could have a super power, what would it be?” I used to laugh it off as baloney. After all, no one can have a super power; we can only be the best people we can be. We all have talents at one thing or another, but fly? Put out fires with a single breath? Stop bullets with your bracelets? Let’s be realistic.

But this morning I decided, there really is one super power I’d like to have: I’d like to see the future. I mean, there *are* the expressions, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” and “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior,” but sometimes we can’t see that. Some of us (coughcough) make the same mistakes over and over again.

Also, patience is not a virtue I happen to possess. I can spend weeks, even months on a knitting project, but I know the outcome there. At least, I usually do. (So sue me. My Central Park Hoodie is three sizes too big. Anyone need a shed cozy?) But lately I get tired of the uncertainty. It wears me down.

For my super power, I want to be able to see into the future. I want to know that things are eventually going to be resolved. I want to know that I’m going to be happy. I want to know that my kids will be secure and productive and will experience every joy the world has to offer. I’m not even saying I want to know how my story ends. That, I can live without, but will the problems I’m facing on a daily basis ever go away? Tell me, please.

I’m told I must be a tough person to get through this. Some might even call me a hero for raising a son with autism. I don’t feel like a hero; I’m just doing what I need to do in order to get through the day, and to make sure the boys have what they need. After Ryan was treated for hip dysplasia back when he was 4, my mom told me that she and my dad were amazed that I held up in spite of everything. My immediate answer was, “I didn’t know there was a choice.” Maybe that’s the definition of a hero: doing what needs to be done without giving consideration to any other options.

Tell me: what makes YOU a hero? Don’t be modest; you know you are. Talk about it.


4 thoughts on “Who’s Your Hero?

  1. I love that song! I keep looking for it when I sing karaoke and no place ever has it. 😦

    And honestly, I don’t think I’ve done anything heroic. However, when I was dealing with breast cancer, a lot of folks told me how much my attitude and openness inspired them. Some of them even got the mammograms that they were putting off. Just recently (I’m a six year survivor now) a co-worker, one that I don’t often see, told me she does a breast cancer walk and my name is on her list of those she walks for. That floored me.

    But I’m with you – I didn’t know I had a choice. So it’s a little embarrassing when I get heaps of praise for just doing what needed to be done.

    1. You ARE a hero, Abigail! The one thing I remind myself, when things look like cr*p, is that I haven’t really had my life tested. I’ve had my lifestyle thrown in a blender a few times, but other than the time I stepped in front of a speeding taxi on a rainy night outside Lincoln Center, I’ve never said, “Wow, I could die from this.” I’ve been made uncomfortable but that’s about it. To have been challenged that way and walked away–YAY on 6 clean years!!–you deserve to be proud of yourself.

      And yeah, I think I need to download that song for my iPod. It’d kick me into another gear when I’m on the treadmill. Though the weather’s supposed to be so good this weekend, I might go run at a park by the Delaware. 🙂 Just ‘cuz, this is life. Let’s make the best of it and have a damn good time!


      1. Excellent! Video, please? 🙂 I still have to download it, but I will. I think it’s just the encouragement I need to get through that last mile.

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