I believe there are everyday heroes. Those people who go about their lives as though no one else is paying attention. The ones who get up when they’d rather sleep in late, gather their energy and head out into their day because that’s all part of the plan. When that day is over, they come back to their homes and prepare to do it all again the next day. Of course, that is what you see but it’s what you do not see that makes them heroic.
There’s the woman who is in so much pain from having to do the yard work on top of the housework and her take care of her partially incapacitated family member, yet you’d never know. She makes her way to a job where she makes far less than she is worth and runs circles around coworkers, many of whom are more than half her age. She is 8 years away from retirement and she’ll have a small pension in addition to her social security. So, she keeps up the façade, smiling through the pain, because she knows that one day, she’ll be able to rest.
How about the man who has beaten all odds, and given up alcohol and drugs after 40 years of addiction? Each day, he makes a conscious choice to stay clean and sober while working at a job he has held on to for 3 years now. He isn’t allowed to drive, so he checks the tires on his bike before heading out, regardless of the weather, and rides 3 miles to stand on aching legs to wait on customers at the meat counter. His eldest son is mentally ill. The boy committed several serious crimes while off his medications and is now in prison for life. He needs money from his father, who only has so much to share. But the market job allows him to help his son as best he can, albeit not as often as either would like.
There are so many others out there that we can classify as heroes. They might not be saving people from burning buildings or funding college educations for entire classrooms of children but the very fact that they keep going even when they want to give up, makes them worthy of admiration. Even when the emotional and physical pain takes their toll, they find a way to get through the moments, the minutes, the days. As they drop into bed each night, they are grateful for the energy that got them through the day, and they pray for the strength to do it all again in the morning. They don’t drive fancy vehicles, wear the latest fashion or eat haute cuisine.
What they DO have, is the courage to make their lives work for them. They have dreams that they hope will come true and other dreams they work damn hard to make come true. They are kind to animals, make time to hear a friend’s sob story and would give up half their meal to a drop-in dinner guest. They fears they fight, angers they control and sometimes it doesn’t always work out but they have the tenacity to try again tomorrow. They know the value of a dollar and they appreciate any kindness, no matter how small because someone cared enough to be kind.
People such as this, inspire me to be more than I think I can be. Their examples of quiet grace shows me that it’s okay to cry when I feel the need. They prove to me that there is always a reason to give up and sometimes it’s okay to say, enough is enough. They know that life is good and getting better, even if it doesn’t appear that way all the time. I have people like this in my life and I give thanks, for them. They are heroes to me and I just wanted them to know.