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Unsung Hero: The selfless survivor

Joined: 11/12/2014
Posts: 2
I was eight the first time I voiced aloud that my mother was my hero. It was special person’s day at my elementary school, and my answer was expected. Your hero was always your guest. My mother, of course, was my guest.

However I was too young then to realize the depth behind my mindless response. I thought she was my hero because she bought me Barbie dolls, brushed my hair, and always had food waiting for me on the table. She was my hero because she let me skip school occasionally and because once, when my dog was sick, she was the miracle worker that drove him to the vet! It was not until much later in life that I identified the real reasons my mother was heroic.

I was approaching my freshmen year of high school when my father was diagnosed with dementia. The news confiscated the air from my lungs and immediately I was slumped over on the floor of a hospital drowning in self-pity. It was my mother that remained calm during a time when tranquility seemed unattainable. She handled all inquiries with the doctors, maintaining a constant pitch through both the easy and hard questions. When she had attained as many answers as the doctors could provide, she was the one that picked me up off the ground and carried me to the car like she used to do in my childhood years. She showed no struggle in lifting a 115-pound teenager, and not once did her feet stumble. Not once did she stumble.

She went back to work after that. Putting in enough hours to pay the bills but still managing to be at every sporting event, dance recital, or special persons day. She used to kiss me goodnight, promising me that the future was bright, and with my head on my pillow I would watch her return to the kitchen table and turn on a light. I never knew what time she turned that light off. I only knew that her endless effort was the reason my future would be bright. That light in the kitchen was the reason we would all survive.

As time passed my father got sicker and sicker – reaching a point where he was incapable of engaging in common conversation. My mother did not stammer when my father failed to communicate. Instead she covered for him and saved a man whom the doctors had insisted was without cure.

Relatives are generally in agreement that I have received my mother’s features. Some say I have her eyes, others point out the similarity of our noses, and most mention the cheekbones we share. I have been blessed with many characteristics of my mother, but I pray that I have inherited her devotion. To love someone unconditionally is a vow many make at marriage, but not all preserve. To love someone even though they fail to remember your name is heroic. To be selfless is heroic.
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