This is my list - in no particular order, and it may never be complete since almost every day I could add someone to my "Hero List". Sometimes, we don't take the time to let those around us know how much we appreciate them. It counts, and we really should, before we no longer can. I found that out the hard way.
My hero list isn't short, but there are many people I don't personally know, who are heroes in the world, and every one of them has a story - one they sometimes can't tell on their own. And just as often, the ones you are real heroes, don't see themselves as heroes at all.
The Short List
My dad - for being who he was; for being courageous while facing death; for the things he taught us by example, for having a heart as big as the moon;
My mom - for suffering a disease nobody should have and trying to keep her dignity as long as she could;
My father-in-law - for the same reason;
My mother-in-law - for her love, her determination, her care for my father-in-law. She suffered the disease as much as he;
My husband - for his kindness, his support, his love, no matter what is going on, for being my rock and my friend, for surviving when others would have given up;
My aunt - because there was no one else in the world quite like her (nor will there be), for her strength and her survival through things that would have killed others less strong;
My daughters - for giving me grandchildren, for being good mom's (better than me), and even better daughters.
Their partners - for loving my girls.
My grandchildren - for showing their love unconditionally.
My neighbours - for holding me up when I was alone.
Heroes in Public
The fireman who went back for the kitten; and going to work everyday when it may cost you your life.
The officer who stopped the speeding drunk from killing anyone, and who risks his life every shift he's on duty.
The paramedics who comfort the hurt.
The rescuers, the searchers, the feeders of hungry.
The pilots, dispatchers and 911.
The teachers who take time for kids.
Kudos (The Other List)
- People who try and never give up, even when it's hard.
- People who stand up for their beliefs, even when it gets ugly.
- Friends who stick by you, even when you're miserable.
- The helpers, the huggers, the comforters that care.
- Artists who dare, even when everyone else doesn't.
- Kids who make you smile, even through your tears.
- The teenager who stops to help when you fall on the ice, or picks up the groceries when the bag hits the ground.
- The guy who dons the Santa Suit every year, just for the kids.
- The neighbour across the road who snowblows your driveway when you just can't shovel anymore.
- The block parents, and neighbourhood watch.
...too many more to list. The world is full of heroes, if only we open our eyes and see them. Sometimes it doesn't take much to be somebody's hero; just time to care or be compassionate.
People come in and out of my life, and all of them leave a little something - whether good or not so good. Each one makes some small change in me, maybe not too noticeable, but what I do with the things that are left on my life by the imprints they leave can shape who I am and what I become.
It's up to me to do something good with those things and pay it forward.