Superman, Batman, A Hero By Any Other Name

I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
– Christopher Reeve 

Superman was/is great because he smiles while he saves the world, we see him as an everyday person and then turn to his alter ego when times are tough and the world needs saving. I know a few people who do this…some in their own small corner of the earth, some for the greater masses, some even wear tights.

My youngest is only 6 years old but he is my hero and I hope I am his. He makes me feel young every day and he makes me smile even when he acts naughty. Sure I get frustrated and upset like any other mom, when he doesn’t do what I ask for the hundredth time, or comes out of bed for the trillionth time…but like Christopher Reeve says…

batman1batman2

I am an ordinary individual. I often find strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. To each person ‘overwhelming obstacles’ means something different. (Ordinarily this is where I’d insert a typical comment about laundry and dishes). For my 6-year-old when he entered the kitchen demanding potatoes and heard they were still in the oven baking he was disappointed but didn’t put up a fight (though he did look serious), when I suggested a sandwich he endured this obstacle by accepting graciously.

I can think of a close sleep-deprived friend that fits this description of a hero. Even though that description fits most brand new mamas and papas, this one in particular hero seems like an ordinary individual who may not fully know it yet, but WILL persevere in spite of his most recent overwhelming obstacle. He is not a new papa, but recently he has to parent without his biggest support, without his best friend, without a partner to share the burden. When your world seemingly falls apart, again and again and again, each new piece of information can make or break you. When it does, you feel shattered into a thousand pieces.  In his most recent post describing his journey, he used a metaphor that was so realistic to something he might do I actually believed it. His writing was so descriptive about falling off a bike (something he HAS done in the past) I could visualize it and took in a deep breath when he was “going over the rocks” I was waiting for the crash, nervous but confident he kept maneuvering the handlebars in the direction he was meant to be in before being slammed into the inevitable obstacle that awaited him at the end of the ride. When I realized that it was a metaphor, I mean wow…I tend to crack jokes when things get heavy, sort of my coping mechanism, I hurt for him. It’s easier to connect to another person with a description of physical pain, but emotional sometimes is hard to get unless you’ve struggled with a similar experience. As he described lying there staring at the sky I remembered something that I wasn’t sure I was ever going to share, see I took a photo just for me to serve as a balm when I missed my friend,  but thought it was appropriate, if not now, when, huh?

sky

This hero-friend of mine was told story after story about his own hero after she left this world about all the amazingly wonderful people she thought of, helped, cared for, encouraged, visited, strengthened, loved and shared her life with. The day of her funeral was painful for everyone, it was the very first time I myself stood so close to a grave and placed a rock as is our custom on the fresh earth that now covered her.  It was the first time I looked up to catch my breath and felt a sense of relief. For watching cancer eat away the physical body is painful to witness, it was as if I had held my breath waiting for the ‘fall’ and when it finally did, the journey was over and I looked up above her grave and this is what I saw. The sky, bright and blue, the clearest day with an opening between the trees as if there in plain sight was the path for G-d to accept her soul, or our prayers, I don’t know for sure. But it’s okay to fall – it’s the ordinary individual who gets up and endures in spite of overwhelming obstacles. So I hope this message reaches my hero-friend. See, he is extraordinary, and this only means he’s an even bigger hero.

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