Last week I was absolutely dumbfounded when several readers and Facebook friends emailed me out of the blue to say that they nominated me for the WebMD Health Hero award.
My first thought was: WTF? Really?
My second thought was: THANK YOU. So. Very. Much.
What this did, however, was stimulate a wonderful thought process on what makes a hero and the heroes in my life (Silver Lining).
Dictionary.com defines a hero as: a (wo)man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. Full disclosure: I added the (wo).
To me, that definition sounds a little Superman-ish. I happen to believe that heroes don’t have to change or save the whole world, all they have to do is find someone in need, and change their world.
Heroes come in many sizes, shapes and forms. More often than not, they are unknown, ordinary people who have a combination of determination, courage, dedication, and humanitarianism (not necessarily all at one time). The heroes I know have a genuine forgetfulness of self and willingness to sacrifice for others.
Heroes are present every day, everywhere.
Through my clinical work and The Silver Pen, I get to see heroes every-single-day. The heroes in my life are:
- Each and every person who reaches out to share his or her story.
- The nurses who cared for me during my FBC treatment.
- The patients I sat next to in the chemo treatment room.
- The loved ones who sat with the patients in the chemo treatment room.
- My oncologist who tole me, “We will do whatever it takes to support you.”
- The MRI technician who patted my arm and offered words of support when I went into the MRI tube.
- The people who delivered food for my family when I was bald and drooling.
- Sweetly Six’s preschool teachers who gave her extra hugs and support when I couldn’t.
- The HOTY (a/k/a Husband Of The Year) is my ultimate hero!
Speaking of Superman, I happen to think that Christopher Reeve became a true Superhero after he was injured. His founding of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation (dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy) was his greatest heroic act.
How do you define a hero? Who is or has been an everyday hero in your life?