Sunday, November 3, 2013

Then A Hero Comes Along

Most of you know that I volunteer to co-lead a youth group at my parish on Sunday nights. It's for high school students and each week we have a different theme. I usually end up getting a lot out of the lesson, even though it is geared toward teens.

Tonight's lesson was about heroes. First we talked about the stereotypical superheroes and their "powers". Then we watched a video on everyday heroes, People who have gone out of their way to help someone else. The students were then asked to reflect on the heroes in the own lives. The following was what we read outloud to them:

Many everyday heroes are the people in our lives who believe in usand who are there for us when we need them. They are the ones who inspire us, who support us, and who love us.  They often see things in us that we don’t see ourselves. By their actions, words and example, they cause us toreach for greatness, to dream big things for our lives. To truly fulfill our full potential in life, and to become the person God truly knows we can be, we needthese people—these heroes—in our lives.

As this was read to the students I began to think of what my answer will be. And in that moment I realized how lucky I am, because it was almost too difficult to just name one hero. I am surrounded by people who make my life better.

My dad was the first person I thought of, which may seem a bit of a "duh" considering all he's going through right now. But to be fair, he was my hero long before his diagnosis. He's always been a hero. Why? Well if you've met him you know why. He can talk to anyone. He is understanding of all people. He is kind, compassionate and hard working. He literally is someone who would swoop in and save the day. And he has, on countless occasions. And now, he's fighting his tail off to get rid of this cancer. Even with everything he is dealing with, he's still putting us first. He's a hero, without a doubt.

Something else crossed my mind, too. I don't know exactly how to word this, but the St. Hugo community as a whole are "heroes" for myself and my family. You all have these invisible capes and have truly swept in to help when we needed you most. It's pretty incredible, all the kind and selfless things you have done. From planning the prayer service to putting a lunch in the fridge for my mom every day to driving my dad to appointments. From silent prayers to encouraging texts and emails. So if any of you have any doubt that you've been any help to us, wipe those thoughts clear away because you've not only helped us but you'd save us. 

I obviously can call out many, many people in my life who are heroes. And I certainly don't want to leave anyone out. But there are a few people who recently have struck me in a special way. 

Martha: alright, so she's not really recent. Martha has been in my life for about three years. Without giving you the whole back story, I'll just tell you she's the coolest. She has six beautiful children and Martha has instilled such strong values and faith in them. Martha also has an incredible sense of humor and compassion. She was the brains behind the John Carolin Prayer Warriors page and has been a constant source of support for my family, even though she surely has enough on her plate. I've never known anyone as strong willed, open minded and patient as Martha. 

Paula: Paula is a special person. You'd know that just by having a simple conversation with her. She looks at you and you can tell she cares about you, even if she doesn't know you very well. She is the reason I began my weight loss journey and has been a CONSTANT source of advice, encouragement and inspiration ever since. I sometimes feel badly because I ask her so many questions, but she's one of the smartest people I know, and also one of the most down to earth. 

Paula and Martha are also best friends and often joke about "who is better" ( all in good fun!). Honestly they are both my role models and I can only hope to be even half the kind women, mothers, friends that they are. I strive to be like them.

I could go on and on and I could probably list at least twenty other people who have shown their hero cape to me recently. 

I am challenging myself this week to let the heroes in my life know that I love them and what they have done for me. I am also going to challenge myself to be a hero for others. Maybe I can't save a life or do anything drastic but I can be there for someone who needs it. We all can.

Who are the heroes in your life? 

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