THIRTEEN PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN MY HERO (in no particular order)
- My Father: So many times in so many ways my father has been my hero throughout my life. even when I thought he knew nothing and I knew everything, Dad was still my hero and still is today. I recall a day as a child he ran across the street to a neighbors house and saved her young son from possible death due to an epileptic seizure, from that day on I looked at my father in a whole different light.
- My Mother: As my father impressed upon me the importance of responsibility and honesty, my mother taught me compassion, sensitivity and love. Her love for my father underpasses anything else I know. Her love for her sons is amazing, and totally unconditional. Her heroic acts may have been subtle and un-noticed by most, but in my book she is one of my greatest heroes.
- My Grandmothers: My mother's mom worked all the time. At least it seemed to me. She was a small lady but very large presence in my life. I learnt from her why my own mother was who she was. My father's mother raised 6 children on her own in the days before welfare, child support and government assistance programs. Her husband left when the last child was born. I never heard her complain about her lot in life, or being saddled with six kids. She raised each of them to be strong outstanding adults.
- My Cousin Gary: He wasn't really my cousin, he was my father's cousin, but he was a hero to me. I remember as a small little boy the party we had for him before he was to go off into the army and into Vietnam. He stood so proud in his uniform, and to me was larger than life. He never came back to a welcome home party but like many other young men in the 60's he came home in a flag draped coffin. Gary was a true hero in our family.
- My Grandfather: Unfortunately I never realized just how much a hero my mother's father was until I was older. As a kid he was kind of off to the side. There but not in your face or in the forefront. As I grew older and learnt about all that he did and accomplished in his life, his heroism became more and more real to me. A WWII veteran, his ship was sunk in the Pacific Ocean and he was adrift for days and even declared missing in action and possibly dead by the US Navy. Yet, he returned and for the rest of his life would suffer excruciating back problems because of it. But he never complained. Then 6 months before he passed he was diagnosed with bone cancer. His valiant fight with this painful debilitating disease was heroic in it's own right.
- A Childhood Friend: I knew him from the age of 8 and it seemed to me he had it all. The perfect home, the perfect family, and as we both grew older he had the perfect car, the handsome face, the nice clothes...the list goes on and on. In those few short years between puberty and High School graduation, he was a hero to me. Now as an adult and a father and grandfather I realize we were probably each other's hero.
- My Dad's Brother: To me, he seemed like the perfect father. I saw the passion he had for his children. I also realized when I got older that he became a father to all his brothers and his sister after his father left them. He was also in the Air Force during Korea and Vietnam, retiring as a young man after 20+ years of faithful service. He continued to work hard and provided well for his family. His battle with diabetes late in life, and loosing a leg was also an indication of the hero he really was.
- DJ: Any one that could put up with me on a daily basis would have to have some kind of heroic abilities!! But seriously, DJ is one of the most enduring, passionate, compassionate, strong and responsible person I have ever known. His love is unconditional and true. A hero every day in my life.
- Superman: What person my age did not have Superman as a hero growing up. I'm not talking about the Dean Cain, Tom Welling Superman, I am talking about the George Reeve Superman of the TV, and the Christopher Reeve Superman of the movies back in the 70's and 80's. TV's George Reeves/Superman to me was my first glimpse of a hero. And what a hero he was. As a teen and young adult Christopher Reeves brought Superman back to life for a whole new generation, then his own battle as a quadriplegic and his fight for research and cure was the true hero in him.
- My Best Friend Silver: Many times over the past 13 years I've seen him deal and cope with many issues and trials. He has also seen me do the same. Yet, he always faces his issues with a quiet strong peace. He has the ability to look at issues in the face and be able to see beyond them which allows him to deal with them. Not only that, I think he is one hell of a father to his son. Hats off Silver, a true "gay" hero! Just kidding, but he is a true friend and that is true hero not only to his son, but to me as well.
- My Friend Veruca: He over came so much from a young child and pushed himself to be the person he is today. Successful, educated, and a believer in dreams that can come true. Even though our paths crossed for a short amount of time considering the length of our lives he impacted my life in a very powerful way. I am so blessed to have been able to have him with me as we both "come out".
- My Kids: Now let's talk about some REAL heroes. These four individuals are truly heroes in my book. My three sons and my beautiful daughter. Against all odds they have rose from the ashes so to speak and are making something of themselves. Yes, dad kind of let them down over the years, but that has not stopped them, and so far they are all four doing quite well becoming adults that a parent can be truly proud of.
- Myself: It has taken me almost 50 years, but finally I have realized that I too am a hero. I love who I am, not in a vain sense, but in a sense of being happy with who I am. A lot has transpired in these 47+ years, but I'm here. A father, grandfather, son, brother, friend and lover. I am proud of who I have become, even though it was not who I had planned to be as a kid ( I wanted to be a psychiatrist!) It is who I am, and I know I have so much more to give. I like who it is that I see every morning when I look in the mirror and I think that in itself takes a heroic amount of work.
So, who were or are some of your heroes?