Tuesday, 7 April 2015

'My Hero' - #HAWMC

Today's Prompt: 'Who are your heroes and what makes then awesome in your eyes?'

I've never really condsidered anyone to be my 'hero'. It seems such a strong word; evokes so much in terms of bravery and selflessness. 
Mainly I suppose I'm not a fan of the word 'hero' because it seems to be used so readily. I always think of cartoon or fictional 'heroes' when I hear it. Like Tarzan swooping in from a branch to rescue a scantily clad beauty from the jaws of a salivating tiger. Or Batman punching robbers with SWAG bags to rescue an old lady from having her priceless pearls pinched. These heroes are always selfless and brave, they risk their own lives to save others and expect nothing in return. They also aren't real.

When I think of 'real-life' heroes in my own life, I have to scale it down a little, and forget about capes, and pants worn over tights. unfortunatley, as those are two of the things i think about most in any given day. My main heroes don’t have any special skills, they don’t own sparkly costumes and they certainly don’t know kung fu.

My parents are two of my heroes. They love me and my brothers' unconditionally, and  teach us how to laugh and to give and accept love. They have shown me what perserverance and courage can do, and have made me feel safe and comforted from birth to the present day.
They pick me up when my heart and body is broken, put me back together again and never expect anything from me other than to be me. They are proud of me when I'm far from proud of myself, they have taught me forgiveness and generosity, and to valuable others happiness every bit as much as your own.

My partner is my other hero. Although we may have had more up and downs in our lengthy relationship that Burton and Taylor, (albeit with fewer marriages), we have worked together to maintain something quite wonderful. He has shown me how to look at my 'flaws' for what they are; part of me and nothing to ever feel shame or anger about. I'm proud of him a little bit more everyday for everything he has achieved and everything I know he will achieve in the years to come. I'm honoured I get to be a part of his life and constantly flattered he even entertains the idea of being part of mine. He makes me laugh 'til my sides hurt and when my sides hurt he looks after me.

He calms me down in that way that love does.

When I became ill it didn’t even enter his head to do anything other than support me, when others would have (and did) run a mile. He's my hero not because he defends my honour in bar fights (although he would), or because he scales the side of buildings to save me from a possesive gorilla (although he would), but because he has shown me what it means to feel truly happy.

Everyday heroes are better than comic-bok heroes because they are real. And punch less.

Last but not least, my friends, and all of you battling chronic and debilitating illnesses everyday are my absolute heroes. You all inspire and motivate me to be he very best version of myself in spite of my condition. Your words of encouragement even on my darkest days heal more than any medication. When I see what so many of you achieve despite counless obstacles standing in your way, it only serves to give me the kick up the backside we all sometimes sorely need.

You are heroes to me because you are thriving rather than just surviving.

This post was written as part of WEGO Health's Writers Activist Monthly Challenge - #HAWMC