Not All Heroes Wear Capes
Some people are in your life for the long haul.
Some only stay for a little while.
Others are passersby’s.
I’ve learned to love, respect and appreciate them all, regardless of time spent together. Life is too short to live any other way.
This is somewhat of an unconventional Veteran’s Day tribute, but one that I couldn’t make if it weren’t for those brave souls who show up and fight for our freedom every day.
This is also for the Everyday Hero.
The single mom. The single dad.
The grandad who could’ve retired already but works to help his kids and grandkids live a little easier.
The amputees teaching the world that life goes on.
The widowed father. The Nana fighting Alzheimer’s.
The Drill Sergeant teaching youngsters real grit.
The latch-key kids.
The dreamers. The fighters. The overcomers.
I’ve made a short list of every day heroes in my own life. Whether they are passersby’s or with me ‘til the end, together they make me whole, and I’m eternally grateful.
Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list and certainly not in order of importance. If that were so, Uncle Bill wins. Sorry Dad 😊
My Every Day Heroes.
+ My cousin Jerri. She’s a Psychotherapist and she loves me anyway.
+ “Doc” Pistol. The kindest, wisest Traveling Man I’ve ever met. Roam on, my friend, Roam on.
+ My Dad. He’s my best friend. And he used to wipe my butt. So, there’s that.
+ The Cart Keeper at my local grocer. I don’t know his name, because I’m not brave enough to speak (Ironic, right?). I see him walk to and from work, early mornings and late nights. He’s always smiling, and I’ve seen him save many a folk some nasty dents from the aloof shoppers over the years. He’s just good people.
+ Every single police officer, firefighter, paramedic and first responder, everywhere. All of you. Each of you.
+ The cute man-nurse who held my hand when I was 13 and (literally) dying. I was fading fast and that’s the only thing I can remember, naturally.
+ Arthur Fry & Spencer Silver. Inventors of the Post-It Note.
+ My stepmom. She had no idea what she was getting into, but she did pretty great, if I must say so myself.
+ Every little warrior at St. Jude’s. Every doctor, employee and contributor. My heart swells just thinking of you.
+ My 12th grade Calculus Teacher. Ya’ll. I should not have passed.
+ All my friends (take good care of me)- Revivalists, ya nailed it.
+ The one nice lady at the DMV circa 2010. I’ll never forget you.
+ OPRAH. Duh.
+ My sisters. Because they put up with me and keep my secrets.
Last, but certainly not least:
The kindest, most patient, humblest, quietest, strongest person I know. He’s a decorated WWII veteran. Not only is he 1 in an estimated 550,000 WWII veterans alive today (in the entire world) he also played a Bronze Star role in one of the most brutal battles in history. Not many soldiers survived The Battle of the Bulge. And all of them who did return home suffered more than just broken hearts. I can’t help but look to heaven and give thanks for letting us keep him a little longer.
This is a man who has seen more death, destruction and suffering in one lifetime than most of us will ever even imagine. A man who, despite having every reason in the world to be bitter and angry or numb out with bad habits and excuses, chooses nobility.
My late Aunt Patti used to tell us girls to “get ya a man like Bill.” We joked about this during our last visit. I assured Uncle Bill that might be a problem because “they just don’t make ‘em like him anymore.” He laughed, humbly of course. At a young 95, Uncle Bill now spends his days playing pool, flirting with the waitresses at the local Luby’s, and napping with his rescue pup Foxie.
While most of the world has moved on from the travesties of a war fought by our ancestors, I can’t help but sit in silent awe as I pay tribute to my Uncle Bill and those just like him.
These were men who forged their hearts and souls in fire and ice, blood, sweat, tears and torment.
So, I thank you Uncle Bill, your 820th Tank Destroyer Battalion, all the men who fought beside you, all the men and women who have fought since you, and all those who will fight in the future for our great country.
To each and every one of you, THANK YOU.
They just don’t make ‘em like you anymore.