Prompting me to reflect upon my hero at the age of five makes it an easy vision to depict – because my hero since childhood has not changed: it is my mother.
When I was younger I used to love Michael Jackson, Deborah Gibson, all of the childhood icons of the ’80’s – but when thinking about a Hero – there is no other person who fits this bill than the person who raised me – through thick and thin.
One of the hardest decisions I have ever made was whether or not to go public with such a private battle. The last person in the world I wanted to tell was my mother. She had always raised me as this strong, grounded individual – because that is who she became. She taught me the simplicities of life such as cooking, cleaning, how to say “please” and “thank you”.
Above all, however, my mother always supported me.
In the deepest depths of the night when I would have a nightmare, need a drink, feel lonely – who was it that came to read me a story, give me a hug, hand me a snack? Who always played tooth fairy (oh so fun to lose a tooth and wonder what prize would be awaiting me in the morning) – along with my father, who deserves just as much credit as a hero, my mother always kept me her top of priorities and her life lessons she instilled in me – I believe are the reasons I was able to handle my current journey so well.
For those who wonder – when I revealed these struggles to my mother – she supported me, and still does. She has put in hours upon hours with my children, calling me to check on me, listening to me, providing me a shoulder – and as I wake and look at my own three children I dream of the future myself: will I be THEIR hero?
I find so much inspiration in my mother – sometimes I want to say “thank you” – but I do not really feel that is the appropriate response. How can you thank somebody who has cherished you through your entire life , nurtured you, taught you, and in this case, with her dedication to me as a child – should get credit in part for saving me from what I felt were the last moments of my life.
Being five years old – my mother was my hero for putting a band aid on a skinned knee, reading me a bedtime story, giving me a piece of candy, picking me up from school, doing my hair …
Today she is my hero for a very different reason: helping to soothe wounds from an epic battle of human strength.
Once a hero – always a hero.
Always mine. I love you, Mommy.