I hate to be cliché, but my hero is my mother. I feel that when asked who your hero is, the answer should always be either “my mother” or “my father.” I answer this way because of the strength of my mother. Most people never see how incredible strong their parents are, but I saw my mom’s strength tenfold.
For years my mom was just my mom. I didn’t find her any more special then any of my friends’ mothers. But, before entering my 8th Grade year, mom contracted breast cancer. She had the surgery that removed her breast, and she was fine… for about a year. It came back in her system and this time there was no body part that could be removed to help her. After an almost five year battle with it, cancer shut down her liver. She passed away on February 6, 2001, four months before I graduated high school.
Most people choose a hero based on talent: how well they play guitar, how famous they are, or because they scored the winning touchdown. My mother did no one thing that showed her strength, but more of a collective that was her life.
I didn’t notice her strength until she told me about the breast cancer. Instead of Mom, I saw a woman. I saw someone who was fragile; who could and would die. Immediately, I began to treasure every moment I had with her. I would visit her at work after school. She was the head of the long-term department of the hospital. She worked at least eight hours everyday. After work, she’d visit her mother and other elder women in the community who needed assisted living. Soon after, mother would come home to clean the house and cook dinner every night. On weekends, she was a member of the Booster Club for high school sports. She ran the concession stand for every sport and the hospitality room for every tournament the town held. She taught Sunday school and whenever someone asked her for help, she helped.
The single most incredible thing I ever saw her do, however, was three days before she died. My brother flew into town with his son. Mom, who hadn’t sat up for four days prior; Mom, who could eat nothing but ice; Mom, who morphine couldn’t help; Mom sat up and played with her one-year old grandson. I only cried three times over mom: at her memorial service, my final private talk with her, and at that moment.
I decided that I must be strong because instead of self-pity, instead of giving up to die, instead of any excuse other people would use, my mom went through more pain than any person should ever go through to play with a child.
Note: This node is written as part of We Could Be Heroes: tes's Everything2 Heroes Quest