Random Fact #6 -- My Heros
I thought about my last two random facts & several things came to mind, but in my effort to share who I am, why I am, & what has helped shape the person I am today I decided to write about my heros. They are eclectic, varied, expected perhaps, & perhaps unexpected. They all offer insight into all that has shaped me from Back in the Day to Today. My heros are offered in no particular order of importance because I believe they hold equal importance in the shaping of me mentally, emotionally, & spiritually - giving me inspiration that has led to many awakenings within both my conscienceness & unconcienceness.
John F. Kennedy -- He was the first President I remember from campaign to election then to that fateful day in Dallas. His photograph hung in my Daddy's office. "Ask not what your Country can do for you, but what you can do for your Country" That one statement has come to me so often over the years. It is one of the reasons, as a very broke single mother, I never accepted help from the Federal Government even though I was supposedly "entitled" & it certainly would have lifted a huge amount of stress from my life. No Food Stamps, no financial assistance. I just hunkered down & worked. I always figured there were people who really needed help but I was not one of them. My son was always fed, clothed, & a roof over his head. There were alot of times I did not eat, but he always did. That single statement given on a cold morning in Washington, DC shaped my attitude about what I expected from myself. That makes JFK my hero because he challenged me to be self-sufficient & to not take what would have been an easy road.
Jacqueline Kennedy -- for her grace, class, composure, inner strength. From her I learned dignity under fire. Dignity in the face of unspeakable horror. Dignity to carry on & do what was expected. To do things well with grace & a certain flair. I will never forget her stoically walking behind her husband's casket. She could have easily fallen apart, but instead she became a tower of strength not only for her family but for a Nation. She was a true lady & I have always strived to have the type of grace & dignity she portrayed. Jackie is my hero because she showed me how to be strong in a quiet calmness.
Mother Teresa -- "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love" These have become words by which I live. I do not believe I chose this Journey to become famous or well-known. But I know that I do touch other lives. I strive to touch those lives with love, understanding, tolerance, compassion, & true caring for another person. I may not agree with what another is going through or the path that person has chosen, but I can offer sympathy & empathy rather than adding to their dilemma. Speaking from a place of love, from my true Spirit. Many times I have had to remind myself that I am not here to fix things, but to offer support. To offer heartfelt, true listening. Mother Teresa is my hero because she took Jesus' words "That which you do for the least of mine, you do for Me" & truly lived them.
Jason, my son -- He is my hero because he has risen. Risen above all the crap of his childhood, risen above the mother I was & wasn't, risen above the lack of an example of how to be a responsible man/father, risen above his own demons. He has risen to become a productive member of society - a good, loving, true husband - a kind, gentle, loving, involved, engaged, present father who is raising happy, secure, well-rounded children with the help of my daughter-in-law, Jessica, who is my hero for believing in, loving, & standing by my son while he struggled to become the man he is today, & for being the most wonderful mother I can imagine for my grandchildren. Together they have built a strong, healthy, happy, well adjusted, wonderful family. I am so very proud of them both. They are a blessing.
Dave, my brother -- "Life may not give us what we expected, but we can still dance" In the face of an incurable, terminal illness he always danced both figuratively & literally. He knew how to be a good friend & once you were Dave's friend you were always Dave's friend. He truly loved people. Dave faced his impending death with such humor, dignity, grace, & acceptance. This is not to say he laid down & died because he most assuredly did not. He loved life, lived it fully. He sought out every possible treatment. He put himself through hell trying to live. But when the inevitable happened & he was told there would be no more remissions, no cure, no treatment to stop the growth of the NHL he began to prepare to die. He said his goodbyes, he did everything he wanted to do, we spent 10 days in Key West. We danced, we laughed, we cried, we talked. As his time grew nearer & he was confined to his bed he lived on the phone. He called everyone he had ever known & made amends if he felt he needed to do so. He said his goodbyes while he still could. My brother, as I have said many times, taught me how to live fully in the moment & he taught me how to die with grace, dignity, & acceptance. For this he is my hero. Catch you on the Other Side, little brother.
My heros have always been Cowboys -- As a kid I was into all that was western (movies, tv, books) -- Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, John Wayne, Gunsmoke, Foreman Scotty (for all ya'll OK baby boomers), Wagon Train, Wanted Dead or Alive, Maverick, The Guns of Will Sonnett, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot (have I dated myself yet???). From all of these there were morality lessons. Lessons on how to be a true, honest human who lived with a code with integrity. As I grew up, I met real cowboys. Cowboys who worked on ranches, cowboys who rodeoed. It was the attitude, the lifestyle, the way of life that made the genre as well as the reality of cowboys appealing to me. The code of ethics that a true cowboy lives by, the respect for the land, the ability to be true to ones self, honesty, standing by one's word when it is given, honor, integrity, & to live exactly as you believe - that is why Cowboys have always been my heros.
Dalai Lama -- "Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion."--His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight"
His Holiness is my hero for the way he lives, for his works, for his love, for his teachings. While I am not Buddhist, I do identify very closely with Eastern teachings. His writings have lead me through some very trying times. I have found comfort in his words & in his life. He is my hero because he truly embodies all that he teaches.
The list could go on. I have friends who are my heros because of the adversities they have overcome, for the hard choices they have made, for their charitiable works, for living true to themselves, for living true to their beliefs, for embracing their heritage. Each of you who are in my life at this moment, those who are my Tribe, you too are my heros. Why? because you are YOU & you make my life richer.