So, as you know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago. With each step through the process we've all wondered when she'd break down, become that anxious, worry-prone person we all thought she was all her life and be unable to cope with whatever comes next. We were all prepared to have to prop her up through this - to help her face her greatest fear. Well, you know what? She's surprising us all. Somehow she has come up with the inner strength to stay calm, focussed and, most importantly, panic-free. I guess what none of us realized all these years was that she always had this inside her. We underestimated her strength and resolve. As I've done my whole life, I'm still learning from her and about her.
This strength in the face of adversity is what makes you root for someone. It is the ability to consciously know that even if the foe is the scariest thing in the world to you (or you've made it the scariest thing in the world) you won't run and hide from it. You face it. You deal. This is, I believe, the core of a true hero. This is what so many of us wish to be yet so few of us are.
If we've lived a charmed life we may never have to face what truly terrifies us. I wouldn't wish anything but a life filled with rainbows and butterflies for my kids (well, maybe not butterflies because my ten year old is truly terrified of them) but that would be selfish of me. I want my children to be able to face their fears. A life of ease isn't what builds great character. Your true self shines when things are at their worst and you have to come up with a way to push through the dark. When all seems lost the true hero does not give in to despair but finds the strength, somewhere, somehow, to go through another hour, another day. That is what I hope for my children - that they have the ability - like my mom - to push through the dark.
I hope I capture the elements of a true hero when I develop the characters in my writing. But even if I don't, it doesn't matter. I've been blessed and inspired to actually know a real life hero. You go, Mom.