Adjectives that have never been used to describe me before have been flowing for the past few weeks.
I've been called a hero many times lately. By total strangers. By acquaintances on the street. Most meaningfully by Jon. And by my brother.
Those are huge shoes to fill. To be seen as, thought of as a hero. Truth is, I am who I always am. I gave my brother a kidney because he needed one. Because he's been ill for so long. Because there was finally something I could do to help after all these years of just watching him get worse. It wasn't a big decision to make. It just was what needed to be done. What I needed to do.
I'm seeing though, that plenty of people out there don't feel the same way. I've heard of siblings who won't get tested. Of families falling apart over decisions made. Of people waiting for years, hoping someone will step forward as their health steadily declines.
I've also seen people who donate to strangers. Who save someone's life that they don't know. Of families who rally with fundraisers and facebook pages and twitter hashtags, seeking help for those they love. Of spouses and friends who choose to go through the months of testing and waiting, invasive surgery and then recovery, to selflessly help someone else.
I suppose there is no more appropriate word for them than hero.
- noun, plural-roes
one admired for brave deeds, noble qualities, etc.
Yup. That fits.
So if a = b, and b = c, then by default I am a hero too.
I don't feel like a hero. I'm sitting here
grappling with the weight I've gained, with frizzy summer hair, with feeling like an irresponsible parent for not keeping my kids occupied and entertained this summer. I can't see the bigger picture from here.
But maybe it's not about a bigger picture. Maybe it's accepting a hero is someone who steps out of their own life and does what needs to be done. It's just a part of who they are.
Of who I am.