Every human has heroes. These are the beings we look up to, we emulate, we forget are human.
I have several heroes. My parents are heroes. They have struggled with poverty, disease, addiction, and a host of other obstacles throughout their lives. Growing up was hard, but hindsight being 20/20, I have come to realized that they gave me so much! It is through my mother that I came to know and love writing, art, theater, music.
Four generations: Me, my daughter, granddaughter and my Mom
It is through my father that I learned to create something from nothing.
Both my Mom and Dad helped me see that no matter how little I had, there was always enough to share with others who were worse off than myself.
I decided to revisit this after my Dad died yesterday.
In the short span of 24 hours, I have come to hear from so many other people who saw my Dad as a hero. Doctors and nurses who fought to keep him alive...siblings, children, grandchildren...people who only knew him as Big John.
Now, as I prepare my Dad's eulogy, what I wrote those months ago seems even more poignant.
Dad was so many things to so many people, in spite of all the stuff that tried to keep him down. He never quit giving of himself. I think it was because he was so often thinking of others that his great, loving heart just stopped working.
In the days ahead, I hope I can continue my Dad's legacy and be a light to others.