Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 18, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

What is a hero?  As a boy, I always thought of a soldier who performed a valiant act of courage.  Perhaps he saved the life of another soldier, or perhaps he destroyed an enemy stronghold.  The act of bravery may have cost him his life.  I believe that is still a good visual of a hero.

But I have come to understand that perhaps it is a limited definition of a hero.  We cannot deny, however, that a hero is a person who distinguishes himself or herself with an act of courage.  The hero is someone  we admire for bravery.

I believe that a hero does not necessarily do an act of courage or rescue  another person.  I believe that one can be a hero simply by the role they fill and their readiness to rescue or render an act of bravery.  A hero can be a firefighter, a policemen, a soldier, a teacher, and even your next door neighbor.  Anyone can be a hero regardless of their occupation or role in society.  One can be a hero because they receive our admiration for what they experience and how they handle personal situations in their life.

A hero, for me, is a person with an inner strength that perseveres in a circumstance when others might surrender.  I have met many heroes this past year.  Some of the bravest people I know that have become my heroes are cancer patients.

Yes, I said those with cancer.  During this past year as I spent so much time at Moffitt Cancer Center, Judy and I became friends with many fellow patients.  Day after day, we would meet people with stories of their personal fight with cancer.  I don’t believe that Judy and I have ever been around people with a more determined spirit.  All of them have not, and will not, become a cancer survivor. But whether they live or die, they have become heroes.  Their personal spirit of  courage is truly an act of bravery.  Among these heroes you find a personal warmth and friendliness.  Each one has valiantly exhibited a spirit of courage and determination to where we would want to place them on a pedestal for others to see.  We would wish to point to them and say, “There is my hero.  Such a model!”

Our daughter, Jennifer,  assisted Dr. Phil on his television program to help with a special need.  The man had married a woman with triplets.  All three of the children were blind and deaf.  The father confessed that he had hoped to be a hero to the family, but that he felt he was failing.  Jennifer expressed to him that being a hero is not that you bring about a victory or that you have saved lives.  Being a hero, she said, was staying with the battle.  A hero does not give up. It is that exhibition of an inner strength to persevere in a difficult circumstance.   That is the story of the many cancer patients with whom we have become friends. 

As you consider those fighting the battle with cancer, recognize them as heroes.  They are people of courage, determination, and unusual strength.  They have so encouraged  me.  I believe you will be encouraged and inspired by these heroes if you will see them from this perspective. 

I am grateful for those heroes that have been a model for me.  Thank you, heroine Carol, hero Ernest, heroine Pat, and all you others!



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