I was asked a question this past year… I have been asked this a million times…maybe you have too…Maybe not…
“Who are your heroes?” (And I can’t remember who the hell asked me this question…But I’m sure they were desperate or in a horrible lull in conversation to have thrown this out there…)
I am positive I have answered this same question countless times. In essays on tests. In history classes. At dinner parties more pretentious than fun. In card games with my kids. Who are your heroes?
And I did what we do…maybe not you, but me…I spouted off important folks…The ones who have left a real mark…Maybe threw in a parent or family member…
Martin Luther King. Erma Bombeck. Gloria Steinem. Dolly Parton. Joni Mitchell. Jimmy Carter. Bono. My mom. My dad. Jesus (Always the answer).
And if I had time, I might have thrown in some more intellectual, scholarly names and some more off brand clever characters, but still famous heroes. The noteworthy. Those are the heroes, right? Those are the people we hang on to their stories. Those are the people we model our lives after. Those are the people worthy of quotes on Facebook and blog posts and posters in our rooms and books on our shelves.
But it stuck with me. Who are my heroes? Who do I get excited hearing their stories over and over? Whose words keep me going? Who hands me hope? Whose life gives me a heaping spoonful of please don’t give up? Who are my heroes?
And it’s you. Just you. It’s us really.
It is all us ordinary people with ordinary stories. The people I love. The stories I know. The people living the real, ordinary, daily life most of us pretend we aren’t living. So, today, this post is for you…I see you…I am you…This is for us…
This is for all of us ordinary people trying to wrap our head around the bills we can’t pay, and the NSF fees we know are coming, and we are smiling at our kids and we are dying inside. This is for those of us who can’t figure out how to buy lunch crap for school lunches…Packing leftovers and reusing water bottles attempting to make it till payday. This is for all the moms and dads who put socks and underwear and toothbrushes that spin on Christmas lists because dammit we are flat broke and it just had to wait till Christmas. This is for those of us making 88 New Year’s Resolutions. To eat better. Exercise more. Lose the weight. Feel better. Be better. And this is the year we are really going to do it. And we have 900 pounds of hope and good intentions to get us through this year. And this is for all the folks who are headed in a new direction today. Leaving old ways behind. Quitting smoking because we can’t afford it. Quitting a relationship because it is too costly for our kids. Quitting a church because it never looked like Jesus. Quitting a job because it is killing us. Quitting a mindset of hating ourselves because we are created by God Almighty and He does not fail. And we are His people. And we believe this deep deep down. This is for those of us signing up for dating apps today. Getting a new pet. Trying to be less lonely. Putting ourselves back out there. Believing in love again. And this is for those of us who are happy with the heat in our home. The water coming out of faucets. The generic food in our pantries. Because we can tell you all the stories about praying for the things we now take for granted. This is for all the people missing their people. All the people who couldn’t make it, or didn’t have the energy, or weren’t invited home for the holidays. The people holding their heads up high trying to remind themselves they don’t have to take the bullshit anymore…and you still miss your crazy family…because it is all you know…This is for you. You are worth so much more than the crazy. You are worth love. This is for everyone who is digging out of depression today. For everyone calling a friend. This is for everyone who looks to the left and to the right and sees all the ordinary people you can’t get enough of…who may never get scholarships or be on TV or have Tshirts with their pictures on them…But you, you see them and tell their stories and share their pictures and celebrate their victories and hug them through their disappointments and think every single day you are the luckiest person just to know the ordinary folks God gave you to live life with. Y’all. This is for the people living through the hard shit. Doing the hard time in counseling sessions because they want to heal…to get better…to live better. This is for the people with secrets so big and so deep they can’t begin to whisper them. And the people who live life praying for the secrets to go away. This is for all us ordinary people who are swearing today to wake up a little earlier, hug people a little tighter, live life a little fuller because we saw the life of an ordinary person…who loved us so well…and we will live for them…because we watched this year take them…And we will honor them, with every last ordinary ounce we have in us. This is for us. All of us ordinary amazing people. I am you. I see you. I believe in you. And Jesus does too. Y’all. This is for us.
You are my heroes.