Every once in a while, we encounter heroes. Unlike the ones in the movies and books, these don’t wear the capes and tights, and they don’t have masks to hide their identity. However, the heroes in our lives are always on call when we need them, whether we know it or not.
One of my hero’s was my uncle Willie. He was a gentle and kind spirit as he grew older. But I remember the time when he could keep up with the rest of his brothers in any conversation, which tended to be about football most of the time. Whenever the discussion would get heated he wouldn’t back down. As kids we were so used to it that we would carry on with whatever we were doing around the house. I remember looking forward to Christmas time to see how he’d decorated his yard. It was usually lit up with candy cane fixtures, lighted reindeer, and lights galore.
I remember about a year ago when I went to his house and saw a picture of my brother and I on a table. I was no more than 3 on the picture. I said “Uncle Willie, I didn’t know you had this picture!” In his calm tone he replied “Yeah Kira, I always kept it and put it up when I moved”. Because my uncle had many other family members, unconsciously I mentally downplayed what I meant to him. I knew he loved me, but I guess I never really thought about how much he did. I found myself looking at old pictures after he passed and I came across one of my graduation pictures. While scanning the picture, there he was amongst the crowd. He was there in the moments that meant the most. It hurts to know that he won’t see me graduate from college, find a job, or raise a family but I know he would be proud.
Cherish your heroes. One day they’ll fly away.