Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cheese alert... (but it's good Velveeta)

Okay. So tonight I was watching one of my favorite shows: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. And it was a really good one. The straight guy is a dad who suffers from cystic fibrosis. He was celebrating his 40th birthday. When he was 10, his doctors told him he wouldn’t see 16. Anyway…long story longer, at the end of the day he said to the Fab Five, “Next time I’m watching cartoons with the boys and they ask me who my favorite super hero is, I’m going to tell them that not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes are people you meet every day. You guys are heroes to me.” Okay…so by now I am crying. But it got me thinking….who are my heroes? I’ve been thinking about it all night. And here are some names I’ve come up with (in no particular order):

1. My mom. My mom is an amazing woman. She is smart, she keeps things together and she isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. She is also incredibly caring. She is always there to help, weather it’s “things” you need, or a small temporary loan, or even just a shoulder to cry on and a hug. I love my mom so much for showing me how good people live, and for teaching my brother and sister and I what unconditional love means. Someday I hope I can share the things she has taught me with my own kids. But if not…well…I suppose we’ll have to take another page from her book and share our home with kids who need it. If there’s one very important thing I’ve learned from my mom it’s that love makes a family.

2. My husband. I know what you’re thinking: ass kiss! Who wants to go shopping this weekend? But really, it’s true. Despite how it may seem sometimes, Owen takes care of me just as much as I take care of him. He has a belief system that he believes to the core while at the same time being extremely open-minded. Sometimes it may not seem like a good thing, but he always says what he means…and he usually has good intentions. He has been amazing through all of this fertility stuff (despite how it may seem in his blog). He has never hesitated a single step of the way and he goes with me whenever he can. He’ll wince and apologize even while giving me a shot. He’s great with kids, and I know someday he’s going to be a great dad. Sometimes I get frustrated with him, but I love him more than anything.

3. My grandpa. And my grandma when she was living. These two people set the bar for living the right way. In fact, they taught my mom everything about love that she taught me. The stories I’ve heard about them are just amazing…helping those who couldn’t afford to pay for dental care when they themselves had barely enough to get by with their six kids, helping my mom and dad behind the scenes (probably more than I’ll ever know), going to San Fran to take care of Pete when he was sick. The stories go on and on. It is my ultimate goal in life to become like them. And if I could only be half as good and kind and caring, well, I would be a great, tremendous success, and a credit to them and to my parents.

4. Tim Allen. Not “Tool Time Tim” from TV, but a guy I know up here. I first met him when his son worked for me at Blockbuster. From the first time I met him, I was surprised and touched by how affectionate he was with his teenaged son and, moreover, how receptive his son was to his affection. “This is not normal,” I thought to myself. Then I learned a little more about him, and it made sense. I was nonetheless floored. Tim lives in/owns/runs the Allen Home for Boys. It’s a foster care home that specializes in helping troubled teens. Tim’s kids come to him in rough, rough shape. Many of them have seen the ugliest the world has to offer. They are abused, unloved, and often have had severe substance abuse problems. Tim loves them all, despite their frequent screw-ups, and has adopted several of them.

Those aren’t all my heroes by any stretch…but it’s a start. I’m sure I’ll come up with more as time passes. Maybe, if you want, you could share who come of your heroes are? Post a comment and tell us all…

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