If you look in the dictionary, you will find that the noun ‘hero’ is defined as a person who is admired for great or brave acts, or fine qualities.
I know that we all have our own idea of whom and what a hero is. Could be a member of your immediate or extended family (I think we all have put our parents on a pedestal at some point in our lives).
Could also be someone that you admire and emulate such as a celebrity, athlete or figure head!
I know that we all consider the young men and women who are defending our great country hero’s, and we should consider fireman and most police officer’s hero’s for protecting us on a day in and day out basis.
With all of that being said…….who is my personal HERO???
He is my youngest child, K …..who happens to be turning 18 years of age today.
He has not saved anyone’s life ….. although I might be able to argue that he has saved mine on many occasions just by looking at his sweet face…… nor has he done anything miraculous or noble.
What he has done, and continues to do on a daily basis, is to live his life the best way he knows how!
He shows me his inner strength, beauty and positive attitude every day, and I strive to be like him.
What makes him unique?
His health……… which started becoming a challenge when he was just a month old. Part of me blames myself for listening to the Doctor when they changed his formula when he wasn’t feeling very well.
Why didn’t I take a stand and say “no, let’s wait it out for a few more days and see if his tummy issues resolve itself”?
Why didn’t I feel empowered to speak my mind?
I certainly do now, and have….on many occasions for him……but back then, I wasn’t confident enough, didn’t trust myself……and we all know that Doctor’s know everything! NOT!
The other part of me says the challenges would have happened anyway, stop beating myself up over it!
K has what you might call the “triple threat”…….allergies (some that can be deadly if the stimuli is eaten), asthma and severe eczema.
A few years back, a new one was added with Acute Rheumatic Fever. Who knew that this last was even a possibility this day and age?!
We have had numerous hospital stays when his lungs would not cooperate.
There is nothing worse than seeing your child turn white, then blue……heart beating so fast and hard that you think it is going to come through their teeny tiny chest, because he couldn’t get enough air in his lungs to breathe on his own.
At the moment he has 73% airflow in his lungs! Sadly, we consider this a victory, as it has been much worse!
Feeling helpless does nothing to describe your emotions as a parent!
His allergies are many, including the dreaded peanuts and tree nuts that set the debates aflutter on social media.
One of PT’s favorite stories is how he was making lunch for K and his friends, and the chorus of “nooooooooo’s” that he heard from them when he told them that he was making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These small children, their hearts pure, were protecting K from this deadly ingredient!
We will not get into how my wonderful husband forgot this fact! I am just grateful that his friends spoke up! It really does take a village……even the pint size kind! 😉
***BTW…. peas have a distant relation to tree nuts, and after 2 violent reactions (as an infant) a pea has not crossed his lips. I don’t think they have even crossed the threshold of our home since then. B is still thanking K for this one! 😉
These allergies also extend to grass and environmental stimulus, with K’s fingers being sliced open just by running his fingers through the blades of grass, making MRSA and impetigo a constant scare for him/us.
Eczema, though, has been the most viscous for him, as it is visible to the eye…..with no escape from passing eyes.
His skin feels like sandpaper, and we have run the gamut of steroid creams, could buy stock in Eucerin, Vaseline, Aquafor, Cetophil and my favorite for his face…..Theraplex.
We use it all!
At times he is a walking pharmaceutical advertisement.
When he was younger, children would ask innocent questions about the red rashes, white flaking skin, and skin that would not tan evenly due to pigmentation. As they got older, this innocence turned to ridicule and teasing, being called “Frosted Flakes” became the norm, not the exception.
This was the worst……not for him, but as his mother I just wanted to wrap him up in a cocoon and shelter him from all evils.
We all know that teenagers do not want to be wrapped and smothered by their mama’s loving arms! 😉
So back to the original statement and question!
K is my HERO…..
…… for the simple fact that he does not let his health conditions rule his life!
He is RULING his own life by not sitting around in a bubble, being dramatic and complaining about every little thing (even though he has a small right to do so).
He is CHASING after life and adventures; even those that will aggravate his health!
He is not leaving anything on the table…….
I am not going to lie and say that he hasn’t questioned all of his health issues.
I think he was about 6 or 7 when he asked me why God gave him everything and B nothing. My simple answer……God knows that you are the strong one! Thankfully, he accepted it without further question.
Me, on the other hand, had to give myself a timeout to go cry and talk to God in my bedroom.
I was right K-bird…..YOU are the strong one in every sense of the word!
With all that he has faced in his young beautiful (18 years now) life, he is one of the most compassionate, sensitive……. and if a young man can have grace, then I will add that as part of his character traits as well…… that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Even with all of the negative comments coming his way from strangers and friends, the quality that I most hear associated with him (from his teachers and coaches) is that he is steadfast and a leader among his peers.
I couldn’t be more proud of him!
Whenever I am having a bad day with bone pain/stiffness, and I wonder if the cancer is coming back, my thoughts turn to K and all that he has to deal with….. not only on a daily basis, but for the rest of his life!
If he can keep a positive attitude and not let the storm take him over, then there is no excuses for any negative thoughts clouding my brain!
So….. even though I admire all of those that put their lives on the line for us; when asked who my hero is…..I will tell you that it is my son K-Bird.
Who is your hero?