Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Everybody Needs A Hero

The word hero is defined as a person who is admired for courage or noble qualities.  I think everyone longs to have a hero in their life.  Sometimes that hero is a fictional character that embodies those qualities that we long to see in humanity.  Other times it's a famous person that accomplishes great feats that inspire us to be more than what we are.  A person can also be classified a hero by the position they hold, like a member of the military.

Then there are those people who are heros because of the personal effect they have on your life.  This week we are saying goodbye to my wonderful Grandma, Hannah Clark.  This amazing person has meant more to me then I could ever write down in words.

 The last few days in the hospital I tried to think about everything my grandma had lived through.  She's been through the great depression and wars.  She has farmed using horses and seen us put a man on the moon.  I couldn't even begin to imagine the number of inventions she saw become household items in her lifetime.

Grandma truly lived and her life set the tone for my entire family.  

Like any child, I loved going to Grandma's house.  I can remember being there in December decorating Christmas cookies with my brother. Did you know that Santa's workshop was in my grandparent's basement and not at the north pole?  It's true.  They would hide the presents in the basement and "Santa" would leave us notes on the door.  We would lay our heads on the vents and listen to the elves work in the basement.  

My elementary school was a walk across the 4H grounds from my grandma's house.  A few times I got permission to walk across the field to eat lunch with her.  I would sit at the small table in the kitchen with her and just talk.  I can't tell you one specific meal she fixed for me nor can I find the words that would adequately express the amount of love I felt on our lunch dates.  One thing that was there every time was a small windup music box.  She would wind it up and set it on the table as we ate.  The music player looked like a living room on Christmas morning with some furniture, a tree, and wrapped presents.  One year, on Christmas day, I was overjoyed when I opened a gift to find the music box I loved inside.

As a teenager my grandma's house became a great place for me and my friends to hang out.  All of my friends loved to go over there and my grandparents loved to have us.  There was always freshly baked cookies, plenty of ice cream, and a deck of cards.  My grandpa and I would take on grandma and my best friend Steve in a game of Euchre.

Grandma and Grandpa
When my grandpa passed away in 1998 I wondered how grandma would handle it.  In the end, it was grandma that lifted us up.  She had a way of lifting up your spirits and you always felt loved when you were around her.  She accepted everyone and her door was always open.  She was a great listener, but would also share her opinion on a matter if given the chance.  She was a strong lady but not hard.  She was loving but not a pushover.  She gave far more than she received.  She always put others ahead of herself.

As I walked around her house a few hours after she had passed away I was just overwhelmed with memories.  You can't go a few feet in grandma's house without seeing a picture.  There are pictures of family members, friends, and pets everywhere.  I looked at all of those pictures and began to think about  how each and everyone of the people in those pictures had my grandma's fingerprints in their lives.  I don't think I'll ever really know just how many people my grandma inspired over the years.

My grandma's pastor commented in the hospital room that it was very apparent that we have a loving family.  He talked about how much peace there was in the room and how it was beautiful to see a family be here for each other and love each other.  Yeah, grandma taught us that.

The word hero is defined as a person who is admired for courage or noble qualities.  She is somebody I admired for the courage and noble qualities she had in her life.  She was a beautiful lady and I will miss her greatly.

Everybody needs a hero.  We all need that person that shows us what it means to be a great person and inspires us to be better than what we are.  My grandma was that to me.  She makes me what to be better and to help others.  I want to take what she has taught me and pass it on to my children and to those around me.  Everybody needs a hero. I have one in my grandma.  

If you don't have a hero, find one, and if you're not a hero, become one.


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