As a person grows so do the things they hold dear to themselves and the things they look up to. Heroes take many forms when we are children, from the comic book superhero to the imaginary friend. As we grow from children to young adults our heroes change to those more tangible, movie stars or athletes. When we reach adulthood, the definition of hero becomes clear and our heroes become those that we love and can look up to. It took me a while to realize it but my hero is an 83 year old woman.
In 1986, at the ripe age of 6, I was given the news that a big storm was coming. As a child the news of a big storm frightened me, I was paralyzed by the fear of being struck by lightning. The sky became unsettled, a shade of gray that left even the brightest spirit longing. The rains came hard and fast, the thunder and lightning along with it. Shortly after the wind began to pick up. I had seen The Wizard of Oz and became extremely worried that our entire apartment building would be ripped from the foundation and taken to some far off world.
At the pinnacle of the storm there was a knock at the door. Of course I didn ” thear the knock because it’s hard to hear when you have your ears plugged so as to avoid the thunder. It was Auntie Lou, everyone’s favorite babysitter. With rain cap on her head and umbrella in hand, she had braved the storm to come visit my sister and I. With a joyful look on her face Lou asks if anyone wanted to go for a walk. Had anyone else asked I would have said, ‘No way, Jose!’ but for Auntie Lou, anything.
... nature and/or the elements (fire, wind, water, storms, harvest) - hero’s weapons/blessings: Odysseus’ bow, Arthur’s sword, ... South America, etc - Stories of creation - Stories of gods fathering children RELIGIOUS FIGURES: - Buddha - Mohammed - Jesus - Moses MODERN/CONTEMPORARY ... the past. - Moses accomplishes his task of freeing the Children of Israel - Jonah accomplishes his task and Ninevah repents. ...
So on went the raincoat and the old shoes that I was allowed to get wet. Though the rain was pelting and the wind whipping, we braved our way through the apartment complex. At one point the wind nearly pulled me and my umbrella over but Lou held me by her side. That was the point I knew was special about her. After returning from a church Christmas party in December of 1997 there was a disturbing message on the answering machine. ‘There’s a fire at Lou’s apartment complex, go make sure she’s okay’s o the four of us (mom, dad, sister and myself) climbed back into the car and headed to the apartments which were only a few blocks away.
As we arrived, the scene was tense, sirens blared out in the cold night and the light from the fire engines gave everything an extra red glow. Not only was the fire in her building but it was her apartment where it had all begun. Frantically we searched for the then 81 year old woman that played such a large role in our lives. She was found in the complex office trying to call us to tell us of her condition. Though the fire had started in her apartment she came out unharmed.
The difficult part of that night was when we realized that what she had with her in the office, was all that she had left. Her Salvation Army uniform and the tambourine that she held for the last 30+ years in the local grocery store. In true hero fashion Lou went to work the following day, everything she owned lost in the fire she continued on for her cause. That was the point I realized how truly heroic this now 83 year old woman is. When asked why she went to work the day after losing everything she simply said,’ it’s my job, I need to do it’.
A true hero is defined by his or her accomplishments. For 83 year old Auntie Lou Dobson that accomplishment is leading a Godly life and setting an example for others with her ‘be strong in the face of adversity’ attitude. As a child it was Spiderman, as a teen it was Micheal Jordan, but as an adult with a strong definition I choose Auntie Lou as my hero.