Real Life Hero


“Superheroes are made, but heroes are born.”

– Antonio from 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts

Super heroes can scale tall buildings in a single bound, captivate with their giant spidery web, or fly in just at the nick of time. People love to believe in magic…that there are people out there who’s job it is to do amazing, helpful things each day. For most people, the idea of a hero is a legend. I’m pretty lucky… I have a hero within my own family…my mom.

Growing up, my mom did it all. My dad worked long hours, and most days us kids only got to see him on Sundays…between his napping and watching WWE. My mom did everything she could to make our lives as easy and enjoyable as possible. She knew our favorite colors, our grades in school, our likes/dislikes, fears, hopes, and dreams. My dad wasn’t around much, so my mom became “dad,” too.

As we got older and progressed into middle school and high school, my mom was there for it all, yet again. Shopping for just the right formal dress, proofreading our essays, comforting our broken hearts, shielding my sisters and I from the growing tempers of my dad…his lack of interest in our family. She took us on vacations, went to parent teacher conferences, met our dates, put herself through college to become a nurse…all while raising a family…doing it all on her own.

I knew my mom was a strong woman…but when my parents finally divorced, I saw just how truly strong she way. Instead of letting this destroy her, she used it to propel herself forward-towards bigger and brighter opportunities, to encourage us to do the same. She went back to work as a nurse and established herself quickly as her hard work, determination, and kind spirit flew her up the ranks to management…yet never failing to be there for her kids. She battled my dad head on (the family drama could have fueled an entire season of Jerry Springer) and when he retreated into the background, choosing to have nothing further to do with his two older kids, my mom was there again to step in and take his place…helping to pay for college, moving us into our first places, holding our hands through rough moments…my mom has ALWAYS been there.

She is an amazing human being…a hero for lack of better words. Her unfailing love and commitment to her children, her strive to be the best person she can possible be to us and others. So, while many love super heroes who can scale tall buildings in a single bound, captivate with their giant spidery web, or fly in just at the nick of time… I get to have my own real life hero…my mom.


7 responses »

  1. This Slice made me teary-eyed because it could be my story, too. My mom did it all on her own, too. Now that I’m a mom, every day I think, “I don’t know how she did it.” My mom (and now your mom) are my heroes. I hope one day my girls will say the same about me.

  2. How fortunate you were to have such a hero in your mother. When reading this it showed the love she had for her children…and knowing that she also needed to return to nursing to provide a stable life for her family. It sounds like she maintained a positive attitude throughout some turmoil…and sheltered her children the best she could. What a hero….and to have one in your own family!!!

  3. Your mom is the truest definition of a super hero. This was such a special way to show homage to a woman who has done so much for you. I really hope you share this with your mom! Thanks for sharing such a personal piece with all of us! It was amazing!

  4. What an amazing tribute of love and appreciation! I’m always a bit envious when I read stories like yours having lost my mom at a very young age, but so glad to see you let her know how special she is!

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