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Surviving Heroes

The time for the annual breast cancer walk in town was finally here.

It would be the 2nd time my family and I attended the ‘Heaven Can Wait’ event.

This year we were ready for the event.

For months I had been gathering and making pink hats and pink T-shirts for my grandkids and family to wear.

We even got my scooter running to replace the walker my daughter had to push me on the year before.

The very walker that definitely didn’t survive that 5K walk as we wound up having to carry it across the finish line.

Anxious to go we piled in the car, our own sea of pink ready to join the excitement of the rest of the crowd that would be dressed in pink as well.

As we arrived at the park I looked out among those who were there and spotted the blue hats amongst the pink. They were the hats wore by the survivors. The year before I was totally innocent to what that meant as I didn’t have a blue hat of my own. After hearing the announcer mentioned the survivors wearing the blue hats I became curious as to what it meant.

I was told the hats were for all the survivors of cancer. In my mind that wasn’t me because I hadn’t survived my cancer yet. Come to find out to them a survivor was anyone who lived thru the actual diagnosis of their cancer.

Immediately after I learned that year what it meant to be a survivor the announcer requested all of them to stand up and everyone else had to sit down.

Over the loud speaker as the cancer survivors stood the announcer loudly said, ‘These are the true heroes. Let’s give them applause for their courage and strength.’ As the clapping began so did my tears as they joined hands to slide down my checks once more.

I’m not a hero, I thought to myself.

The heroes to me were the ones sitting on the ground. The persons who supported me and loved me giving me strength to survive were my heroes. Getting cancer certainly didn’t make me a hero, if anything it brought out the coward in me as I fought the emotional side of the disease.

In life, we all have to be survivors in our own ways. People surviving the devastation of a divorce, surviving addictions to alcohol drugs and other things, surviving abuse, poverty, handicaps of all kinds and living thru them all. How we survive, our attitude going in and coming out is what will make us true heroes.

The dictionary’s definition of a hero is a figure of great strength, ability, admired for their achievements and qualities.

To survive meant to outlive or outlast.

The part the dictionary leaves out is the inward struggle one goes thru to be that figure of strength and to have the ability to outlast.

The hard times we endure in life will either make us or break us. A lot rides on the choices we make, the attitudes we carry, and the wiliness to persevere.

Standing or sitting, with help or without we all can be surviving heroes.

Read more posts by Karen Gillett here. Karen blogs for JenningsWire.