Everyday heroes come from every walk of life. People quietly living out their days in exceptional, many times difficult, circumstances. You rarely hear them complain or take on the role of a victim.
I share their stories because they have encouraged me, strengthened me and are woven into the fabric of my life. Their courage, silent strength, gratitude, and passion for life are lessons to be shared and learned from.
Meet my friend, Alyson. She and her husband are parents of three delightful daughters. I will rephrase that and say they are committed, devoted parents of three delightful daughters. They are your normal, active family…. sports, school activities, family outings.
Their oldest daughter, Paige, was born with Angelman Syndrome. Is any parent ever ready for the unknown that accompanies such a diagnosis? Momma Alyson has a smile that lights up a room and a laugh that bubbles like a spring. Her faith is strong. She is beautiful and warm and loves life. And you see that reflected in the grins and bright faces of her three daughters. She does everything she possibly can to ensure her daughter’s lives are full and vibrant.
I think of Alyson when I read these verses from Proverbs 31…”She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise…”
Please check out the website and learn more about this condition and how you can help children like sweet Paige. http://www.angelman.org/
Cancer survivors are some of the most resilient, brave people I know. My friend Karren is one of those brave hearts. Because our community is small, I knew of Karren and her cancer diagnosis. She survived with chemo and radiation treatments, plus surgery. I am overjoyed to say she remains cancer free.
About four years ago, I began working at the same retail store as Karren. I discovered her to be the life of the store. You could hear her laugh from one end to the other. She was so engaging, I actually prayed to be able to work in the same department. God answered that prayer and a lifelong friendship/sisterhood was born.
She is a people magnet. And this is why. .. she listens….she really listens. She looks you in the eye and is genuine about her concern for your heartaches and shouts for joy at your victories. She has a hug that is like none other….you know you have been hugged and you know you are loved.
Last, but not least, the triumph of two of my aunts, one from each side of my family. In recent years, they both have become widows and also have the common heartbreak of having suffered through the death of adult daughters. I’m sure you can say, as I can, that I have known people who never recovered from the loss of a spouse, let alone the added trauma of losing a child. My aunts, gratefully, do not fit that description.
They grieved their losses, and still do. But they kept moving forward, baby step after baby step, and built new lives for themselves. They sold their homes in the communities they were born and raised in, packed their belongings, and moved to new, larger communities to begin anew. They made the choice to live and pursue the adventures that living fully bring. I am one proud niece. May I be so bold and brave.
Who are the everyday heroes in your life? May I encourage you to call or write a note to let them know how their lives have encouraged you.