What is your definition of a hero? Is it someone with super powers? Or someone with a futuristic car? Maybe is it someone who wears spandex and helps little old ladies who get their bag stolen. Well my hero couldn’t be more different from all of that. My hero is my aunt. I have cherished all my life and tried to be like her as I grew. I’ve spent summers at her country house looking at island to buy when we won the mega millions. We’ve dreamed of the life we would have when we could escape the world. Then reality came crashing down. That February day I came home from school to find my mother on the phone. There was that look on her face and I knew something was deeply wrong. My beloved aunt had breast cancer. The world all stopped for a moment as I let the word no spill from my mouth a million time. I cried and cried until I got to her house and she got home. I wanted to be strong for her and the rest of my family. She didn’t need me to be strong for her though, she was strong on her own. She was still a great mom to my cousins, and a perfect aunt to me. I remember going to chemo with her. She sat in the chair, and as I watched the fluid go into her body I tried to block the thoughts about how it was making her so sick and making her lose all of her hair. She didn’t think like that though, she joked with me and made me laugh. We went to lunch later and then went shopping for a hammock. She got sick but didn’t let that stop our mission. She stood tall and proud in her wigs and scarfs. She didn’t take peoples pity. She didn’t pity herself either. Never once did she question why that was happening to her. I’ve never seen anyone deal with so many painful surgeries and keep fighting. And a yearlong fight for her life, she finally made it through. And even now she doesn’t dwell on the fact that she had cancer. She says she barely thinks of it. I laugh now thinking that I would have to be strong for her, because she was the strong one. She was a hero for not only me but everyone else including herself. She is a strong, beautiful, powerful, amazing woman; and that is why she is my hero and always will be.
February 24, 2011