An Everyday Hero

September 13, 2008
By
Pamela Ann W, a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and an everyday hero. When she was in fifth grade her parents, Larry Flannagan and Brenda Pohl, got divorced. Her father got remarried first. She never liked her step-mother. This marriage soon failed also. At the age of twenty-one she was married and had one child already. Her mother got remarried soon after. By the age of twenty-four she had had two more daughters. Soon after, she moved, along with her new family, to Evansville, Indiana. There she earned her degree while raising three daughters with her husband. This is her story but it is not her story that makes her admirable or heroic to me. Its how she worked hard to make a better life for herself and how she constantly tried to break the mold that society made for her.

As she grew up Pam was constantly shown examples of unhealthy and unstable relationships. Children tend to accept their parents view on divorce (Mick C). This could lead to the children of two divorced adults to end up divorced themselves. Pam was not one of them. She, being both stubborn and determined, refused to end up like her parents. When I asked her about how she felt when her parents continually married, divorced, and remarried she said, “I never really paid attention to the years and dates of my parents’ marriages and divorces.” This could show that she knew they weren’t good role models for this part of life. Her stubbornness and determination resembles Odysseus’s own determination to get home in the fact that they never gave up the fight for what they wanted.

While determination is a great trait to have, it is nothing without cunning and good decision making abilities. When she was twenty-one she made the biggest decision ever, she made the decision to get married. Many were against her decision, all agreed on the same reasons for it. She, at the age of twenty-one, had to decided to marry the man she loved, a man of thirty-four years. She stuck by her decision believing it as in her best interest. She is still married today. Sixteen years they have been married, well over five years more than her own parents. I asked her what she took into account when she made a decision and if there were any chief factors that she always thought of when making decision. She replied to my question saying, “I take no one thing into account when making a decision. I take all the facts that I know into account and make the best decision I see.” This trait she shares with Odysseus. As he took into account all there was about the problem, such as in book eighteen when deciding if he should have use all his strength or not, so does she do so with every decision she makes.

Finally, along with the other wonderful traits she has, she is generous and giving. In life she has given everything she can to make her daughters happy. She budgets and saves up money sacrificing eating out and other luxuries people take advantage of to make her daughters happy. For cheerleading tuition for her youngest daughter’s competitions, she fundraises by working food stands at victory field, colts games, races, and concerts. This is not a trait that I believe Odysseus has an abundance of. When asked what she would do in her free time after her daughters had “left the nest” she simply replied, “I would probably volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, and/or become a foster mother.” This is the most extraordinary trait of hers to me because even when she is done raising her children, she still wants to give back in some way.

What makes a hero a hero? To me, nothing does because there are so many different types of heroes. Are heroes only a part of mythology? They might be, though I am sure there are a few true heroes left in this world. My heroin is a generous, stubborn good decision maker. So, are there extraordinary people all around us? Yes there is, and one of them is my mother, Pam Williams.





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