A hero does not need be someone famous like Hercules and Superman, or any other character from a famous story. Truly, anyone can be a hero. For me, a hero should be an inspiration who influences one to be his or her best self. A hero should also be a role model and someone to look up to. My hero is my grandmother, better recognized as BeBe. BeBe was born August 18, 1934, in Gulfport, Mississippi. She was the youngest of eight children. Her father died when she was four, so her mother was left to raise eight children. When Bebe was in her young twenties, she married and had four children of her own. Years afterward, she divorced her first husband, Billy, but remarried a kind man named Don. This marriage lasted until my PaPa Don passed away in 2013. In September of 2014, I received the worst news I had ever been given: Bebe had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Sadly, on December 12, 2014, my Bebe passed away. It was a horrible day for my family; however, her death brought us closer than we had ever been. Even though Bebe was not a hero from a story, she is no less of one. My Bebe is my hero because she is generous, loyal, and brave.
Bebe is a modern day hero through the characteristic of generosity. You can be generous in many ways. For her, it was through selfless actions. My two cousins, Ashley and Allison, and myself were always with her. In fact, it is still a joke in my family that if Bebe were here, we would either be going to eat at Olive Garden or Semolina’s. Bebe did not enjoy dining at these two restaurants, but because my cousins are picky, she and I would get dragged along. If I was sick and had to go home, she was the first person I would call. She would immediately stop what she was doing and get me. Aside from generosity with my family and me, she was generous with her prayers. She was a deeply religious woman, and I look up to her because of that. She constantly carried a rosary and Magnificat book. Because of her devotion to prayer, she went to daily mass with my PaPa Don. Another one of her favorite things, which she taught me to love, was visiting Our Lady of the Lake, and going to mass with nuns. Bebe was also generous with her words. Bebe would either say, “My sweet angel,” or “My beautiful Mia” when talking to me . Lastly, no matter how late it was, I could not go to sleep without her singing “Mr. Sandman.” Through my grandmother’s generous ways, she is a modern day hero.
The next characteristic that displays Bebe as a hero is loyalty. She did not have an easy marriage; it was a struggle until the end. Many people do not know that her husband was an alcoholic throughout their marriage. Because of this, his mood changed, and he would take his anger out by hitting her. The strength she showed during this time was as if she had a superpower. Despite the physical evidence, she hid her emotions, and kept the abuse from her children as long as she could. One night however, the fighting reached its height. My grandfather left in the middle of the night and moved to California. She was relieved but also had four children to care for under one income. Instead of giving up, she worked harder to ensure that all four children received an education and were given the best opportunities life offered. Her generosity inspired many, especially my family. Because she was loyal to us, we returned the favor. We stood by her every step of her cancer journey, and we made sure she never felt alone. Bebe is my hero because of the loyalty she had for my family.
Bravery is the final characteristic my grandmother shows as a hero. Her bravest moment to me was her acceptance of death. The entire time I thought she was fighting cancer and winning, she knew her time was coming to an end. The doctors told her in August of 2015 that the lung cancer was terminal, but my family found it best not to tell me. Although she wanted to live the life she had left like nothing changed, she willingly chose to undergo chemotherapy for my cousins and me. To think that she chose to suffer pain when she did not need to makes me cry and smile at the same time. This action shows her selflessness. In December of 2014, her health began deteriorating. She died on December 12, 2014 in the Intensive Care Unit surrounded by her family as we took her off life support. As much as we did not want to do this, we knew that we would never be getting our Bebe, who was once so full of life, back to us. I knew how happy she was to see her family again, since she was the last of her siblings to pass. Thinking about her being so happy to finally meet God filled me with so much peace; it was the only thing to help me overcome my grief. As Bebe always told me, “Everyone’s silver cord will snap one day,” and I knew from that moment on she was not scared of death, and it is not something that should be feared. The bravery my Bebe showed through her death is the final reason she is my hero.
Through generosity, loyalty, and bravery, my grandmother displays true characteristics of heroism. Through selfless acts and always putting others before herself, she taught me generosity. Remaining loyal to the ones you love, no matter the circumstance, is a true characteristic of heroism that she showed. Lastly, being brave and accepting death is the final heroic trait she displayed. I believe that not all heroes have to wear capes to be one, which is proven true through my Bebe. A hero is anyone who is an inspiration, as well as an idol.