We've all had the events of 9/11 on our minds more than ever this month because it marks the 3rd anniversary of one of the most tragic events to ever occur on American soil. I don't even have the vocabulary to describe my horror as I watched the events unfold on live television that day. The heroism, the unselfishness, the ability of those Americans on flight 93 to make the decision to halt the terrorist from completing the attack on the 4th target, leaves me in awe. But these events also remind me of the heroism of everyday people who go on with their lives in situations where I'm not sure I could.
During the last week of February, 1996, my daughter, Jami, took a tumble from a horse which resulted in a compound fracture of her left forearm. Since we live in such a rural area without the hospitals and specialists needed to take care of such a fracture, we were sent with her to Lebonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN for surgery to put things right. The 5 days and 6 nights that we were there, we were surrounded by heroism that most of us never notice.
The doctors and nurses there are heros of course, but the ones who stay imprinted in my memory are the mothers and fathers of the desperately ill children there. I can't even comprehend how much courage it must take to go through every day taking care of your child, not knowing if you'll have another hour, or week, or month, or year with them. Imagine the strength it must take to let go of a baby's hand who's taking it's first steps when you know the terminal disease that they have will probably take them before they learn to run.
How much courage do you think it takes to help a child, who's been given 6 months to live, with their homework? Or do you give up hope and put aside the homework because you tell yourself it doesn't matter anyway? The mother's and Father's have to work, cook, do laundry, take care of their other children, do everything that you and I do, and still look death in the face every single second of every single day.
They don't give medals or ceremonies to these heros, maybe because they couldn't make enough medals or have as many minutes as it would take to honor them, but to me, they're the most courageous of all.