Try waking up
“Anyone can slay a dragon…but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That’s what takes a real hero.” ― Brian Andreas
In June 2012, just three months before Jeff got the first of what would be several diagnoses of cancer, we were seated in a Bar Harbor restaurant looking forward to a nice meal after a day of exploring Acadia National Park. I noticed the art hung on the wall above his head, and thought how appropriate it would be to have a photo of him sitting beneath it. (He didn’t even realize the sign was there, or notice what it said.)
I had no way of knowing how prophetic that photo would be; how hard it would be for him simply to keep waking up every day over the next year and beyond, facing the grief, uncertainty, pain and physical trauma that go with cancer and its treatments. What I did know already was that he was that kind of hero, one who would keep putting one foot in front of the other as long as he was able, not complaining or even saying much at all about his struggles and sorrow, just quietly keeping on.
Though most of us have difficulties that probably are not as obvious as his, all of us have to show that same heroic devotion. Some days, it is far from easy to wake up and love the world all over again. But somehow we do it, day after day, and in so doing, we unknowingly give each other the same strength we ourselves have drawn from heroic examples of perseverance.
I hope today is one of those days when it feels easy and happy and natural to love the world all over again. But if it’s a difficult day for you, remember that being a hero seldom looks or feels thrilling and exciting. That hidden, unnoticed sort of courage is all the more heroic, and the world depends on it.
One year ago today: