What makes someone a hero? Must they hold some super power or unmeasurable strength? Do they need a cape and be able to fly?
My life is filled with plenty of real life heroes, from my kids teachers to the doctors who've helped me gain a better understanding of what I have and how to treat it (even those I've had to push a little bit :) ) to the soldiers protecting our freedom (two of my brothers fall into this category) to firefighters, policemen, and all those who have chosen to live a lifestyle geared towards protecting their fellow humans here on planet earth.
My favorite hero, however, is one who has no idea of the impact they make on someone's life. They show strength in the midst of an unknown and scary situation. They show compassion for the weak, and despite adversity, continue to move forward. They have a listening ear and empathetic voice.
Since my diagnosis with Neurofibromatosis, I have met so many families who are also struggling with this disorder. You've found me on this blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, a few of you I've even had the chance to meet in real life! You've given me reason to hope for better treatments, stronger futures for my children, and, sometimes, a reason to write when I just don't feel like writing (that's a good thing).
Your voices, expressing your pain, your struggles, your joys, your victories - they all resound in my ears throughout the day, pushing through the pressures of my headaches, the din of noise my kids often generously provide, and the occasional blanket of anger and depression I pull over my head on the bad days.
Readers, friends, family - YOU are my favorite heroes. And I'll take you over The Incredible Hulk, Superman, and even He-Man, stud that he was, anyday.