When I think of heroes, so many people come to mind that it would be difficult to choose just one to single out for admiration. I see people every day engaged in extraordinary acts of courage and selflessness. They are in my gastroparesis support groups. They are ordinary people forced to be warriors on a daily basis. They are the people who pour forth seemingly endless time, effort, and care into these groups, and leave me touched beyond words by their dedication.
Everyone in the groups is ill and struggling to find a way to deal with his or her pain, fighting to get through the day; yet, these people set aside their concerns for self in order to make a difference for others who are struggling in the same way. They offer advice, insight, kind words, and prayers to those who are hurting. Their stories about a similar experience, knowledgeable comments regarding medications or treatments, or even their wishes for others to “have a nice day” often times leave a huge impact on the receiver. Their dedication frequently means the difference between hope and despair for those members who see no light at the end of the tunnel.
No one can take away all the bad things that happen to others, although we might wish it with all of our hearts. It is not possible in this fallen world. But these kind souls, who brave the groups day after day, do make others feel loved, wanted, and cared for. These selfless soldiers inform those who seek knowledge and encourage those looking for a reason to go on in the midst of their agony. They persuade those doubting their self-worth of their significance, and they convince those contemplating their importance that they matter.
These are the true heroes – the ones “in the trenches” on a daily basis, the ones who set aside their own needs and concerns to serve others. They are regular people who see a need and set out to fulfill it. They are the brave souls who demonstrate courage and magnanimity every day and never tire of helping others. They have my undying admiration and gratitude.