They sat not 5 feet from each other. Three heroes in my life. Not just in the same room but all that close together. What is the chances of that.
As I lay in bed, musing of that fact. I realized also the differences in these people and why they had impacted my life but still could not get over the fact that they had all been in the same room together at the same time.
One doesn't have that many heroes in their lifetime.....true heroes, that is and heroes become heroes for different reasons. But, they all leave a certain impact on your life. In my life, the hero tag is not given out lightly and today, I realized that one of these men had elevated his hero status while an other had, somewhat, diminished his (probably not that that fact matters to him).
One of them is an athlete. Admired by his peers, he climbed the pinnacle of his career, the hall of fame. His job places him in the public eye and that along with his career places him in a somewhat higher status of sorts. He attained hero status when I followed his career in college and in the pros and, even today, those two teams are my favorites. So, it was more of an idol thing that brought that status. I realized something today. I will always admire him for his accomplishments but he is not someone that I can or could just sit down and talk with over a cup of coffee. He is a nice man, but it probably has to do with so many people wanting to be his friend for who he is that he builds a sort of barrier around himself not knowing of their genuineness if that is a word.
The second is my father. And, I assume that most of us hold our fathers in a hero status for one reason or another. Mine taught me the value of hard work. That was not always taught in the way that I wanted it to but is there none the less. My chores were done before anything else happened.
He also taught me the value of the dollar and is responsible for my thriftiness even though he probably doesn't realize that. There is one big thing that he did once, that set my life on a course that brought me to the credit rating that I have right now. What he did was say no. I was digging through a box just yesterday of old pictures and realized that fact. I ran across a picture of me standing next to a car. I had taken the picture and sent it to him asking him to cosign so that I could buy it. I was so angry after he said no that I decided to show him and found an older car that I could purchase on credit, paid it off, and traded it up for a better one. I now have a credit score of over 800 which was started by those decisions way back then.
The third is a man who only came into my life in the past few years. He originally attained hero status for what he had done. He was willing to give up his life for the men around him. He actually dropped on a live grenade saving many of their lives. I have in my possession a copy of the letter of commendation that was given to him by the president when he was awarded the medal of honor.
But, recently his hero status has been enhanced for other reasons. While he is in his 90's now, he gives of himself unselfishly. He is willing to sit and talk with just about anyone and does not hold himself in high esteem in any way. He actually feels that he owes this country more than it owes him which is such a refreshing viewpoint in our somewhat entitlement society
Unlike the other hero, I can easily sit down with him over a cup of coffee and just talk. And in that conversation have the feeling that he cares for me as I do him. Recently, when he had his 90th birthday party, I was almost brought to tears when he asked Judy and I to join him in his family picture of the event.
So, as I walk away from this thought, I realize just how blessed a life that I have. I have many friends who lift up my spirits on a daily basis in one way or another. Some of them are closer to others and I have found that that close status does change from time to time.
I have a handful of heroes who became that way for various reasons. The hero status is not lost unless something egregious happens and to have three of them so close at the same time is not something that happens in ones life that often.
And, I am blessed to be married to a beautiful woman who today will be sharing an anniversary of 37 years together. A feat that puts us in an elite status in today's world. We will be spending the day together with a drive to the valley where we plan to visit the tulip festival.
When times get tough, these are the memories that I need to lean on.