As a little girl, my heroes were Wonder Woman and my cool third-grade teacher with the wild hair. Later, they changed to people like Amelia Earhart, Joan of Arc, and Eleanore Roosevelt. Okay so I still thought Wonder Woman was da bomb too! When I became an adult though, I quit having heroes. There just wasn't anyone who inspired me anymore.
Then I read the story of Kent and Melony on a parenting board I was on at the time. Melony was the mother of fivc (three by birth and two adopted), a talented artist, and she designed the most adorable outfits for kids. From a distance this woman seemed to live a perfectly charmed life. She just seemed so happy and on top of the world. Soon though I found out how truly amazing her story and life really were.
You see, Kent was fighting a Stage 4 cancer and it had been a pretty rough fight for him. Each update told of a body that was getting weaker yet a soul that was still burning brightly and fighting for all it was worth. Neither of them ever complained about anything and Melony spoke of Kent with so much love that you could actually feel it yourself. Kent showed his love by fighting and refusing to leave his family. All this and more is why they will eternally be my heroes.
Kent taught me that I can never give up because the bottom line is that it's not really about me. It's about my family and loved ones who still need me. I learned to always keep my sense of humor thanks to him. I know now that if he could laugh, smile, and joke with all he was up against then there's no reason I couldn't do the same.
Through Melony, I finally witnessed unconditional love, unwavering faith, and the very epitome of grace. She is the kind of woman I dream of one day being. She never spoke of how hard this must all be on her but instead told about every wonderful and encouraging thing Kent did.
Thanks to Kent and his amazing sidekick, Melony, I have heroes once again. Even though they don't wear masks, tights, or long flowing capes, my "Average Joe" heroes still save the day. And the greatest part of all is that all they had to do was keep being themselves.
*Footnote* Kent passed away at home holding his wife's hand on September 23, 2005. He is sorely missed and will always be "Superman" to myself and many others.