this is my hero

We all have role models: people we look up to on a daily basis and try to emulate in our day-to-day actions. People who carry themselves in such a way you can only hope to be like them.

But do we all have heroes? The people we look at and think that they must be wearing a cape under that business suit or uniform or whatever. The kind of people that make your jaw drop in admiration when you see and hear what they have done it their lives. The kind of people that live to do good for others in their lives. The kind of people that look after others’ lives before their own.

For me that hero is my dad. To others he may just have appeared to be an average American middle class guy, of average height and average weight with an average family of 2 kids with a dog in the yard. But I’m pretty sure that guy wore a cape under his business suits and yardwork clothes that only few lucky people could see. I was privileged enough to be a witness.

I could sing his praises and tell his stories all day, but I’ll keep it short and share one story that sums up my dad in a nutshell:

It was a rainy weekday afternoon. The bus just dropped me off at school after an away track meet and I was standing outside all alone in the pouring rain with dark clouds above me. A monster storm was brewing and I called my family to have someone pick me up, since my 14-year-old self couldn’t drive at that time. I knew it would take about 20 minutes for my parents to drive and pick me up. As I was standing outside waiting one of the faculty members of the school told me a tornado-like wind storm was actually brewing down the street and I needed to get inside. I knew the bridge that connected my school to the interstate would probably be closed and I was going to be stuck at school alone for the next few hours.

But before I knew it, I saw my dad’s white jeep come blazing around the corner. Beeping his horn and fist pumping the air, he flew down the road and stopped right in front of the school with my brother in the passenger seat wide-eyed, grinning ear-to-ear.

I hopped in the car and was shocked to find out my dad drove over the bridge and through a tornado to come pick me up from school. THROUGH. A. Tornado.

I sat there in shock that my dad drove actually through a storm to come get me. But I shouldn’t have been so surprised.

That’s my dad. That’s my hero.