Heroes Among Us

"Even if he knew the outcome, he would have done the same thing." The family of Alan Hall (http://tbo.com/ar/390103/ )

"Carissa is and always will be my greatest inspiration and number one hero ... the only word that could ever define her is love. " Dan Pearce (http://www.danoah.com/2012/04/in-honor-of-carissa-2.html)

Hero. A simple four-letter word that means so much. This word has popped up time and again in my life this week ... 

People gathered today to mourn the death and celebrate the life of a hero - a man who lost his own life saving the life of a child. His story has been on the news in Florida where the event occurred and family and friends have been sharing thoughts about him via the internet. The one phrase I've heard and read over and over is that even if he knew the outcome, he would have done the same thing. Alan Hall truly is a hero.

On his blog, Single Dad Laughing, Dan Pearce honors the memory of his sister - his number one hero - by asking everyone to share something about their favorite people. His sister loved everyone she met. They were all her favorite people. Only heroes like Carissa have love that big!

Those examples and others filled my thoughts with all the heroes in our lives that go seemingly unnoticed or unrecognized. The people who save others’ lives, perhaps without even realizing it. The people who touch our lives, even for a moment, yet have a huge impact. There have been many such people in my life.

Years ago I was alone in my dorm room studying. My asthma had been bothering me and I was having an especially hard time. As I got up to get a drink of water, my chest constricted and the world started spinning. I grabbed the phone and hit redial – then passed out. When I awoke, my hero’s face was the first I saw. It had been his number that had been the number I’d dialed – but I’d passed out before saying a word. He came to my rescue anyway – intuition, not caller id, told him it was me who called and that I needed him. A few years after that incident, I married him. His care, concern, and our deep connection makes Jim my hero. 

There was a time in my life when I was wracked with anxiety and depression. Feeling as if I could no longer handle my life and thinking I was losing my mind, I didn't know where to go or what to do. I was in a very bad place. A friend took me by the hand, found someone who could help me, and had me admitted to a psychiatric facility where I got the counseling and medications I needed. Her commitment to our friendship and the fact that she saved my life makes Renee my hero.

Almost two years ago I was pregnant, but felt that there was something wrong with the pregnancy. It would be my last pregnancy, that I knew for sure. On the way to my ultrasound, we stopped to get gas. I went inside to pay, and the man ahead of me turned to me and said, “God is with you. Especially now. It will be ok..” He smiled, and walked out the door. At my ultrasound I learned I would miscarry. I miscarried twins. The words of a complete stranger echoed in my heart through that difficult time and gave me peace. This stranger's love and faith make him my hero.

Last year I was having a difficult time coming to terms with my diagnoses and  new limitations. A friend recognized my struggle and did something about it. Each day for about a week, I received cards in the mail with pictures of spoons in them. Those cards meant the world to me - I still have some of the spoons taped to the shelves near my bed. The love and care in her cards buoyed my spirits and touched my heart. Dawn's kindness and encouraging spirit make her my hero.
There are innumerable heroes in all of our lives. I urge you to take some time to recognize and honor the heroes in your lives. Perhaps Alan Hall's daughter knows the best way to do so: "Please do something, however small, for someone today. A kind word or action would honor my dad." Because her heart is as giving as her dad's, even in this time of mourning, Julie Hall is my hero.


  1. Alan B. Hall was a direct descendant of a Boston Brahmin family, Endicott.

  2. Alan B. Hall was a direct descendant of a founders of New Haven and Wallingford, in Connecticut!

  3. Alan B. Hall was the distant cousin of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Grover Cleveland, Gerald R. Ford, Millard Fillmore, and Franklin D. Roosevelt!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. To remember him, somebody should open a restaurant has Florida and New England cuisine and Frito-Lay products, they should call it “Uncle” Alan Hall’s Cafe.


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