Hero Essay

As a person grows so do the things they hold dear to

themselves and the things they look up to. Heroes take

many forms when we are children, from the comic book

superhero to the imaginary friend. As we grow from

children to young adults our heroes change to those more

tangible, movie stars or athletes. When we reach

adulthood, the definition of hero becomes clear and our

heroes become those that we love and can look up to. It

took me a while to realize it but my hero is an 83 year old


In 1986, at the ripe age of 6, I was given the news that a

big storm was coming. As a child the news of a big storm

frightened me, I was paralyzed by the fear of being struck

by lightning. The sky became unsettled, a shade of gray that

left even the brightest spirit longing. The rains came hard

and fast, the thunder and lightning along with it. Shortly

after the wind began to pick up. I had seen The Wizard of

Oz and became extremely worried that our entire

apartment building would be ripped from the foundation

and taken to some far off world. At the pinnacle of the

storm there was a knock at the door. Of course I didn\'t

hear the knock because it\'s hard to hear when you have

your ears plugged so as to avoid the thunder. It was Auntie

Lou, everyones favorite babysitter. With rain cap on her

head and umbrella in hand, she had braved the storm to

come visit my sister and I. With a joyful look on her face

Lou asks if anyone wanted to go for a walk. Had anyone

else asked I would have said, "No way, Jose!" but for

Auntie Lou, anything. So on went the raincoat and the old

shoes that I was allowed to get wet. Though the rain was

pelting and the wind whipping, we braved our way through

the aparment complex. At one point the wind nearly pulled

me and my umbrella over but Lou held me by her side.

That was the point I knew somehting was special about


After returning from a church Christmas party in December

of 1997 there was a disturbing message on the answering

machine. "There\'s a fire at Lou\'s apartment complex, go

make sure she\'s okay" So the four of us (mom, dad, sister

and myself) climbed back into the car and headed to the

apartments which were only a few blocks away. As we

arrived, the scene was tense, sirens blared out in the cold

night and the light from the fire engines gave everything an

extra red glow. Not only was the fire in her building but it

was her apartment where it had all begun. Frantically we

searched for the then 81 year old woman that played such

a large role in our lives. She was found in the complex

office trying to call us to tell us of her condition. Though the

fire had started in her apartment she came out unharmed.

The difficult part of that night was when we realized that

what she had with her in the office, was all that she had left.

Her Salvation Army uniform and the tambourine that she

held for the last 30+ years in the local grocery store. In true

hero fashion Lou went to work the following day,

everything she owned lost in the fire she continued on for

her cause. That was the point I realized how truly heroic

this now 83 year old woman is. When asked why she went

to work the day after losing everything she simply said,

"it\'s my job, I need to do it".

A true hero is defined by his or her accomplishments. For

83 year old Auntie Lou Dobson that accomplishment is

leading a Godly life and setting an example for others with

her "be strong in the face of adversity" attitude. As a child it

was Spiderman, as a teen it was Micheal Jordan, but as an

adult with a strong definition I choose Auntie Lou as my