by PATRICIA MILLER
Someone asked me recently to define hero. I, of course, thought of my mother. Her legacy defines hero.
Then I thought of my brother, a three time Iraqi veteran, Air Force sergeant and Federal air marshal who just became a father.
But in my heart the hero that gets little recognition is the man who loved me when I was just a girl. The boy who turned into a man who loved me just the same at 285 pounds as he does at 135 pounds. The man turned father of my children who listens when I throw a fit or understands when I just don’t want a hug right now. The man who carried my mother’s ashes home and after 22 years of being her son in law, knew ,even then, how to make me laugh.
A hero carries burden on their shoulders so others can survive and no one will ever know just how much burden a boy turned man, turned husband, turned father can carry so others can survive. How have we lasted 22 years through teenage love, college rebellion, marriage, adulthood, parenthood and still be best friends after 22 years because when you love a hero you never let go… I love you Airen Miller.
And to all the fathers who work so hard everyday in the countless ways to protect your families, to provide and to inspire, I hope that this June you find a father’s day celebration that celebrates you and all your hopes and desires.
I hope that just the way we wish mothers a happy restful Mother’s Day that you also get a Father’s Day that allows you to relax and reenter your mind inspires your dreams.
On Mother’s Day we offer up flowers, perfume and jewelry. I hope that whether it is a bottle of whiskey or an ice cold margherita, you know how important your role is in the lives of those who count on you.
To all the dads who do it alone or together with a partner, Happy Father’s Day.
To all the moms who are both mom and dad , you deserve a fabulous day of rest and beauty as well.
To all the men who are hoping to become dads, remember fatherhood is a gift and even though it can feel hard sometimes, the benefits are always worth it.
Teaching boys as early as we can that fatherhood is tough and no one gives you a manual that says how to do any of it will prepare them not only for their own journey but will allow them to better understand their own fathers. We only know what we are taught and shown.
If you would like your son to be someone’s hero one day, then know everything you do now will be his example.
Patricia Miller is a weight loss surgery patient advocate and volunteer.