October 13th, 2008
I sit silently and stare at him sleeping.
He used to be so fluid in his movements, so quick to his feet, yet also heavy in his footsteps tracing a thick lead to follow. If he pursued a personal code of conduct, it would be to remain disciplined. At 19 years old, he joined the US Army. Never did he finish college but prompted himself to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible.
At times, he is authoritative.
At times, he is abusive.
At times, his brute presence unveils intelligent minds feeble, guarded hearts defenseless, and bruised complexions.
Other times, he saves lives.
He rescues the elderly from fallen flights of stairs and newlywed couples from stove-top kitchen fires.
He is a hero in many people’s eyes but I have always been envious of those he’s rescued. I could never be as strong as the Military has trained him to be nor could he ever be the kind father I always wanted to console me.
But sitting here, right in front of him, I recognize the set of eyes I once couldn’t bear looking into -they are now filled with disability and deficiency. I watch him swallow painkillers to ease the shock and spasms. I watch him struggle to get from Point A to Point B. I watch him grieve with a wooden 8×10 picture frame, in his left hand, of his recently deceased parents. The two people he promised himself as a teenager, he would be better than.
I stall and stare, searching for my place to grant him the support he needs. But I can’t find it. I want to be his hero so badly; to save him and set him free from those intravenous handcuffs. Beyond the hurt he has caused with his fists and his words, I don’t believe he deserves this pain.
I sit silently and stare at him sleeping between a familiar feeling and its resolve.
And when he wakes up, I will scoff at his moans for help because if I crawl to his cry, it will only confirm his disability. It will only manifest his weakness. It will not support my firm beliefs. If I become his hero, he will never have been a hero at all.