My Personal Hero
Everyone has someone they look up to and want to be just like one day and everyone has different opinions and who a true hero is. My personal hero is my mother, Mavis Dillon. My mom is my favorite person in the world because she is always there when I need her the most and I don’t know where I would be today without her. She has blessed me with a great life and I am forever thankful for all she does for me. Nobody could ever compare to my mother. She is the most caring, loving, and genuine person I know and that is why she is my hero.
When I think of a hero, I think of someone who is brave, strong, hardworking, trustworthy, and unselfish. Someone who can protect you and make life better; my mom has all of those qualities. My mother was raised by two great parents and had a very good life growing up. She lived in a small town called East Bend, she was a cheerleader, and graduated from Forbush High School. After high school she went to college at Western Carolina University for four years and majored in Education and then went on to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro to get her masters in Administration Education. My mother had a job throughout college and worked hard to make good grades and have money to spend. She was very hardworking and did whatever it took to make her dreams possible. She has always told me college was the best years of her life and to enjoy being young while you can.
A hero to me is a person that is there for you no matter what; they will always be by your side even if times do get tough. My mom has a never left my side, and I know she will always be there for me whether I am upset and crying or I am celebrating a new accomplishment in my life. I have never met someone who is so selfless as her. She has always put me first in her life and done everything she could to be the best mother and give me the best life. Putting up with me is not easy. I am moody, stubborn, and at times I think I know everything. My mother and I don’t have the perfect relationship. We get in arguments and disagree on a lot of things, but no matter how big of a fight we get in we always make up by the end of the day because we both know we couldn’t live without each other.
One of the many great traits my mom has is that she is strong. This past October my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she told me the news I completely lost it. All of these thoughts started running through my head about how hard this was going to be and that the outcome could be bad, but then I started to think about how strong she was and that she was going to get through this and beat cancer. In December my mom had her surgery to remove the cancer and everything went great; they removed all the cancer. We were all so thankful and lucky that the surgery went so well. She just recently started radiation and is halfway done with her treatments. She really does make cancer look so easy. The fact that my mom has overcome breast cancer makes her even more of a hero to me than before. She’s fearless and knew the whole time that she was going to get through this hardship in her life and that God always has a plan.
My mother is my hero not only because what she offers me and gives back to me but to other people too, she is a great wife, mother and friend. All the qualities she has as a person I hope one day and I can have the same and be just like her. My mother makes me feel like the most important person in the world, because I know she would do anything for me in heartbeat if I was in need or hurt. Words cannot even express the love I have for her, and how blessed I am to have such an amazing mother. She has alway taught me to love myself, and to be proud of who I am. My mother has always said that you should do whatever makes you happy and be the best person you can. She is my hero for more than just a few reasons. She has been by my side for 17 years now and I know there are many more to come. Nothing will ever compare to how much she has impacted my life. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her.
“My Mother, my idol”…..
I looked up to my mother, one who knew everything, always had a solution to everyday problems, a pianist, an opera singer, a community volunteer, involved in social causes and supportive of her six children’s dreams and accomplishments. That is (was) my mother! Without fear, she would prepare gourmet meals for social gatherings of no less than 100 friends and family; too many times to count. She mastered new skills to near perfection from becoming an accomplished tennis player to a virtuoso pianist… nothing stood in her way of accomplishing her goals, strive for love and happiness for her family and all of the people she loved. Her charm, self-assurance and positive outlook and influence were contagious and she went out of her way to help people in need.
Today at 78 years of age, she is still driven, if not obsessed, with slowing the aging process through healthy eating, mind puzzles and more importantly in her numerous physical activities (swimming 80 laps a day, walking/running, golfing and as a yoga/pilates instructor for seniors in her complex). She is also totally aware of her cognitive decline manifested by word searches, short-term memory lapses and difficulty in following simple instructions. She is less aware of her repeated stories in a short period of time. All her married life, she was the designated driver for short and long trips, but now my father has taken control of the car keys, which she has somewhat accepted as a gesture of pure love. At age 86, this man, my father, is now facing a new life and needing to take on a more nurturing and caring role of the woman of his dreams.
Although in early stages of cognitive decline, her understanding of “what is happening” has generated low confidence, low self-esteem; she now refers to herself as being “stupid” and apologizes for this. In later stages, she may be blessed with complacency and less self-critical judgment but in the meantime, I would like to know how to help her regain her confidence in the midst of these evolving changes. I believe that confidence and a sense of autonomy to make ones decisions is a very important area of focus and that its absence can lead to depression, isolation and deep sadness.
Please help me help my mother regain some assurance, provide her the dignity she deserves now and for the future and prevent what I believe are preventable psychological problems.
She will always be my idol! Thank you!
Cliff: Dear “My Mother, my idol”………..What a loving tribute to a remarkable person! I hope your mother gets to hear this from you directly. But you’re describing a very painful reality. Recognizing that a parent is losing brain and cognitive capacity hits home where it hurts most. We are more likely to both recognize and accept their physical decline, but when memory and other cognitive functions start to go, it seems as if they themselves are leaving us. In your mother’s case, memory decline is causing her to lose confidence……the confidence that made her fearless in her activist approach to life.
Is there anything to be done? First, we can’t assume that she’s developing dementia. It’s true, that the changes you see in your mother could well be caused by Alzheimer’s disease. But many other medical and psychological problems can cause these problems as well. Your mother needs a medical assessment by her primary care provider to document cognitive impairment and rule out the common causes of memory loss and confusion in older adults.
If this initial evaluation confirms that there is a problem that is not due to an obvious medical or psychological problem, then referral to a specialist in either geriatrics (primary care provider with special training and certification in care of seniors) or dementia (geriatric or neuropsychiatrist. behavioral neurologist or neuropsychologist) should be considered for more detailed assessment to derive a specific diagnosis.
I’m a believer in getting an accurate diagnosis. I think people have a right to know what is causing their symptoms, even in the case of dementia. Others might say that your mother’s confidence would really be shaken even further if she had a formal diagnosis of some dementing disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Most people accept the diagnosis with determination and courage. I’m sure your mother would too (if, in fact, that is her diagnosis……we can’t assume that without an evaluation). Whatever the diagnosis, it would bring information and understanding to a difficult, embarrassing situation for her. Instead of feeling “stupid”, as she does now, she would know she has a medical condition that deserves compassion and understanding from those around her. She’ll know she has work to do to maintain her mental functioning as long as possible. A few visits with a counselor may help with acceptance of this new reality. Beyond this, there are treatments available often help and should be tried. These include vitamin supplements, prescribed medications and both mental and physical activities. Good luck and let us know how it goes for her!