The Reluctant Hero
By: Peggy Gerber

People called you a hero,
an inspiration,
deemed you courageous and strong:

for the way you drove your kids
to school in that hand-operated blue van,
when your legs became too rubbery to walk,

for the way you gave your walker a silly name
so your children would feel less afraid,
each morning asking them to help you find Bubba,

for the way you planned your children's birthday parties,
helped them with their homework,
advocated for them at school,
and prepared them
to live a life without you.

You never wanted anyone to call you a hero.
You were just a good mom
that was dealt a bad hand.

You died the way you lived.
With silent dignity.
Refusing to be pitied.

Well, my deeply missed friend,
make no mistake about it:
You were always a hero to me.

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