A note about this essay: Halle submitted the winning essay to the "Real Life Hero" contest in which my publishers and I asked readers to submit stories of real heroes in their lives. Halle wrote a beautiful piece about her mother, and I think when you read it you'll see why I believe both of them are true heroes. As a contest prize, I was honored to be able to turn Halle into a Super in the story "SAFE" which you can read by following the link at the end of the essay. Without further ado, I give you:
By Halle Ludwig
I have more than one person to look up to in this world, but if I had to choose a hero, it would be my mom. She’s a hero for a lot of reasons. One of these is because she is a role model. My mom always tries to do the right thing. When she does mess up, she apologizes and admits it. She has tried to teach me right from wrong.
My mom gives to others who do not have as much as we do, and she tells me everyone should be treated the same no matter what. When I was a baby, my mom adopted my sister, Crystal. She really couldn’t afford to, but she knew Crystal needed a mother. She showed me that you always put other people’s needs first. She told me, “Every child needs a mother”.
My mom is my hero, because she is always a comfort source if I am feeling sick. Sometimes when I am sick, I am really sick. This is because I have End Stage Renal Disease. Mom spent three whole years in the hospital every night, on uncomfortable chairs, watching me, listening to machines beep, and wondering whether or not I was going to live. She never gave up and I’m so thankful for that.
When I finally weighed enough, mom donated her kidney to me. That’s another reason she is my hero. It’s a really good reason, I think. Except, last year, her kidney failed inside of me. She quit her job and started fundraising full-time to help pay for a new kidney for me. She also started searching for a new kidney. She did all of this while she took care of me, and I was getting really sick. That was very heroic.
When I got my new kidney this past July, my mom stayed at the hospital every night the whole six weeks. She also gives me all my medications, changes my dressings and takes me to doctor’s visits. She is there for me if I just have a cold, too.
My mom is a caretaker for three kids: my brother, Layne, my stepsister, Teddi, and me. She has to take care of of my two dogs: Lola, and my new dog, Iggy. She also takes care of my stepdad! The reason my mom is my hero out of everyone else is that she has been taking care of kids for seventeen years!
When I am scared of storms, my mom always tries to calm me. When the needles at the hospital poke over and over, my mom holds my hand and makes sure the nurse gets the best stick. My mom learned everything there is to know about my disease so she could talk to my doctors.
I hope this essay helps explain the many reasons I consider my mom to be a hero. She may just look like a mom, but she’s really special to me! In fact, I call her my superhero.