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My Son Is a Hero to Me

My Son is a Hero to Me

Though he never fought in a war

Never achieved honors in academics

Never championed in sports

Yet, my son is a hero to me.

He fought to survive the addictions of his birth mother

He struggled for years to walk and run

It took years of effort for him to talk

He suffered in interpersonal relationships

Society’s norms and values terrified and confused him

He was bullied and struggled to understand cruelty

Foods, clothing, sounds, textures terrified him…

To fail at simple things again and again

Yet he chooses to live.

He chooses to truly live.

No mere existence for this young man--

He adapts to the demands of our crazy society—

Seeking ways to live within a society that discriminates,

Is inconsiderate of others,

Is materialistic and me-centered.

He found the inner courage to live his own values.

He learned to stand tall

To shake hands and look people in the eye

To take classes that he knows he will struggle to pass

To refuse drugs and degrading relationships

To recognize and refuse an uncouth culture

To care and contribute hard work to his family and community

To choose his own values and honor them.

My son is  a hero to me.

Most men only face terror, suffering and death of loved ones

In war

Or late in life as aging and disease take their toll.

My son grieved the death of his sister and mother to Aids.

Having no father, he grieves the death of my father to old age.

Yet, he shares hope and humor

On a daily basis

Fighting his own feelings and thoughts.

You see…

My son is a hero to me.

He has prenatal brain damage and autism

Depression, anxiety, adhd, and yet

He gets up each day

Lost and confused and yet





To try again to make a place for himself

In this crazy social world

To contribute, to cheer others, to make them smile

To do his best for that day…




            Written for my adopted son in his 18th year.