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Hero Poem, Honoring Those Who Made a Difference

Hero Poem, Honoring Those Who Made a Difference

“If you wake up breathing, it’s a good day!” Said the guy who was sick his entire life. That guy (my dad) is my hero and today would have been his 62nd birthday. With love, I share this hero poem in celebration of that brave person you’ve been blessed to cross paths with, the one who made your world a little bit brighter.

It takes courage to wake up each morning and love the world all over again.

That’s something my dad did, maybe not despite but because of his lifelong illness. When he passed in 2016, I wasn’t sure how I was going to keep on writing, keep on smiling (like he always told me to do), or even keep on living. His strong presence lingered though; and my mom told me he would want to see me keep doing those things.

Today, on this brilliant man’s birthday, I try to open my heart a little bit more to this concept:

Wake up with gratitude in your heart, even if there’s pain there too. Life is a gift, not a guarantee. Cherish what you’ve been given: another chance to make someone smile, to infuse humor into life’s challenges, to live like it might be your last day on earth. Take nothing for granted.

Sure, maybe these are cliche statements to some people. Try living them, though, and see how heartbreakingly difficult it can be. Life swarms with heartbreak, but also moments of pure gratitude simply for being alive to experience the gifts of real connection.

Through the breaks in our hearts, the light of empathy and grace emerge.

Even after losing his son to suicide, my dad used his life to honor my brother’s, to celebrate what my brother loved, and to continue giving his gifts of hearty laughter and joy to the people he loved.

If I could define a hero, it would be with words like empathy, compassion, and courage — the courage to love again, to love others and to love this chance to be alive, even after the most painful seasons. The hero’s gift outlasts their lifetime; their legacy lives on in the hearts they’ve touched.

A hero comes bearing light. Even after they've gone, they continue to illuminate the world.

This hero poem exists in honor of the first man who made a difference in my life, the one whose light will never fade. Please feel free to share it with the person you want to celebrate.

Hero Poem

You are a hero and

this is why:

You rise another time

to help and to heal.

You bring joy into places.

You bring hope into conversations.

The sunlight in your heart travels far and

this world is brighter

because of you.


You are a hero and

this is how I know:

Your light will never fade

from my life.

Your courage has become

my own.

The sun still rises

in my heart

because of you.

. . .


Tell me:

Which part of this poem did you need to read today?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd love to know!

Only love,


P.S. Want to celebrate that person with poetry you can hold (or gift)? Go visit my shop for prints of handwritten poems and other words of hope and heart. Your walls will love it.

P.P.S. Happy birthday, Dad.

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