Who Can Be Your Hero?

I have gone most of my life without a real “hero”. You know, someone that I can look up to and say “that’s someone I could be just like”. Oh sure, I have had lots of people that I have looked up to and most for all the wrong reasons. They were cool, rich, good looking or talented etc etc etc. 
So it surprises me that when I am in my mid 30’s that I finally found someone that I said to myself “now this person is worthy to be imitated”. I have always thought that no one could ever fit that bill because I am a Christian, and a hardcore Christian at that. I am someone who bases their whole life after Jesus and I do so unashamedly and without reservation, usually. Ok…I try to anyway, that’s the general idea. I feel you getting all judgy already…LOL!
Anyway, I was talking to a friend in here one day and he asked about my Mother. I started telling him about all her recent accomplishments and all her newly formed habits. Let me tell you a few of them. First of all she practically raised her four sisters, then almost raised her own mother in a sense. Then as if that wasn’t enough as a young woman, she adopted me from her sister. Not just took care of me like a surrogate temporarily, but I mean completely adopted me and raised me as her own. Then she has only had one boyfriend, I mean he was an awful bastard. Probably one of the most disgusting pigs on the planet, but she left him and gained her own independence. She has over come addiction and running with the wrong crowd. She moved states and refused to be anything other then a fully independent woman.
When I was 13 we moved from Nebraska to Washington state so that she could start over, and start over she did. Completely. She never got another boyfriend, in fact I don’t think she ever even dated again, to protect herself and me. She has over come so much in her life that it is incredible to watch. What really just opened my eyes was when I came to prison for what I did, she never once told me anything other then “I can’t stand what you’ve done, but I will NEVER stop loving you” People, I am literally crying as I am typing this it means so much to me. I can’t type the words to describe how it makes me feel to know that. What kind of love that must be to love even a man like me. It doesn’t stop there, she then raised my kids, is raising them in fact. Then (oh no, it’s still not over) she had to go back to school to get a new career because the recession just killed her job opportunities. But she never lost faith, she never even questioned what she was doing, she never complained. She just picked up every piece she could find, put them together and went on with life. Her most magical moment is still yet to come, and that is when she went and took parenting classes to learn how to parent my children. Which have some real challenges to over come, no thanks to me. When she told me that my youngest was having trouble adjusting to her having a job, she didn’t yell at me for being a bad parent, she didn’t become irate and give up…she said that he acts that way because she didn’t have the parenting skills necessary. 
Folks, I was never more ashamed and in awe of anyone in my entire life. Still, I am in awe and finally after 34 years I know what it means to have a hero. A hero in my mind is someone who you could be like, someone who has the qualities that you want to do good. If I had the patience, the wisdom the drive that she has I would be a better man. So here I am in prison, realizing that she has fallen many times and has made many mistakes, but she has never said that she knows it all and instead of making excuses for her misfortune she has refused to accept defeat and has not yet said that she will settle for anything other then the right thing.
A true hero indeed and she has become something of a hero to many men in here that she has never even met. I love you Mom…and thank you
Jeff Utnage 823469