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Day 14 → A hero that has let you down.

A small and obnoxious grammar tangent before I begin:

I would first like to point out the blatant misuse of a pronoun in this prompt, as it should read “who has let you down” rather than “that has let you down” because the definitions of “hero” are:

a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities; a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal; a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity; (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability; (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.

Thus, unless you are talking about the “hero” sandwich, the antecedent the pronoun is referring to is a person; thus, the use of “who” is required rather than “that”.

Okay, that’s the end of my obnoxious grammar tangent.

When trying to think of someone to write about for this prompt, the only person I could think of to write about is the person I’ve been trying to avoid writing about (for various reasons). However, if I’ve learned anything about writing, it’s that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and write about the things you’re afraid to say in order to resolve how you feel about them once and for all.

Dear Mom,

A hero is a person who has amazing strength, courage, and nobility. Heroes inspire others to be just like them; they are role models; they represent the qualities the rest of us strive to see in ourselves, and they do amazing things we wish we could do. Of course, as I grew up, you were my hero. I have always aspired to be just like you: a dedicated teacher, a loving sibling, a (sometimes) overbearing caretaker, a devoted friend, a scrupulously organized planner, an accomplished baker, and a supportive and loving wife. Unfortunately, my image of you as my mother (the strongest, greatest, most loving, most incredible and heroic person in my life) was completely blind to the fact that you are only human and cannot always be so strong.

This past summer you lied to me in order to prevent me from realizing there were major problems in your marriage. You tried to protect me from feeling upset and confused and angry as I prepared to start my own life as a married woman. You wanted to keep me from bearing the stress you felt, on top of the stress I had already accumulated from planning the wedding. While your actions seem to continue to fit that “heroic” persona which I’ve always attributed to you, finding out the truth later on, while knowing you’d lied to me outright and pretended that things were fine for months, shattered my perception of you.

You let me down when you lied to me, mom. When I thought you’d given up, you let me down even further; I had thought you were stronger than that because you always had been to me. I felt completely taken aback that you could be such an amazingly different person than the woman I had grown up admiring.

I am over the moon about the fact that you have not given up on your marriage. I could not be happier that you have decided to try and work things out. There is nothing I want or pray for more than that you and dad resolve everything and can build and begin a happier chapter in your lives together. However, I feel like I don’t know who you are anymore. Is this new “you” the “you” I always thought you were? Is the “you” you were a few months ago the “you” you really are? Are you completely a different “you” than I’m even aware of? Are you a combination of all three? Who are you?

I hope I get to know the real you someday. I still consider you my hero (I always will) because the qualities I’ve admired for so long have not disappeared, they’ve just been complicated by undesirable characteristics that I do not want to emulate. I love you, no matter what, and I do forgive you for lying to me. I just wish you’d be honest with me more often.