When you hear the word “hero," you start to imagine Superman soaring over the city or even Batman racing down the streets in his Batmobile to fight crime. However, we do not find all heroes in a fictional comic book. Some of life’s greatest heroes are often described as brave, selfless, charismatic, and the list continues. Heroes tend to have small weaknesses placed upon their shoulders; they create a burden to carry along.

My pop-pop has always been my hero for as long as I can remember.

I couldn’t truly grasp the meaning of what it requires to be a hero when I was younger, but now as I advance in life and through observing all hardships my grandfather progressed through, I can say he positively is my hero. He had the strength of a bull and never gave up. Most importantly, He taught me to always play the worst hand of cards in the best manner.

At an early stage in life, children often find someone who they think is “cool” or “fun," and declare them their hero. I always remember writing “pop-pop” was my hero because he was always so much fun to be around; he brought rolls from the local bakery often singing his “roll and butter song”, he always taught me card games and had endless stories that could brighten your day.

However, as I am growing older, I think of being a hero completely different. A hero is someone who never gives up, despite all the burdens they may be carrying. My Pop-Pop carried these burdens for many years and still stayed strong. He was not the average human; walking on two prosthetics underneath his stumps, having 9 fingers, one functional kidney, and fighting diabetes at the same time. Many people face similar battles, but my pop-pop handled these in a manner that is rarely seen.

Although my pop began his health battles even before I was born, I have experienced many of the hills he has had to climb. An infection in my hero’s leg slowly overtook him. I vividly remember the day my mom came home to my sister and I and told us we must say goodbye to pop. I felt as if my heart dropped to my feet. All through that restless night, I worried what the next steps would be and how impossible it would be to say goodbye.

The next morning, we all woke and heard good news; pop-pop was doing better. Nothing ever stood in this man’s way; he picked himself back up one time after another. I know my hero not only watches over me, but his legacy leaves me with lessons to never forget. I will forever stay positive and remind ones I care for that my love is alive for them.

In everything I do, I am able to do it with great strength and determination because of all the lessons this amazing man has taught me. Even the slightest pain in my life does not compare to endeavors of my poppy. I keep him in my mind as a reminder that unfavorable situations could be worse; I am thankful every day for my health and happiness.

Through everything I do, I try to have at least half the courage as my hero. Through many years of watching my poppy fighting through life, I have learned something very important: always remind your loved ones that you care about them. Your life can change quickly right before your eyes. Cherish every moment and never be afraid to say “I love you.”

I can’t think of someone more heroic than this special man. No stop signs existed in his life, and being dealt a bad hand of cards never ruined his game. He taught me to never take anything for granted; your struggles are only such a small portion of the world's.