Almost every year since kindergarten, I have been asked to write an essay about who my hero was and why. And every year I would write about how cool I thought Superman was or how civil servants were my heroes because they were real-life heroes. I did this every year until my senior year.

The first week my teacher asked us who our hero was and wanted us to write a two-page essay about that hero and so I started on my usual essay that was probably about doctors or police officers or a profession of that kind and then I stopped and thought about who MY hero was. I have never been saved by a firefighter or a police officer and although they are heroes they are not my heroes, they have had no direct impact on my life, so I started brainstorming about who has had an impact on my life: my parents.

My parents even though they are not perfect and never will be, are doing the best they can do with what they were given.

They were given my older brother, Trey, who was a handful and they somehow, with many gallons of blood, sweat, and tears, got him through everything that needed to be fought through.

They were given me, with a chronic illness and a stubborn-as-a-mule attitude, and somehow, they got me to college without any homicidal actions (although they had probably thought about it a few dozen times.) The last "gift" they were given was my pain of a younger brother, Kolin. They still have two years of high school for him to get through, but they’ve gotten this far, why give up now?

My brothers and I are not going to save the world or do anything newsworthy (hopefully,) but we were raised to know when to love and when to make sacrifices. We were taught to always stand strong for what you believe in but not to force your beliefs on anyone else. We learned that you should always help those who have fallen and the strays but know when it is time to let go and make them stand on their own.

Our parents showed us that it’s okay to wander far from home as long as you come back in time for dinner. Parents don’t stop being parents when their kids are grown, they just become the parents of grown kids.

Not all heroes wear capes. You can’t tell who a hero is just from looking at them. A hero depends on who you are and who they are. My heroes happen to be a factory mechanic and an in-home care worker who would give anything to make sure their children are happy and living the best quality life that is possible.