According to dictionary.com, a superhero is “a hero, especially in children’s comic books and television cartoons, possessing extraordinary, magical powers.” Although I can guarantee that you have not, nor will you ever, see my mom featured in Saturday morning Spiderman cartoons or in Batman and Robin’s comic book series, as a mother of three, a wife, a breast cancer survivor, and a best friend to many, it’s safe to say that she indeed does possess extraordinary, magical powers and is therefore a superhero to me.
My mom battled breast cancer not once but twice, the second time being one of the toughest times of her life. Although my mom was able to avoid chemotherapy, she underwent a bilateral mastectomy (the removal of both her breasts) along with 3 more, majorly-invasive surgeries. Some surgeries would take over six hours, yet all my mom could think about was getting back on her feet and helping her family.
As I watched and helped (as much as I really could) my mom recover from these surgeries. I could tell that one of the hardest obstacles was not being able to cook and clean for her family. She hated not being able to provide dinner for our family. She hated not being able to drive my brothers to their after-school activities. She hated not being able to help others as much as she always did. While she sat in her recliner with 4 drains connecting to her body and scars running 180 degrees around her body, all she could think about were the people she loved and how much she wanted to help them. I can’t even imagine experiencing the spectrum of pain she was in for about a year, and to be completely honest, if I was in that sort of pain, I don’t think I’d be able to put others' needs above my own. This is only one way my mom is a superhero to me.
In times of pain, sadness, or even awkwardness, I have always struggled with finding the bright side of things. My mom, however, never fails to shed humor and laughter on a situation when needed. For example, when I’d bring a boy over in high school, my mom would always find some way to squeeze in some stupid, corny joke. Although I would feel absolutely humiliated at the time, I realized how much that took the pressure off the whole meeting-the-fam thing. Sorry for all those times I yelled at you, mom, I'm sorry. Keep doing you.
Lastly and most importantly, my mom has been a superhero at balancing being a mother while being a best friend to me. She is always there to listen and laugh with me, but gives me the cold, hard truth when needed. Although I think of her as my best friend, she still sets high expectations for me and expects me to meet them and go above and beyond. She’s proud of me when I do well and is disappointed in me when I don’t do so well — but she never gives up on me. If I didn’t have that balance of friendship and discipline, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, and I most certainly would not have obtained the goal to become a superhero to my daughter some day.