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Writing to your hero may make all the difference in the world!
 
Below are just some samples of the many hero letters we received.  The first few are responses about what happened after they wrote to their hero.
 
Dearest Michael, 
I cannot thank you enough for your encouraging us to write letters to our heroes.  Yesterday I got a letter back from my dad to whom I had sent my hero letter and I can't believe the timing.  He had become very depressed because he has a heart condition and basically the Dr. said there is nothing more we can do.  The Dr. also told him he needed to limit his driving, which affects his independence, can you see where all this is going?  The letter I received from him said, "Thank you for sending me such a nice letter the timing was perfect and kept me from doing something stupid."  Thank God I sent that letter when I did and thank you Michael for suggesting it.  The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways. 
(Name withheld by request)

*************

I just wanted to tell you that because of your encouragement, I wrote a hero
letter to my Mom...
It took me the better part of a day to write it, as it was filled with many memories and tears... It went out in the mail yesterday... I thought she would rather be able to read it in the privacy of her room, rather than at the computer with the grandbabies running around... *smile* It was a good 3 pager, mostly filled with memories and tidbits that would mean nothing to most except us... There are 3,500 miles that separate us,
but I feel that I will be sitting right next to her as she reads those words...
I tell her every day how much I love her, but this was something that definitely needed done... I turned Mom on to email and e-cards a year and a half ago when I was taking care of her after her heart bypass surgery. We keep in touch daily through that...
I just wanted to thank you for the gentle prodding...
Kim
 
 
**********
 
Thank you so much for publishing my letter to my sister, I am sending along her response, just thought you might like to see it...
Peggy

 
Dear Peggy,
Oh, my gosh!   This morning,  (Wednesday),  I was crying out to the Lord because I was so discouraged about a hundred things and begged Him to do something to encourage me.  Then finally this evening I had a chance to sit down at the computer and there was your wonderful E-mail.  I bet you didn't know that God uses you.
Your letter was beyond anything I could imagine anyone saying to me.  I guess I don't believe that anything I do ever amounts to much.   I love you.  I loved you with all my heart from the moment I knew that Mom was expecting.  You were the neatest thing that ever happened to me as a child and I enjoyed you immensely all those years.  You were a delight to me and I was always very grateful that you came along.  I can't speak for anyone else, but I think we all thought you were pretty special.
     Thank you for sharing those feelings with me. It really saved the day and the month and the year for me.  You used to listen to me more back then.  Now, you're pretty independent yourself. 
     I'm going to send this because I think you're probably online right now and I'm going to try to figure out how to do instant messages.    
Love you always and forever. 
Dottie
 
 

To my loving sister, Diane:

 I was born long after my siblings, an afterthought, an accident, hopefully our parents felt I was an unexpected gift from God. Mom and Dad had long wearied of the day to day hard work of raising a young child. I am not saying I was not loved, but when I saw pictures of a younger set of parents, playing and making things for their children, I felt that I had missed out on something great.

 Mom went back to work soon after I started school, I was often left to fend for myself from my older siblings teasings and tricks, but there was one sibling that always protected me, always defended me, always watched out for me, and that was you. Not only did you protect me though, you helped to make me strong, to learn when to fight and when to walk away. You were always there for me, to listen for my troubles, for me to lean on as I needed to and to push me away when you thought that I needed to walk on my own.

 I remember the fights you had with Dad when you wanted to go away to college, a young girl trying to strike out on her own. I had very mixed feelings, I knew that I would miss you terribly, but I also knew that you were fighting not only for your independence, but also to forge the ways of acceptance, so that when my time came to go, the road would already be paved for me to follow.

 I remember when I was in the fourth grade, you were leaving for your second semester away from home. In the middle of the morning, right in the classroom, I started to cry, I had not given you one last kiss before you left. Instead of putting this off as unimportant, you came to my school to give me the hug and kiss that would sustain me until I saw you again.

 I remember when I was in the 7th grade, having difficulty adjusting to the big school, the older students, you gave me a teddy bear (he had a checked belly). I told that bear lots of my troubles and secrets. I fantasized that somehow that bear had the magical powers to pass along my troubles for you to listen to. You never judged me, you never told me how to live my life, you just listened and that was just what I needed at that time. Somehow you knew.

 I also remember, when I was lax in my writing to you, you answered the letters of my preadolescent friends. From your gentle chiding that my friends were writing and I wasn't taught me the importance of keeping in touch with people. How proud I was of those letters you wrote to my friends. I had a sister who cared enough about people to write to them. It made me feel so grown up.

 When I was a teenager, going through the trials and tribulations of adolescence, you helped me to learn independence and responsibility. You accepted me and treated me as an adult, a companion, a confidante and a friend. I am in awe of your ability to love me as you did, a person who was, at times, a difficult younger sibling.

 Sometimes I know I abused you and your trust, but I learned from it, and you never took your trust away from me. I realize how difficult that must have been for you, but I became a better person because of it. I know you made my life much easier than yours had been and I will never forget it.

 We are both grown now, with families of our own. We do not have the time for each other that we once did. And still, you are always there for me, to listen to my troubles, for me to lean on when I need to and to push me away when you think that I need to walk on my own. I am only sorry that it took this man and the urging of his e-mail for me to tell you how I felt. You are truly my hero.

Your pumpernickel - Peggy
Msschiff25@aol.com

******************

From: jcrawford@gibralter.net (jcrawford)

A few years ago I worked in a nursing home.  There was a nurse that that always had the most beautiful smile.  She always seemed so happy and never had a bad thing to say about anyone.  I was going through a pretty trying time .  My husbands health wasn't so good.  I was trying to look after him, get my son through school and work a full time job.  One night this friend and I began talking about some of our problems.  It turned out that things for her had been pretty rough.  She had been through some pretty bad times.  Her problems made mine look small.  I was amazed at how she could still keep a smile and such a positive attitude.  Over the months we continued to talk.  Her advice kept me going.  She always gave credit to the Lord, for all she had.  After I left that job I went to work in the local hospital in the emergency room.  One night this nurse brought her mother in.  We had not kept in close contact and I was so glad to see her.  In my mind I had always referred to her as my angel.  That night I told a few of the people I worked with how special she was.   Someone asked had I ever told her how I felt.  It occured to me that I hadn't.  Within the week I sent her a card that thanked her for all she had done, most of wich without ever realizing it.  I am so glad I have known this special lady.  She has shown me there are truly angels that god has put on this earth to guide us. 

****************

From: Arianna294@aol.com

Dear Papa,
 You are my hero.  Thank you for teaching about God, life, love and the pursuit of happiness.  Thank you for teaching me about trust and honor.  Thank you for the gifts I always thought were stupid as a child.  Your garage sale treasures are what I miss more than anything.  I remember the white leather coat you bought me one time.  I never wore the coat anywhere unless I was with you.  I hated that coat but loved you enough to never let you know that.  I loved the way you loved Mama.  I remember you bringing her flowers and telling her that they stopped you along your way to beg to be taken to the most beautiful woman in the world to pay homage.  I know she used to scold you for getting pollen and "weeds" everywhere but before she went to join you, she told me those were some of the most treasured moments you gave her.  The only thing she liked better were the butterfly hunts in the back yard.  I remember lightning bug jars we would fill on early summer evenings beneath the pecan tree.  You called them God's night lights.  We never kept them for long, but the experience was magical.  I remember your black horn rimmed glasses.  It was fun to watch you look for your glasses and after a thorough search to realize they were on top of your head.  Mama and I spent the whole time you were looking trying to keep from bursting out with laughter.  I though it was fun helping you hunt your teeth.   I don't imagine most people would understand the fun we had looking for your teeth and they were never in the same place twice.  I remember seeing you put cornbread in your milk.  You peeled tomatoes for me cause I didn't like the skin.  You walked with me and talked with me and never made me feel like a stupid kid when I asked you questions that to me were very important, like "How did the sky get blue?"  You always tried to come to my school events such as plays, spelling bees and graduations.  I remember sneaking off to the little store to buy a toy off the spinner rack.  My mom and dad said you spoiled me and you did.  I loved being spoiled by you.  As I got older, I hated being called Princess.  What I wouldn't give to hear it just one more time from your lips.  Thank you Papa.  You touched my life in so many ways.  Three years ago my son was born.  I named him Jodie after you.  He is a great little boy full of wonder and magic.  I only wish that he would be able to grow up under your love.  I will do the best I can to help him to know you though you are in Heaven.  He has huge shoes to fill in my heart though I know he will be different in many ways.  In my heart, you will always be the man that could do anything.  Thank you for the magic you put in my life.

Love, Carol

**********

From: PowGrl2@aol.com

Dear Michael,
Here is my hero story.  Thanks so much for encouraging your readers to write about their personal hero.  While writing this it brought to mind so many wonderful thoughts of my mother and was something I needed to do to remind me during the times I am going through currently what wonderful strenghth and support I have not only through my mother, but through God.  Thank you wholeheartedly, Sandi Brock

My Hero:

There could be no other person in my life who has taught me more about selflessness, Christianity and the importance of family than my mother.  She has suffered through a lot and never complained, knowing in her heart that she must do what God would want her to do in any given situation.

My younger brother Mike was adopted but you would never have guessed it by the love he received from my mother and the closeness these two shared.  My brother has been in and out of trouble many times and was getting ready to be released from the adult prison in Atlanta (minor charges) and my mother went down and sat in Court with him and then later waited until 1:00 a.m. in the prison waiting room alone for them to release him.  She was there all day for him in his time of fear and need.  He didn't have to go through it alone, and actually neither did she for God was with her the entire time.

My Grandmother (my mom's mother) had many health problems and was going to be put in a nursing home indefinitely as she could no longer adequately care for herself at home alone.  None of the eight children (my aunts and uncles) wanted this for Grandmother Shackleford but no one was willing to bring her into their homes and devote the care and attention to her last year of life except for my mother and father. 
Grandmother's health rapidly declined during the year she spent with my parents and mother would have to leave work to come home and change the adult "diapers" that had become necessary for Grandmother.  She never complained, she never griped, she did everything with love and tenderness.  As did my father and sister.

The day my Grandmother died was only a few days before my wedding and my mother was at work.  She was at the office when she suddenly had the feeling that something wasn't right and that she needed to return home to be with my grandmother.  She immediately left and within a couple of hours of returning home she was at my Grandmother's bedside when she finally passed away in peace and with loved ones.

My mother treasured that last year with my grandmother - as she came to know the wonderful older woman that my grandmother was.  They were able to share moments together that would have pulled at my mother's heart had she missed out on them with Grandmother - had she been "placed" in the nursing home instead of with my mother, father and sister where God knew she belonged.  Not only did my mother help my Grandmother, but I believe in the long run it helped my mother immensely as well.  For she has memories of her mother now that will continue to sustain her when she misses her presence in her daily life.

My sister had to have a mitral valve replaced in her heart last year as well and was hospitalized for almost two weeks.  We did not know for sure that she would come out of surgery due to the fact that she also had developed a blood clot near her heart as well.  She pulled through and my mother was there in the recovery room when Holly (my sister) awoke from surgery and mother slept on the sofa and on the floor in the waiting room of the ICU until Holly could go to a private room - where mother stayed with her every night until she could come home.

Only about a month and a half ago my mother had to have surgery which required her to stay out of work for six weeks to recover - during her fourth week of recovery my sister Holly (who is only 29) had a stroke.  Holly has since come home to my parents and is recoverying quite nicely with the only side effect being that the right side of her mouth has not quite returned to normal yet.  My mother has returned to work.

Not only does my mother offer herself to her family in every crisis and moment of need, but to friends and mere acquaintances as well.  She was there for me in Hawaii six years ago when I gave birth to my daughter Ellie and my first husband was hospitalized upstairs after having emergency surgery.  She was in the delivery room with me and a bond was created between she and I that morning at 2:00 a.m. that will never be broken. 

She made sure we had food when we returned home from the hospital and that when I needed to tend to my husband at the hospital she took care of Ellie for me at home.  She awoke during the night to feed Ellie when I was so tired and drained at 19 years old from giving birth, taking care of a newborn and caring for a husband in the hospital. At a time when I was my most frightened and felt all alone she was there for me to offer her love, support and encouragement, not to mention her time, her money and her hard-working hands.  I wanted to leave my husband at the time and return home with my new baby to Georgia with my parents because I was scared.  Scared of responsibility, frightened of the way my life was turning out and terrified of being the mother to a newborn baby and not having my mother closeby to teach me to be a mother.  But she wouldn't let me give up.  Little did I know that she had already instilled in me by her example, how to be a nurturing mother to my daughter. 

Before she left Hawaii to return home, she gave me a book entitled "A Man Named Peter" about the preacher Peter Marshall, God made it known to her in her heart that I needed this book at this particular time in my life.  It changed my life forever.  I was reading that book and was scared of life, scared of my future and I went into my bedroom alone that day and turned my life over to God - I thought I had always been a Christian but until that day when I turned my life, my heart and my soul over to him did I realize how my mother has endured what life has sent her way.  She turned her life over to God many, many years ago and that is how she not only manages to survive life's many circumstances but it is how she does it with a smile on her face and takes something spiritual from each of life's lessons no matter how hard or unbearable they may seem at the time.

I strive to be what my mother has been for many years and I hope that she knows what a lovely and beautiful human being I think she is.  And I hope she knows what a wonderful example of God's love she has been to me in my life.  For I know, that without her love and guiding example and the God that she has taught me to believe in - I don't know that I could have endured all that has occurred in my life.  I thank you mother for all that you are and all that you have been to me in my life.

Sandi Brock

***************

From: jdh@ipa.net (Becky Holloway)

My hero is my husband of twenty-three years...now there's the makings of a hero---living with and loving me for THAT long!!!  Just five months after we took each other for better or worse, in sickness and in health, we were tested on those vows.  Jimmy Don was diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy.  We were told he'd be in a wheelchair in 15 years.  We were told that there's nothing that can be done and that there's little known about the disease.  Being young (I was 19--he was 25) we took it hard, but then 15 years seemed a lifetime (it almost was for me at that time) away so we continued on with our lives.  We were blessed with 3 children---we realize now what a risk that was and there's another story there that I won't go into---and life was good.  The progression of the dystrophy was not as rapid as predicted, but eventually we did begin to see that it was changing Jim's quality of life.....he took the changes in stride.  In 1991, Jimmy Don was in an accident in his work truck that resulted in his having to have his arm amputated.  While I wanted to rant and scream about how unfair it was that he had lost his "good"  arm (because he was left-handed and that's the arm he lost--and the dystrophy had weakened his right arm more) Jim just accepted what had happened and told me that we were fortunate because now  he was without work just as I had started back to college to finish my degree in order to go to work. I'm still not sure how we made it financially through the years of my schooling---except that God has promised to provide our needs and He certainly did (another story to tell).  Today we are settled into the routine of me working and Jimmy Don taking care of the house, but that's not an easy task.......the disease has taken much of his strength making even lifting a soft drink can to his mouth too difficult, it's also affected his ablility to walk (no wheelchair yet, but he does fall more frequently), and 2 years ago he had to have a pace maker installed because of the effects of myotonic dystrophy on his heart.  Not because he's suffered all these things, but because he never acts like it's suffering at all-----he is and always will be not only the love of my life, but my hero as well.
Becky Holloway
http://www.angelfire.com/ar/becky75/index.htm.
ICQ # 32183751

 
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