When I was a baby, I crawled out of my crib. The babysitter went into my room to check on me only to find that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. She searched throughout the house and finally found me in the living room. I had crawled over to my big sister, Tiffany. Tiffany was lying on a blanket on the ground and I had crawled up next to her. The babysitter found Tiffany’s arm curled around my sleeping body. It was the first time that I know of that my hero saved me — but it wasn’t the last.
Tiffany has saved me and my world more times than I can count and she did so in silence, flying to my rescue in a wheelchair. When I was down and sad, she listened and used her superpowers on me — a hug and smile. She’d dish out more than a few hugs and even a laugh if things were really bad. Even if she could use language to speak and make things better, she doesn’t need to — and that’s a gift.
My hero struggles with a disease that separates her from others, but has made her the hero that she is. Unlike superheroes, she’s not an alien brought to this Earth on a space ship (Superwoman) and she didn’t have an accident in a science lab (Spiderman) or was exposed to radiation (the Hulk). Rather, like superheros with special genes, she was born this way. I think she’d make a great addition in the next X-Men movie.
Tiffany was made a hero through circumstance and life experience. She knows what it means to be alone and to be lonely. Knows how it feels to be misunderstood, judged, or forgotten. She struggles in pain some days and the inability to share her pain or problems with others. And yet, like any hero, she doesn’t let this hold her back.
She has more strength than the Hulk himself. She smiles when there’s nothing to smile about. She laughs when days are bad. She carries on when her body is in pain and there’s no one there to listen. Her very presence is a gift to this world.
Tiffany has taught me what it means to persevere and to speak up for those that can’t. My hero has taught me that there are few things in this world to complain about and that each day is beautiful. My hero has shown me that I possess a superfluous amount of capabilities and has inspired me to use them.
My hero has listened to my problems when I couldn’t understand hers. She held me when I was sad or hurt. She shows compassion when I’m down. She’s forgiven me when I was gone for weeks or months, holding me close in a hug, reminding me that I need her as much she needs me.
I’m honored to know my hero, to be able to bring her some kind of happiness in her world, a world that only she knows, feels, and commands. She is a queen in my eyes, one that you and I should admire for her strength and dignity.
Tiffany is a woman, a friend, a role model, and a sister, and I want her to always know that I see her for who she is — a hero.
Today, Tiffany has beaten the odds as she always does. Tiffany turns a beautiful 39 years old when she was only supposed to live for 12. Tiffany is a woman who can’t be held back by this world, a disease, or her circumstances. And if that’s not a hero, I don’t know what is.