The Heroes in our Midst

It’s Saturday! Time to celebrate the heroes in our midst. Those ordinary people living extraordinary lives everyday.

Four years ago, my friend Tamara fell ill to a debilitating illness. She hasn’t been able to work, has required over 11 surgeries and has been unable to do many of the things she loves to do. Currently, she is undergoing very challenging, and painful, therapy for her disease in the hopes this will rid her body of the infection that has caused her so much pain and discomfort. Last week, Tamara wrote me, “I am moving forward and letting go of trying to control [this], accepting the gift of healing. So everyday is a bit brighter and closer to the end of this phase in my life…” Her optimism, attitude and grace inspire me everyday. Tamara is amazing!

Tamara is a hero!

and whenever I think of people with chronic illnesses, I think of my sister and her amazing courage.  Jackie has had a chronic disease for most of her adult life. Countless surgeries that have resulted in bits of her body being cut out, devices to help her body function being inserted and endless rounds of drugs and therapies have taken a toll. Yet, my sister doesn’t complain. She doesn’t wrap herself up in a cloak of ‘woe is me’. She remains, positive, living each day with grace and ease, doing things for others, taking care of our mother, being the amazing sister and aunt and step-mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend she is to everyone. Here’s to Jackie and those who suffer chronic illnesses, especially Crohns.

Jackie T is a hero.

Bev and Larry Pettigrew raised two beautiful and loving sons. And, along the way, they also created a home for foster children with disabilities. Their sons are adults now with families of their own, and still today, Bev and Larry continue to love and shelter two young foster children with significant life challenges. As well, they work with other foster parents, shedding light on the challenges and joys of foster-parenting, providing guidance and counsel to others, sharing their wisdom, knowledge and love fearlessly and willingly to ensure every child receives the help and love they deserve, and every foster parent the support and guidance they need to be loving parents to these children.

Bev and Larry are heroes.

The first time I saw The Butterfly Circus, I was moved to tears. Inspired by the story, and Nick Vujicic, the lead actor’s journey in life, I used The Butterfly Circus in the self-esteem courses I taught at the homeless shelter where I used to work. Give yourself the gift of inspiration and take 20 minutes to watch this beautiful and awe-inspiring film from Doorpost Film Project Productions.

Nick Vujicic and Doorpost Film are heroes!

11 thoughts on “The Heroes in our Midst”

  1. Thank-you Louise for your incredibly kind words about me and my Crohn’s (and colostomty). My life sometimes is challenging to say the least, however, I try not to let my dysfunctional gut get the better of me (I don’t always win!). Thankfully, I’m blessed with an amazing, understanding husband (without whom, I doubt, that I would have survived as well all these years). I have a truly loving, thoughtful family, my sisters (you included!), a Mother who I’m blessed to still be able to care for, 3 terrific step-daughters and families and nieces (your daughters) who I love more than words can express, as well our brother’s girls who are loved more than they realize & my circle of friends who amaze me with their gifts of food and comfort whenever I’m ill. Thank-you for your hero segment each Saturday, Louise, as I’m humbled to be included with each and everyone you highlight. Love you lots, little sister, ….Jackie


  2. Louise, when I read your title… before I began to read the text… I thought: The hero in my life is our grandson Michael who knew that Huntington’s Disease would steal all the gifts life gave him. He knew he faced an early and difficult death. Yet he lived with inner strength and wonder… and never lost his spirit. Amazing the lessons we learn along the journey, isn’t it!


    1. Oh Betty Anne! What a powerful story and yes, he definitely is/was a hero. Those lessons we learn…. they are the pearls of wisdom and pain and love and joy and sorrow that give our lives such luminescence. In their glow, we are enriched. Hugs!


  3. Louise:What I love about your blog is that I never expect to see or feel what I do every time I read it!! Thank you so much for the kind words.We have been fostering now for 20 years, and have had about 30 children in our home…But it is the children who are the heroes. To go through what they have endured, and be able to teach us what unconditional love is all about,that is a hero. We have difficult days,but that hug and smile at the end of each day is priceless. Thanks to you for your love of children, animals, people and nature…That makes YOU a Hero, Louise.


    1. Bev, I shall always be grateful to Terry — for in his passing through my life, I met you and Larry and your family — and my life has been enriched.

      Thank you for all you do to make a world of difference.


      And PS — I’m so glad you are surprised! I believe it’s important to live in the expectancy of the unexpected. Life is so much richer with the birth of every pregnant moment filling us with awe! 🙂 tee hee! (and I just love play on words! )


  4. I’ve never seen The Butterfly Circus before. Needless to say, it touched my heart very deeply.

    Beautiful post today, as always. Thank you…



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