By Samantha McKenzie
My heroes live in my house and save the day. They are my family. My mother. My father. My brother. My sister. They include my son, my daughters, grandparents, aunts, uncles and multitudes of cousins. They are both old and young. They are my blood.
They are the people in my life who’ve faced all types of adversity. They’ve taken on giants, fought with villains and walked fearlessly into dark alleys to save their loved ones. They’ve lost battles and won wars. They know about the struggle of falling down and the art of getting back up and starting over.
These are the amazing people I’m proud to call my family. They are strong and resilient. They ban together to support one another and when they are faced with life’s turbulence or derailments in their journeys, they dig deeper into their powers and find the wellspring of fortitude to help them carry on.
These are the real heroes: The extraordinary souls that step fervently into the light.
My mother used to tell me a story when I’d ask her why I was the only one of her children born in the Bahamas. She’d tell me how my father took a job working for the Bahamian Police Band and had to leave her behind in Georgetown, Guyana, pregnant with my sister and my one-year-old brother. She struggled emotionally without him, but muddled through. When weeks turned into months and months turned into a year, she could no longer hide her dissatisfaction. With pen in hand and a fiery spirit in tow, she wrote the commissioner a compelling letter, shaming them for hiring her husband and tearing her young family apart. Shortly after, she received a letter of apology and three airline tickets for her and her children, courtesy of the Bahamian government. She was our hero.
Standing only five feet tall, every time my mother tells that story, she seems to grow taller. It’s a young mother’s message of endurance, bravery and determination. It makes me so proud.
These heroic accounts didn’t stop there. There are countless more. They live on inside of us all. They are extended in our children. They are rooted in our memory. They are the real adventures. Told by ordinary people. Who put on the armor. Face fears. Fight demons. Save lives. Live to tell see another day.
They are the real heroes. They are our family.