Did You Ever Know That You’re My Hero?

Each and every day heroes are born. My hero was born on August 22, 1953, or at least that is when he thinks he was born, according to him they don’t keep exact birth records in Iran. For someone who isn’t that old it seems funny that he doesn’t even REALLY know his age, maybe that is just a story he likes to tell me.

My hero has been a part of my life from the moment I was born, when he talks about my birth the thing he always says is that I was purple when I came out. I am not sure if I was lacking oxygen, or what the whole story is, I suppose it is something I should ask I just haven’t.

But the real story about my hero is this:

My hero is my father, and while it seems cliche and predictable my father is my hero for far more reasons than most other people can say about their parents. Not to discount you or your wonderful parents, but truly, my father is better.

(Yes, he is on the other side of the safety rail, he does this regularly)

My dad came to this country in 1976 at 23, he never returned home to see him mom, she died in ’91.

My dad married my mom after dating her for just six months. He says it is because he just knew. They have been married 33 years and counting. Oh, and he is Muslim and she is Catholic, they make it work.

My dad told me from a young age I could do anything I wanted. Not just because I had the ability, but because I was a Wintours. Being a Wintours means something. Being a Wintours means that our last name represents the time before the sun rises, the time between nights end and dawn, how many people can say that about their name? I can.

My dad told me tales. He told me tales so wonderful I wanted him to tell me them every night. He told me about Oostaramezon (pronounced Ou-sta-ra-ma-zune) and the jinn (pronounced jen). He told me about how he wrestled a timberwolf and won, how he swam the Caspian Sea in a storm and lived to tell the tale. My father’s story live in me each and every day. I refuse to believe they are big fish stories. They are stories that live in the firelight, haze, and magic of childhood.

My dad would give us the world if he could. He gave us everything we needed, and sometimes things we didn’t need but really wanted. He took us to Puerto Rico, Ireland, England, and the East Coast as children. He took us camping in an RV that smelled of skunk from our dogs run in with a little black and white furred friend.

But all of these things, they mean nothing compared to the challenge my dad just undertook. 30 years after graduating with his bachelor’s degree my dad has gone back to school. Not only has he gone back to school, but he is in the sheriff’s department training. My 59 year old father is doing something most people my age can’t.

Every night I sit at the dining room table with him and watch him as he works laboriously at his homework. My father is an ESL student, and while he has lived here most of his adult life he still has an accent and writing is not easy. I watch him painstakingly make error after error and start afresh. For those of you who are students, imagine having to HAND write your essays and NOT being allowed to use white out or cross things out!! That is how intense this course is. After 6 weeks in school he has finally started passing his homework assignments!

He goes to bed at 2 AM and wakes up again at 6 AM to do sit-ups, push-ups, and more homework. He has to run up to 5 miles for training. He has to do combat training.

Again, I realize how cheesy this post may be, but I really don’t care. Every time I watch my dad I feel inspired. He has done so much for me. He paid for my education. He supported me doing a Master’s degree in English (Even though I know in his heart he would have preferred I do business, science, or anything that had practical application). He tells me daily that there is nothing in this world good enough for my brother’s and I.

With a father like that in my life, how can I not count myself as lucky?

So here’s to you dad, because I’m sure you never knew you were my hero.

**P for Pocket Owl Press**

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