Did I Ever Tell You?
If you hang around Brooke long enough, you’ll inevitably hear her humming the hushed melody of Bette Midler’s, Did I ever tell you? You’re my hero! There’s no telling how many Mother’s Day cards or thank you emails have offered Hallmark salutes to those lyrics. But it’s a word that gets tossed around a little too lightly in our culture, what with decades marked by Marvel, Meryl Streep, and Amazon’s hilariously unruly Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
But what does it really mean, what weight should it carry, to truly consider someone a hero? Is it measurable? Is it in how they manage wild successes or persevere in great failures? Can they be young and old, famous or remarkably ordinary? Well behaved or a little rebellious? Well, we’ve pondered so much about it, we decided to put it on a coffee mug (available for pre-order, to ship mid-April!).
Which leads us to a few conclusions about what kind of SHEro’s (yes, I know the grammar is wrong, but we have to stick to the branding) we should really set our sights on and how we might set the stage for the next generation.
There is no way to mention heroes with out mentioning moms. Women and men alike, both very in and very out of the public eye, are often quick to give thanks to the day-to-day heroism of their mama before any other figure. And maybe it’s someone who played a motherly role in your life. Maybe it’s a foster mom, a grandmother, a nanny or teacher. Whatever strong and loyal lady loved you and encouraged you in the dark corners of your youth, we raise our mugs to them!
And I would be greatly remiss in championing moms as SHEro’s without giving a 29-year overdue shout out to Denise. My mother is hardly over 5 feet tall, quite possibly more beautiful now than she was as the high school homecoming queen, and exudes this sort of selfless strength that I’m convinced the weight of the world couldn’t break. She’s battled marriage separation, colon cancer, and too many premature deaths of loved ones throughout her lifetime. Her book and Bible collection could fill the Library of Congress, and her shoe closet would spike Mother Teresa green with envy.
Your mom is likely different in many ways than mine. But whether she was a biological SHEro or one who guided and fostered and modeled what a fiercely confident and kind woman looks like, thank her. She’s a real hero!
We do realize not everyone grew up in the South as we did. But we just plain don’t trust people who can’t get behind Dolly Parton. The quintessential rags to riches story, Dolly’s grit and grace dynamic set her apart in the music world and has secured her place in history for the long haul.
What do we love about her besides her angelic voice and sassy attitude?
1) Her heart is always rooted no matter how much her career thrives.
“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
2) She’s got no shame in looking good!
“It cost a lot of money to look this cheap.”
3) She takes criticism with grace, humor, and stride.
“I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb… and I also know I’m not blonde.”
Why is this faith-filled powerhouse our SHEro? You mean besides her Australian accent, billowing contagion of energy, and killer bootie collection? She doesn’t dilute the truth, but she also doesn’t beat you up with it. She never wavers from what she believes or the messages she teaches, nor she does close her ears and raise her fists at those who believe differently. Again, fierce yet grace-filled. We can’t get enough!
What’s more is Christine and her husband are active in fighting human trafficking through their foundation, A21, whose mission reads, “Abolish slavery everywhere, forever.” Since they began in 2008, they’ve established 14 different international locations to facilitate everything “from reducing vulnerability in refugee camps to protecting and caring for survivors, [their] team is always at work somewhere around the world.”
So what do these SHEro’s all have in common besides inspiring women to embrace who God made them to be, fight for the ones they love and what they believe in, and hold your heart for others a little above your heart for yourself?
Well, they’re confident in who they are without ever discounting or disdaining those who are different. They fight more with prayer than with protest. They take bettering people’s hearts and brightening people’s smiles more seriously than they take themselves. But the bottom line is this: like these women and many more, we want to be strong in our convictions, confident in our capacities to spread goodness, and proud to be the wind beneath someone else’s wings.