On The Death Of Good Men Like Chadwick Boseman

Last weekend, I was saddened to learn of the death of Chadwick Boseman after a four-year battle from colon cancer. It has hit me harder than I expected and I am not sure why. He was only 43 years old, so it could be his age.

It also could be that he is another black man losing his life unexpectedly. And that has been happening way too much.  Also, it could be because he was a man of great character, empathy, kindness, and compassion.

Sadly, these are characteristics that are lacking these days. I for one wish there were more people who lived their lives as he did. It could also be that deaths are just painful, no matter how close the person was to us. Death hurts, whether it be slow with suffering or sudden and unexpected.

While battling his own cancer, Mr. Boseman went to visit sick kids at St. Jude’s Hospital. It is amazing to think that while he was filming movies, he was going through surgeries and chemotherapy. And, he was helping kids who were in a similar boat as him. Some had cancer, others had serious illnesses, and still others had diseases that were being treated.

This week, I told my son that this is the sort of man who you want to be like and learn from.  A man with integrity and dignity. A man who didn’t just play a hero but was a hero to many sick children.  A man who truly knew the meaning of empathy and helping others. A man who can still teach us how to treat one another.

We want to thank Marvel, Disney and ABC for airing “Black Panther” commercial-free on Sunday night. This movie is so good, well-written, and deserved the awards that it received. It is beautiful, shows true community, the importance of a tribe, and how leaders must have morals and values that help them govern or rule in this case.

We watched it over two nights since Sunday was a school night. I enjoyed seeing all of the lovely clothes, scenery, skin tones, and regal-ness that the film had. It seemed to be based on actual tribes and histories of them and their people.  It was just lovely and I enjoyed every minute. So did my son.

After the movie, we watched the Marvel special and then the ABC special celebrating the life of Chadwick Boseman. It was touching to see how much he and that film impacted so many people, including children. He was a hero to so many people — his colleagues, his friends, and children who looked up to him.

My son and I discussed the fact that this was the first movie that black girls and boys got to see people who looked like them in the lead roles. It wasn’t about that but instead about this man’s quest to become king of his homeland. It truly broke barriers and that is a great thing. “Wakanda Forever.”

There is a line at the end of the movie that really touched me and made me teary-eyed as we watched it several times.  It was said by the Black Panther aka King T’Challa and is something that is true in real life as well. “But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.”

We so need to do this in real life. I am tired of so much division today in our country and around the world. I am tired of those in leadership positions who don’t help with that, and often make things worse.

Enough!  It is time for us to come together rather that tearing each other down. We truly need to do this for ourselves, each other, and for our children.

True heroes don’t announce how great they are. True heroes quietly go about their heroic work and assist others as needed. True heroes go in and rescue others who need their help. I think that Mr. Boseman was one of these heroes. I only wish that he had lived longer to teach us more.

Not only did he help to change movies, his death ended up being the most tweeted item ever. Isn’t that amazing? I want to see a few of his other movies in which he portrayed Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall.  I want my son to watch them with me and we can discuss them, depending on the rating of course.

In closing, I hope that we can do as Chadwick Boseman demonstrated and as his character reminded us. Let’s build bridges instead of barriers. Let’s look after one another. Let’s practice kindness and empathy. Let’s give of ourselves to those in need. Let’s think of others and not just our own needs and wants.  And, let’s always, always love.

(Blogger’s Note: all images are from Power Point’s clip art gallery.)

Amazing Heroes

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHave you ever noticed that a person who is a true hero often feels like he or she isn’t?  The hero is often humble, want no recognition, and says “I’m just doing my job.”

I have seen some stories recently in the news about heroes who have stunned and awed me.  These heroes brought me to tears for what they have done for someone else.

The human spirit is amazing and one of love and compassion.  And, the fact that a true hero often wants no recognition is always surprising to me.

Many in our world today want their 15 minutes of fame and will do many crazy and awful things to get it.  But those real heroes (or sheroes as Maya Angelou once wrote) simply have done something brave or were compelled to help someone else.  I hope that we will have these hearts of love and compassion instead of hate and violence.

Webster’s online dictionary defines a hero as: “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.”

To me a hero is the following:

  • A fireman or woman who rushes into a burning building to save those trapped inside
  • A paramedic performing CPR in the ambulance on the trip to the hospital
  • A soldier, pilot, seaman and many others who have been called up to fight in a war
  • A soldier badly injured in battle who comes back home
  • The families of soldiers who have been called to active duty
  • A nurse who helps save an accident victim
  • A NICU nurse who stays up all night with preemies
  • Parents protecting their child from harm at their own peril
  • A police officer tasked with keeping a city’s residents safe
  • A teacher helping a hungry child focus on learning to read
  • A teacher who is excited for students to learn
  • Home health nurses who visit and care for the sick and elderly
  • Hospice nurses and doctors who provide comfort to a dying person
  • Doctors who help us when we are sick
  • Doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who work in countries with little to no medical care
  • A  Cub Scout leader helping boys to learn and grow
  • A youth pastor praying with a troubled young person
  • A cancer patient in the battle of his or her life
  • The family of that patient who is there for every step
  • A pastor counseling a church member
  • Hospital staff members working on holidays when everyone else is having fun
  • The line workers who restore our lights and heat during heavy storms
  • Workers who keep the roads safe for us when weather is bad
  • The bus drivers who safely help children arrive home from school
  • Friends and family who are with us as we grieve

Sadly most of these heroes don’t earn a lot of money.  Yet, they are so important to us and there when we need them.  I am so very thankful for all of these people and all that they do.

What is a hero to you?  I would love to hear your ideas.

Happy Memorial Day

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Memorial Day!  Today is a day all about bravery and sacrifice.  We celebrate those who gave their lives for our freedoms.  I applaud those men and women who protect me and my family and enable us to enjoy our way of life.

Those killed or injured and the families and friends they leave behind are to be thanked and appreciated for all that they have done. These people are our heroes.

This day is more than just a day off from work or school, more than just a cookout, or the start of summer.  It is a day of valor, patriotism, sacrifice, and true and amazing love.

Thanks so much to all those who have ever served in the military or as a police officer or any capacity of protection.  Because of you, I can live a free life.  That is an amazing gift.

cross_Memorial.DayA few quotes about Memorial Day:

  • “For love of country they accepted death… ” ~James A. Garfield
  • “They fell, but o’er their glorious grave, Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.”~Francis Marion Crawford
  • “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.”~Minot J. Savage
  • “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”  ~Joseph Campbell
  • “Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.”~Wallace Bruce
  • “Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth; Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth…”~Thomas Moore
  • “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”~Lee Greenwood

As the saying goes, Freedom is never free. These amazing veterans and those currently serving know that only too well.  May we live lives that are worthy of their sacrifice.