A Reluctant Hero

Carrie's pictures 5-2010 153 (3)


You never wanted the title

You never wanted the attention

You never thought you would be put in such a position at just 14 years old

You never thought you would wake up from a sound sleep to the sound of gunfire in your kitchen

Escaping into the night with your nephew clinging to you for his life

Mother gone.  Brother gone.  Sister gone.

Now people clap for you.  Friends.  Family.  Strangers.

They call you a hero to be celebrated and congratulated

How you must long for life to be normal again

To know where you belong

To be with those you love and who love you

Stay with people who will keep you safe

Hold on tight

Please don’t give up

You are a normal 14 year old boy who did something extraordinary when presented with a situation

Take your new title.   Always remember what you did.  Move forward and grow into an extraordinary young man.

Make your mom proud.

Make yourself proud.


17 thoughts on “A Reluctant Hero

  1. Such powerful words, told in straightforward tone. Tragic and yet, hopeful, too.
    I was struck most by these two lines:

    “How you must long for life to be normal again
    To know where you belong…”

    There’s a lot said in those few words.


  2. This was so sad and yet so beautiful. I hate when life jolts us into growing up or stepping up to the plate for something we never dreamed we’d be ready for.

    Thanks for sharing,

  3. Oh man. My heart is aching for this boy whose life will never return to an old normal. I hope and pray he finds solace in his friends and family, and is able to grieve his way to a peaceful balance of moving on and remembering.

  4. You captured the heroism but also how the brutality robbed him of a part of his childhood forcing him to become an adult too early under horrible circumstances. I will pray that he is able to overcome this horror and find joy again.

  5. So well said and so hard to read and know that this child has had to grow up way to fast. I know a few to many young children who have grown up quickly due to situations they could not control but needed to take steps to safety. Powerful writing.

  6. Carrie, I hope you find a way to get this to him. I think he would treasure it.
    I admire you so much for writing about this. You’re so right that writing heals. I just can’t seem to do it.

  7. Carrie, your title “A Reluctant Hero” your words….so powerful! Writing does heal. I agree, he should have this piece to read. Then I read that you gave him a notebook. I am reminded that as they said in the service, there are mothers and fathers all around ready to be there for you. I see you as one of those mothers. He may not be able to tell others how he feels or what’s happening in his mind, but he can write it. Sometimes we need to say things and not hear anything back. It just needs to be said. He can do this in his notebook.

    1. Crystal, Your comment really meant so much to me. I have been struggling to deal with what happened to Andrew and his family since it happened and what you wrote really touched me. Thank You.

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