I believe a hero to be any person who inspires you to be your best. To push limits and surpass expectations. A hero compels you to think, to act. A hero is someone who leads without intending to, inspires without words, and endures in the face of overwhelming adversity.
People often cite famous names when asked who their hero is. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, etc. These are men and women who have achieved great things and whose stories inspire millions.
I have been lucky enough to find my hero in a person I not only know, but with whom I share a very special relationship.
Mom is many things. She is a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend, a doctor. When you see her with her family, you see a woman with immense patience and unwavering loyalty. If you talk to her friends, you will hear of a woman who not only cares tremendously but has the guts to be honest, even if it could jeopardize a friendship. In her interactions with her patients, you see a confident physician with genuine concern and a desire to heal.
People are amazed when they see how close Mom and I are. I believe that we've struck the perfect balance; yes, she is my mother but she has also become one of my closest friends. I have always cherished my relationship with Mom not only because of its rarity but also for its role in shaping my identity. She didn't just give me life; I inherited from her a heart that loves without hesitation, a soul free of demons, and an open mind.
Mom always says she was blessed with the most supportive and wonderful parents anyone could ask for and I couldn't agree more. Neither of my grandparents were educated but of their five children, one is a math genius, one a doctor, one a lawyer, and one an engineer. My grandfather feared nothing and worked tirelessly so his children could have what he never did. My grandmother is a dynamic woman whose generosity and compassion know no limits. An uneducated couple from rural India raising such successful children might elicit surprise but only until you meet them. They are proof that hard-work and perseverance will take you far.
One of the things I admire most about Mom is her strength. She has overcome many obstacles, on both personal and professional fronts. She has a way of finding the good in people and extracting the lessons from bad situations all the while remaining undaunted. She doesn't compromise on her principles and she doesn't rest until she reaches her goal.
As a mother, Mom supports me, guides me; and the best thing about her is that she has never, ever let me doubt that. As a woman, Mom inspires me to be better than my best and reach farther than I dared. I sometimes look at her in awe for who she is, why she is, and how she came to be. I believe myself to be incredibly blessed to have her in my life and am proud to call her my mother. She is compassionate to those in need, devoted to her commitments, and relentless in her pursuits. If I could be a tenth of the person she is, I would consider myself a great success.