I’m not sure if you’ve seen the trailer for the film Queen of Katwe, but it is one that I am super excited about. I love a great true story about amazing people who overcome large difficulties to do something inspirationally extraordinary. I was talking with a friend, a few weeks ago, about a different film that fit that mold, when she said movies like that simply weren’t her cup of tea.
Wait, what??? I was shocked. As she and I sat, on the phone, and unpacked that newly discovered gap between us, I soon realized that this is not just a love of heart-tugging movies, for me. My personal life is chock full of people who have overcome, in amazing ways. While thinking about this, I struggled to find one person to write about. Just one? How could I choose? Who would I choose? I can honestly say that were I to sit down with a pen & notebook, and write it out, there would be no less than one hundred people who fit this and have gone on to do extraordinary things.
When it came down to it, I have to choose my kids. Each one of my three kid’s early lives broke and bruised them immeasurably. Our society knows of thousands of kid-turned adults with similar origin stories. Our prisons, street corners and addicted communities are full of those bruised and broken early on. It is so easy to be in that place and feel like you should have had better, kicking your heals back, settling down and accepting that. It takes a special sort of person to move out of there and strive for something more. After multiple abandonments and abuses, these three kids each found their own way out. They learned to work hard, find value and (the hardest part of all) honestly face their wounds. There is so much bravery and courage in the journeys they’ve walked, and will continue to. My life hasn’t been easy. Let’s be honest, no one’s has. Even with all I have walked, when I think of how hard these three people have had to fight and work to become who they are today, I am awed. There is such a sense of loyalty, compassion and generosity in each of them, which is lost on the majority of society. I do not know three better human beings, and when my life fell apart last fall these kids were my biggest advocates.
In their own ways, at different life stages, I have seen my kids open their hearts to help people when they truly had nothing to give. My youngest spends half the year planning and plotting for Christmas because giving gifts is her favorite thing. The majority of her part time job paycheck goes to buying gifts and small, thoughtful things. My older daughter has turned her life upside down, multiple times, because someone had a need. My son loves so purely, so vulnerably, and though it has led him to be hurt time and time again, he still puts all he’s got into loving the people in his life. These three incredible people would be heroes in my eyes, even if I did not know them. Lucky for me, I do, and (also lucky for me) I get to call them MY heroes…
If you, like me, love stories like this, I really encourage you to go see Queen of Katwe, which opens this Friday, September 30th.