Behind Heroic Facades


LIKE most children, I grew up admiring fictional characters with otherworldly powers. Equipped with their swords and shields, they served others through courage and self-sacrifice. To me, they were someone I absolutely admire.

Before I knew it, the clock had struck evening. I heard the shuffling of familiar footfalls behind the door. I looked up from my video game, and standing at the door frame, was her — Mama.

Immediately, I noticed the exhaustion straining her shoulders and sleep deprivation permanently stuck under her eyes. Upon closer look, I also saw that her eyes were also fraught with agitation.

This has always been the case. Mama always comes home late from work. Whenever she steps foot into our home, she would stop me from approaching and promptly disappear to take a bath. Mama always tried her best at masking her emotions in attempting a strong facade, but I could see past it.

She was cracking.

She would leave every morning with just her scrubs and protective mask as her shield. As endangered as she might be due to insufficient equipment, she still braved each day with her weapons: service, compassion, and humanity. And at night, she would come home bearing the day’s worth of baggage.

Today, I had finally realized that it is not only superhumans that should be considered heroes. Instead, it is the actual people who risked their lives everyday that should be revered as such — just like my Mama. F MHERYLL GIFFEN L. ALFORTE

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