Real Life Super Heroes: My Step Dad

Daring to Go - Father and Daughter(“Daring to Go” by Vinoth Chandar)

As a part of the new Everlasting Footprint blogs about personal super heroes, I would like to talk about the man who taught me strength, perseverance, and humility. Although he may have not been considered a hero to anyone else, he is definitely a hero in the book of my life.

They never said you have to wear a cape to be a hero.

First Thoughts…

As a child, in school I remember always being asked two very specific and memorable questions:

  1. What is a hero to you?
  2. Who is your hero?

Nevertheless, I would always respond by saying, “A hero is my mom. My mom is my hero.”

Since my mother is the only person I was naturally extremely emotionally attached to, that was always my response. Never realizing that during the course of my life I would encounter someone else who would eventually become as close to me as my mother. Later, he would become another hero of mine.

What is a Hero?

Meeting my step dad, I realized that my definition of a hero would change dramatically with experience and age. Although my life story does include more than one hero, I would actually like to think of my step dad as more of my super hero.

Dealing with grief and loss can take a toll on your life, whether it is a good toll or bad. About eleven years ago I met a man that had ultimately been placed into my life as a real life hero without even being aware of it. This man would marry the queen of my life, my mother, and would help her finish the responsibility of raising children.

Often times, many men who marry a woman with children usually have their work cut out for them in the beginning. Children give step dads a hard time because they are not biologically related. I never had a relationship with my biological father; my step dad came into my life and quickly filled that void. Although hard for him at first, I must say that I am beyond happy that he was placed in my life story.

In July of 2013, my step dad passed away from a heart attack due to his battle with type II diabetes, as well as high blood pressure. Dealing with loss can teach you many things in life, and in dealing with the loss of my step dad, I could not help but be constantly reminded of all the things he taught me. I will take these things with me throughout my life.

Meaning of “Hero”

Since he was one of the most loving individuals in my life, he taught me how to love with my whole heart – not just half of it. He taught me that respect goes a long way with people, that when you have respect for yourself respect for others will follow. He taught me – although I grew up fast – to be mature in every situation while maintaining clear communication with others.

Three last and most important things my super hero taught me were:

  1. Stay Dedicated
  2. Stay Passionate
  3. Stay Humble

My step dad showed me new answers to that old question: “What is a hero?”

My response has changed, forever.

A hero is not a person wearing a cape, but a person who brings life to the lives of others. Someone who teaches things. A hero always ends up making people better; just as my stepdad made me better.


At Everlasting Footprint, celebrate the heroes in your life. Forever.

About Renique Henry

Renique is a Florida State University student studying English Literature with a minor in Communication. She is interested in pursuing her Masters degree in Global Merchandising and Product Development, then continuing to Law School. Renique is a student volunteer at the Union of Florida State, and her additional writing appears on the International Baccalaureate website.

Leave a Reply