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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gerda Adeboi

Today I had the honor of attending the funeral of an amazing woman. In eighty-five years she was only ill for six weeks. That alone seems amazing, but her health was only the fine print in a life that was filled with adventure, endurance and love. She was born in Indonesia.....then lived through the Japanese occupation of her country while her husband was in a prisoner of war camp. Then her life went on the move......from Indonesia Gerda and her family moved to Holland, and then on to Cleveland Ohio, where they lived for almost 40 years until her husband's death in 2001....She moved to Las Vegas to be near her son, Larry and daughter-in-law Melissa. That is when I got to know her. She had a very strong Dutch accent, and a very strong opinion about almost everything. She didn't care too much for nonsense, which was my favorite thing about her. I also loved that she was able to make a lot of hard decisions....and stuck with them. She believed in God, trusted Him and found her faith rewarded.

Isn't that amazing?

Why do we look to what the media offers up as heroes when we are literally surrounded by folks who make those media offerings all look like Bernie Madoff? When are we going to understand that the person right next door will probably have a better story than all the stars on all the covers of all the magazines in all of the stores? That person sitting next to you at the game, or doing your nails, how about the guy who reads the meter? Regular people who do extraordinary things....

That is where I am going to find my heroes. Because right next door is where Gerda was. She lived the life she was given....she never gave up....just one foot in front of the other. There is a myth about heroes. We think they have to do huge, spectacular things.......but you know what I think? Heroes are the people who live the life they are given. And do it well.