Reverb 14 | Prompt 8 | Hero

#reverb14 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December that is meant to give us all the chance to reflect on 2014 and the opportunity to write down our hopes and dreams for the coming year. Through December 31st Meredith,Sarah and I will be posting each day with a new prompt. Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.

Hero: Who was your hero this year? Tell us why. What makes a hero in your eyes?

My parents have decided that it is time at last to sell the house that I grew up in.  I always thought that I would be more emotional about this when the time came because, you know, I spent my entire childhood there.  Mostly the only thing I can think to be sad about is the loss of the backyard with its wildflower gardens, and the beautiful view of the sunset from the front porch.

As a part of the process of getting the house ready to sell, Mom has been working her way through an epic declutter.  Over Thanksgiving weekend, I went home to spend a morning sorting through the three remaining tupperware tubs of my possessions.  Did I really need to keep seven high school cheerleading sweatshirts?  No.  Would plastic pompoms really hold their shape in 20 years?  Or would they disintegrate?  Would I ever even touch them again?  You know how that goes.

During the sorting of things, we came across Ellen Helen, my childhood partner in crime.

With glow-in-the-dark stars covering her lavender satin body, she was my defender in the dark against my chief childhood fears: What if our house burns down?  What if I die?  What if a volcano surfaces in our backyard?  These are the sorts of serious issues that I felt the need to deal with at between the ages of four through eight.

When I was a tiny pup, Ellen Helen was my hero.  And apparently also a worthy recipient of this handwritten tribute from me that recently surfaced.

Ellen Helen 1

As always, what I lack in skill, I make up for with enthusiasm.  I would love to know how long that note took me to scrawl?  Two minutes?  Ten?  All I know is that I had a pen, I had a piece of paper and ELELE HELEMN was what I was going to write down.

Like the rest of us, Ellen Helen has gotten older.  Her butterfly bow no longer carries an iridescent shimmer.  Her face has turned gray.  Her glow-in-the-dark stars have not glowed in a long time.

Ellen Helen 2

But I know that if I needed a hero once more, she would be ready to be pressed into action.

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