Although cowboys have a special part in my heart, my heroes have always been ordinary people. When I’m down, and another storm is about to rain down misery, I need a hero I can relate to, someone as imperfect as I am. Super people who are raising perfect children while attending college full time, working three jobs, helping the homeless, lost puppies and whales, never arguing with their spouse, possessing excellent health, keeping an immaculate house, yard, and vegetable garden, and so on, all at once, discourage me.
Ordinary men and women who cope with stress, the failing health of a parent, the death of a loved one, health challenges, smart aleck children, accidents, and financial strain, imperfectly are my heroes. They have bad days, crying jags, snap at people who don’t deserve it, but they work through it, surpassing survival to success. Their journeys aren’t perfect or pretty, but they keep working to make life a little better. Through them, I see possibilities and gain hope. Knowing people like that, both personally and reading of others, reminds me that if one person can accomplish something, another can. I can.
For example in The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge, disappointments, failures and grief have seeped Ben in bitterness. When he’s given the opportunity to turn his life around, save his marriage to Evie, the man isn’t perfect but he has the heart to try. That’s why he’s one of my heroes.