Michael J. Fox and Your Loved Ones

michael j foxI’ve never met Michael J. Fox, and doubt I ever will. He’s not a fan so far as I know, and has almost certainly never heard of me. I’m not seeking his endorsement. This is a tiny blog with a very small readership, so he’ll never read these words.

In short, there’s nothing in it for me…to write about him. Which is proof these words come from my heart.

I’ll make this short. As you know, I value your time, and only write when I feel I have something important to say. I could wait till Mike is in the news, but that would be opportunistic, and unworthy of the subject matter.

I’m busy, you’re busy. But I’m pausing a moment to express my admiration and gratitude for not only Mike, who is an extraordinary human being, but for all those special people who exude character and class every day of their lives while fighting debilitating diseases hell-bent on breaking them down and killing their spirits. I’m talking about not only Mike, but your friends and mine, and our relatives.

I’m sure Mike has rough days where he struggles to stay positive, days when fatigue gets the better of him, days when he wonders from what reservoir can he possibly extract another ounce of strength. But here’s a guy…wow! I’m almost at a loss for words. It takes a lot of courage for a former leading man to put himself out there and take his battle to the enemy in front of all the world’s cameras. So truly…wow!

And yet, we all have friends and relatives who have it even worse than Mike. These quiet family heroes bravely battle incurable diseases without the benefit of an adoring public. My cousin, Susan’s, battle would overwhelm me in no time, and yet she maintains an attitude that shames me to complain about the insignificant trials I face. I have a friend, Lisa, who’s in the middle of a tragic battle. She’s showing us all, by example, what it means to have true courage. Your friends and relatives are doing the same. I wish I could single each of them out and praise their epic, individual examples.

Mike, Susan, Lisa…and your friends and family members are giving us a blueprint for how to live our lives with courage and dignity. They’re teaching us how to face fear and overcome obstacles. How to live extraordinary lives in the face of crushing physical and emotional devastation.

I only know Michael J. Fox through his TV and movie roles and public appearances, and I don’t know your loved ones at all. But I love them. Love them the same way I love my friends and family members who bravely fight the fight. Love their mental toughness. Admire their ability to handle adversity.

I write books about kooky characters and larger-than-life heroes, but I’ll tell you something right now: the amazing true-life heroes we all know and love are everything that’s right, noble and true about humankind. Their remarkable determination, unbreakable will, and their indomitable courage will surely be placed as credits to their names in Paradise.

Michael J. Fox is the name of this blog, and its face. But it’s a blog about all who struggle daily, while displaying the mental fortitude to prevail against overwhelming odds. It’s for all the Dick Clarks of the world. The Roger Eberts. The Susans, the Lisas, and it’s for your parents, your siblings, your friends and your loved ones. So when I say Mike, I’m talking about a million amazing people who are absolutely worth pausing a few minutes to think about and honor. Since I can’t single everyone out by name, I’ll just say:

Keep fighting the good fight, Mike. I love you, man!