Monday, October 11, 2004

The Life and Death of Superman

I was in the fifth grade when Christopher Reeve had his accident. I remember wondering how someone portrayed on the screen as so strong could now be so weak. The stories continued about Reeve and more and more I realized he was not weak at all, but some how a pillar of strength, a giant in my eyes.

Christopher Reeve was most known for his role as "Superman." I'm not one to subscribe to the idea that an actor should be and is remembered for his/her greatest role, but in this case I can think of no better fitting way to remember Reeve. He will forever be known as Superman, not just Superman, the comic book hero, but Superman, the husband, the father, and the advocate.

The death of a celebrity is always broadcast across the country, some more than others, and some affect us more than others. But, there are stories that touch us and remind us of what it is to be human; what our responsibilities are as the human race. When Mother Teresa died I considered this, when Ray Charles died I considered it, when Ronald Reagen died I considered it, and today Superman himself has me considering what it means to be human and what my job is as a member of the human race.

Reeve suffered a major spinal cord injury in 1995 while horseback rising. Since then he has become an advocate for others with spinal cord injuries as well as an advocate for the much debated stem-cell research that could benefit and cure such injuries. No matter his pain, he has continued to lift others, rising to the occasion and reminding us that no matter the circumstances there is always so much more for us to do. No matter the difficulty there is a blessing in disguise.

Certain individuals inspire us to be greater than we could have ever hoped for. Reeve was one of those individuals to me. He will forever be an inspiration for this country and his contribution to stem-cell research may one day make it possible to cure spinal cord injuries as well as diseases. My all-time favorite Super Bowl commercial is and I think always will be the commercial, possibly for a drug manufacture company, when Christopher Reeve (post-paralysis) walks across the stage, and speaks of the hope he always held to walk again.

Today, he walks again.

Christopher Reeve
9/25/52 - 10/10/04

The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation

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