Growing up, I heard many stories about superheroes. As any 8 year old will tell you,
a superhero is someone who has a special power that sets them apart from everyone
else. Most superheroes have the ability to fly, become invisible, or leap tall buildings in a single bound. Just as I was coming to the realization that superheroes didn't
really exist, I met one. Of course, I didn't know it at the time. I did know that
superheros had some peculiar habits. For example, superheroes always showed up at
the right time, never a moment too soon. They also dressed funny, and most importantly,
they always led a double life. One as a normal person, and one as a superhero.
As I considered this more and more, it occurred to me that these superheroes were
not exactly what they seemed. If you happened upon a group of people watching a superhero
in action, you might hear some of the following. "Wow!" "My gosh!" "How did he
do that?" "That's impossible" or "That's unbelievable". Every time I would tell
people about my friend, Eddie Greenhill, I would hear exactly the same things. This didn't
happen just once. Over the years I've told stories about Eddie hundreds of times.
Each with the same result. Unlike traditional superheroes, Eddie never showed up
only in the nick of time, he was always there. He didn't dress funny, and most importantly,
he didn't lead a double life. He was a superhero 100% of the time. "It's no big
deal", he'd always say. Once I realized that Eddie was in fact a superhero, it all
made sense. Being a superhero, Eddie was able to accomplish feats that were impossible
for anyone else. We all know that superheroes always have a faithful sidekick.
Eddie was no exception. Eddie's mom, Betty Kimker was by his side, every step of the way. No
challenge was too great for this dynamic duo.
To Eddie, nothing was about him, it was always about someone else. He always gave
of himself, helping anyone, and everyone, in any way that he could. I don't think
it's remotely possible for anyone to know how many lives Eddie has touched and changed.
Eddie was loved deeply by everyone that knew him. He was an inspiration to anyone
that came in contact with him. Never in my life, have I met a stronger, more positive
person. Diamond may be the hardest known substance in the universe, but Eddie Greenhill is undoubtedly the toughest, and the strongest.
For nearly the entire time I've known him, Eddie has been plagued with one form of
cancer or another. While this would have been enough to stop most people cold in
their tracks, it didn't seem to phase him at all. A few weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, I called Eddie in the hospital and told him that I was coming to see him that weekend.
He told me that he'd love to see me, but he had tests between 10 and 2 on both Saturday
and Sunday. Naturally, I figured that in his condition, he was undergoing some medical tests. Once I arrived I found out that these were not medical tests. They
were in fact exams to complete Eddie's certification as a recreational therapist.
Eddie had also found out that same Friday that his cancer had once more spread to
his brain. While anyone else would have canceled the test and thrown in the towel, Eddie
was determined to continue. Obviously, Eddie had a life to live, and he wasn't going
to let anything stand in his way.
I know in my heart that Eddie is in a better place now. I also know that he is standing
over and watching us. If we could hear him right now, he would be saying, "Be strong,
I love you, and it's OK". Eddie has a new challenge now, he is busy spreading his infectious laughter, optimism and cheer to all that surround him.
Whether we realize it or not, a piece of Eddie has always been with us, ever since
we've met him. It's always there to help you up when you're down, and it's always
there to make you smile when you feel like crying. Mere words in the English language
can't begin to describe what Eddie means to each and every one of us.
I would like to leave you now with a quote that I feel describes Eddie, and his spirit.
"To the world, you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world".
Eddie, you are our superhero, you mean the world to us, we love you, we miss you,
the world will never be the same again.
Submitted by Barry Brimer [email protected]
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