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lillycoyote's avatar

Who is the bravest person you have ever known?

Asked by lillycoyote (24637 points ) September 28th, 2011

Not a celebrity or public figure but someone you know or have know in your real life.

For me, I think it would be my uncle. Though he died about five years ago … he was very young when he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s and it slowly and insidiously robbed him, inch by inch, of pretty much everything. It started with fine motor control and robbed him of his ability to play the cello; he was a very accomplished cellist, and there weren’t too many things that mattered more to him; it took away his ability to drive, to play with his children, to make love to his wife, to support his family, to move about the world independently; robbed him of his ability to speak, to walk, to eat. I’m not saying he absolutely never complained or was never angry or never felt sorry for himself; he wasn’t a saint, but he fought that damn disease for thirty years with more dignity, grace and good humor than I think I might have been able to manage. It was an honor to know him.

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16 Answers

Jude's avatar

My sister. I don’t know how she’ll standing (really).

Not going into detail.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I have a close family member, not going to go into much detail for anonymity sake, walked into a fireball to pull people out of a burning plane after being thrown from the cockpit.

KateTheGreat's avatar

A girl I met last week at the hospital. She has had cancer multiple times and she is still fighting. She is still a very successful person.

We are great friends now and she is a great inspiration to me.

desiree333's avatar

@lillycoyote I do not have much of an answer yet, but your story about you uncle was beautiful. I felt slightly teary after reading it.

lillycoyote's avatar

@desiree333 Thanks. I was thinking about him tonight and some of the other people I have lost over the years and the other wonderful people I still have in my life. He was a great guy. Some people either really have awful relatives or just like to complain, maybe, but I have been blessed with both a great family and wonderful friends. They are really a kind of crazy, smart, funny, rather staunch and courageous, and absolutely loyal to a fault bunch, all and all.

desiree333's avatar

@lillycoyote You are lucky to have had known someone so special and brave. My family can also tend to be quite crazy, we are all very close.

If I had to give my own story I would have to say my cousin. She was coming home for Christmas from law school and a drunk driver hit her head-on on a highway. She wasn’t supposed to make it the night and my uncle was told to gather the family to say goodbye and plan a funeral. She ended up in a coma for a couple months and suffered brain damage, but she woke up and has since thrived. She just got married to a Mountie (we are Canadian). Also, two of my aunties are currently battling cancer and my sister’s dad (we have different dads) just had brain surgery because he had a large tumor.

filmfann's avatar

I remember my Mom driving in Oakland, me in the passenger seat, and she suddenly stopped in the middle of the street (35th and MacArthur), and jumped out of the car to stop a fight going on in the street. One guy had a knife, the other a broken bottle, and my Mom got in the middle, and told them to stop.
My Mom went on a trip to Europe, and went into Russia and East Berlin without hotel reservations. She had no idea where she was going, or when, but wanted to be footloose. That is crazy to me. She went, had a great time, and came back in one piece.
Every Christmas, she would take a bunch of blankets and old coats to San Francisco, and find homeless people in alleyways and doorways, and give them the stuff to stay warm. My Mom’s dad spent much of his life homeless, and she felt the karma might help him. Anyway, when you are dealing with alcoholics and drug addicts, you have no idea the reaction you might get, and it could have easily gone bad, but she did it.

Cruiser's avatar

My best friend Neil….he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at 17 years old and he never once showed any fear…He made the best of the 6 months he had left of life and did more in those 180 days (in a hospital no less) than anyone I have known. RIP Neil.

wildpotato's avatar

Two people I know just about pull even in the bravery department. My friend was struck by lightning the year after we graduated college. Over the past three years she has regained the abilities to speak, walk, perform fine motor actions, and do pretty much everything else we all originally learn when we are toddlers. The other friend this question made me think of broke her back in a snowboarding accident during our freshman year of college, and became paralyzed from her waist down. By our senior year she got herself walking again. I feel very lucky to know such strong and inspiring women.

Rarebear's avatar

My uncle. In the Korean war he was front line Marines and was ordered to keep a hill. The hill came under heavy attack. His front line started with 27 men. By the morning, 3 were left, one of them was wounded, but they held off the attack. When it was over, the three men came limping off the battlefield, and as they were coming off, a stray shell came down right on top of the head of the other uninjured man. This was 60 years ago, and now he’s dying of prostate and bladder cancer. I’ve known him for 45 years and he told me this story for the first time this summer.

He never got any medal or any sort of commendation for this night—it was just another day.

King_Pariah's avatar

A couple friends have been brave in my eyes, accepting me despite my extremely fucked up past. I wish I could say any of my family, but I can’t. It’s like we’re the cast from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia except with a lot less humor and whole lot more in the scumbag department. I know I shouldn’t talk about family like that, but with the exception of brief moments, there is nothing noble about them.

lillycoyote's avatar

Thank you so much, everyone, for all your answers so far. I love to hear, stories about the courage of ordinary people, whether it be courage fighting on battlefields, fighting personal battles, standing up for what’s right, pulling people out of burning cars, street fighting :-) whatever. I can be kind of cynical and a bit of a misanthrope sometimes, but in my heart of hearts, people just amaze me sometimes.

Haleth's avatar

My boyfriend’s dad, who was a boat person after the Vietnam war, came to the US with nothing, worked his ass off to support half his family, and is still an easygoing, humble guy. He’s been through such hardship and he’s really taken it in stride.

zensky's avatar

My aunt.

ucme's avatar

We had this neighbour a few years back, old guy, we liked to call him “Abnormal Norman.”
He would regularly parade the streets playing his harmonica, wearing a dinner jacket coupled with a pair of Bermuda shorts topped off with flip flops upon his feet. Brave brave soul, especially around these here parts!

augustlan's avatar

I feel kind of weird saying this, but in the interest of baring my soul here, it’s me. Not in the same way that some of my family members are brave (firefighting family), but I saved myself, when no one else would. I was sexually abused by one of my uncles throughout my whole childhood. My entire family knew about it, and no one stopped him until I did, when I was 13 years old. I spent the next year certain that he was going to kill me for it, but I continued on living my life anyway. I fully intended to kill him if he ever came near me again.

Years later, when it looked like he was about to harm some other children, my whole family again looked on and did nothing. I took a deep breath and waded in. Stopped him then, too.

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