Tuesday, October 12

Superman for real: Christopher Reeve

September 25, 1952 - October 10, 2004
Rest in Peace

I'm caught up in the whirlwind of emotions. Some might call it the whirlpool or downward spiral. Others loss or grief or pain. I grew up with Christopher as MY Superman. He WAS Superman. The man of steel with the heart of gold. Well do I remember the Oscars when Christopher was greeted with a standing ovation after his accident. My older sister and I stood in front of the tv in our dimly lit living room. Tears streamed down her face and the lights from the television reflected on the trails they left on her quivering face. "That's Superman," she said and my heart cheered for his louder than it wept for him. His triumph was still sweeter than his trajedy was sad. He was like a nightingale singing though sillouetted by the aftermath of war. How strong and filled with grace was he in spite of all he had suffered. And in this world it strikes me that Christopher Reeve is more than any myth could make a man. Superman was unassailable by any means on earth. Christopher Reeve was not. He was a man. Superman could count on powers from another world that made him the match of any evil on the earth. Reeve could count on no such advantage. He was born into this world with the same blue-print as the rest of humanity. The same weakness. Easily pierced in flesh and more easily pierced in heart. And yet he accomplished feats of heart and flesh that would have broken so many. Being but a man he did more than most all men could do. How inspiring it is that he accomplished super-human feats although a man. Chris was from the same place as the rest of us but he didn't end up in the same place. He has done more to find the cure for the victims of paralysis around the world than any ten men alive. Though he hears not when one commands, or answers should one press his hands, his all to human efforts will be felt forever. Chris has seperated himself. Not with great and special powers, but with virtues greater than the lot of commen men. With a love as deep as any found upon the earth. Christopher could not leap tall buildings in a single bound nor go faster than a speeding bullet. But what he could do is give hope to millions of people that never dared to dream they might one day walk again. What he could do was to gather the nation behind him and the cause of so many in pain and suffering. What he could do was, as the best of us have always done, stand up for the idea that we as a species and a community could and must do more and better than before. He didn't accept the word of those that said, as the average among us always have, that "it" cannot be done. He had the courage to believe. He believed for all of us and perhaps, at long last, as with all human beings, the strain finally was too much even for him. His spirit had few equals, but his body was the same as every mans. More than Superman. More than man. He was Christopher Reeve. And our love for him will never die.


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