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Thank God he didn’t get kicked in the face.

That was my first thought as B calmed (in fact, tamed) a horse that came surprisingly close to our picnic shelter this past weekend.

Bewildered, we watched the horse charge. We held our collective breath as B stepped out into the driving rain, a lone figure wittingly running into the horse’s confused path. He made eye contact with the frightened animal; stopped it as it started to rise on its hind legs; and grabbed it by the reins, finally calming it.

Our shelter erupted with cheers and clapping as B stood in the pouring rain, murmuring to the startled animal. “Horse whisperer,” I thought. “He’ll never live this one down.”  And yes, it’s true, my heart swelled with pride as soon as it was evident he wasn’t in any imminent danger. 

The thing about B is that just when you think you’ve seen all the tricks he can pull, or heard all the stories he has to share — there is always one more surprise in store.

He can tame wild animals, ride motocross, and throw down a good match in any MMA ring … not only in his imagination, but in real life too. Often times I find him lost in a reverie where he is saving his family from an intruder, or correcting the wrongs committed by cowardly men. He very much believes in heroism and the ability of ordinary men to act in heroic ways.

I’ve seen how dangerously far his anger can take him and witnessed his most magnanimous acts of kindness and humility. But what I like best are his random acts of heroism, like this past weekend, when he stopped a runaway horse or the night when, without hesitation, he administered CPR which saved my father’s life.

My husband, who isn’t fueled by cheers or applause but by a job well done, is in fact, the real thing — the real McCoy.


April 14, 2010