When we were young, my siblings and I would go with our Mom to Lebanon each summer. One of the more fun parts of being in Lebanon is staying in the mountains, and visiting my paternal grandmother’s home there. It is a cinderblock structure with three floors; not including the bottom floor where there is a door with a gate and stairs that lead up to the floors above. This building overlooks a splendid view of the valley below, a view that I have not seen anything like anywhere else in the world.
Back then, on the ground floor there used to be a rope swing, one that hung from the celling. It was so large that it allowed two people to use it at the same time, sitting back-to-back. When we were kids, we would ask our grandma if my sister and I could go down with our cousins and swing. One day, my sister and I and two of our cousins went down and began taking turns. It was a blast, for the swing went up pretty high—maybe twelve feet—up in the air, and we pumped our legs and we went up even higher.
Now, let me tell you a bit about my sister. Her name is Sara. When she was young, she was always much quieter than me, more timid, more gentle. But, you see, it is the timid ones, the quiet ones, that you need to look out for. For they are the ones that will do things unexpectedly.
My cousin and I were awaiting our turn patiently, counting the number of times she swung back and forth to make sure our time on the swing was equal and fair. Suddenly, out of the blue, the blue of the sky, my sister started to soar. She had jumped at the highest possible point. This was NOT a very safe jump. She moved slowly and gracefully through the air as chaos ensued below.
“Sara!!! What are you doing?! Are you ok?!”
She landed on the ground with a thud, got up and said, “Mona! I was just trying to be like Superman!” She was okay. That was the day I learned she was not timid. Now, she has grown up to create her own non-profit organization called Empowerment through Integration, and has done equally crazy, amazing things. She is my Superman.