Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Quiet Hero by Kara O'Neal

Growing up, I've had many people in my life who became heroes to me. In my childhood, I stood in awe of police officers and firemen, soldiers and EMT personnel. And I am still moved by their sacrifices and courage.

But as I matured and went through many ups and downs, I discovered heroism exists in others, as well. There's something to be said for the person who listens quietly while you fall apart. Or those who speak for you when you can't find the words. Those who encourage you, even when they are suffering with their own troubles.

And there are those who have trials greater than your own, who manage to handle these problems without resentment or anger. Not that people who are having difficulties can't show their anger and frustration. But I'm always amazed by the person who stands as a lighthouse in the midst of their storm.

One such person was my brother...

                                         My brother          My husband

He is the youngest of four children. His older siblings are all girls. Can you imagine that? All the drama he had to deal with? All the silliness and the talking?

When we were growing up, I never thought any of the above might bother him. He always seemed happy to go along with us, falling into whatever what we got ourselves into. But at some point in my growing-up years, I realized strong emotions, when dealt with regularly, can irritate even the best of us.

Still, knowing this, I can count on one hand the number of times I've ever seen him lose his temper or his patience. He is thirty-seven. I am forty-three. That's a lot of years and a lot of suffering that has gone by without a word of censure from him.

And watching him, I learned a great lesson.

There is no reason to treat anything with anger or resentment. You can get better results by being patient. By listening. By waiting.

Perhaps he discovered this as a child, when he had to work so hard to learn to talk and walk.

My brother had Febrile Convulsions as an infant. Also known as seizures. His doctors said he'd never walk or talk, but that's not what happened. Oh, it took him longer than others, but with a quiet and solid strength, he overcame his illness. And he's extremely successful now and played 13 years of soccer and graduated from Texas A&M, gaining a degree which allows him to make more money than I do.

All this said, he was the inspiration behind one of my favorite heroes, Thomas Miller. Thomas is the brother of three spinster sisters in The Miller Brides. It's quite obvious Thomas longs for peace from his very chatty household, but he never loses his temper with his sisters. In fact, he is their protector, their support. It might make him cranky -- crankier than it ever made my brother -- but Thomas gives all to his sisters, and walks each of them down the aisle.

My brother and my character, Thomas Miller, are heroes without putting their lives on the line daily. They support and care and protect with a quiet, steady demeanor and allow their sisters to be the ladies they choose to be. I love my brother, and I will always appreciate what he has taught me.

You can purchase The Miller Brides here:

Barnes and Noble
Google Play
Book Bub

You can find me at the following places:

Website: www.karaoneal.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278350.Kara_O_Neal
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/  


  1. OMG KARA! I'm sitting here, crying, after reading this. How lovely, wonderful, and inspiring this story is. I'm an only child and I alwaysalways wanted a brother - younger or older, I didn't care. You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful man in your life!

    1. Thank you! He's a prince. Whenever people try to tell me chivalry is dead, I always ask if they have met my brother. He's the best.

  2. What an uplifting story! Not all heroes possess physical super-hero strength. Quiet, inner strength is also the stuff of a true hero.

  3. What beautiful inspiration and tribute to your brother, Kara!
    THANKS for sharing.
    Good luck and God's blessings

  4. Your brother sounds wonderful!! You are fortunate to have him!

  5. An inspirational post, Kara. Your brother sounds like a great guy. How cool that you patterned a character after him.

    1. Thank you! It was a lot of fun to use my brother to create a character. I definitely made my character crankier -- a little comic relief in the book -- but the core of him is exactly like my brother.

  6. I love this. I married a quiet hero, too. Thank you for sharing your brother with us.

  7. Fantastic post! I've always thought of our son as a kind and gentle soul. He was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was ten. I've watched him around adults and children and he has a lot more patience than I ever will.
    Our daughter will listen to someone's problems, hold their hand, take them a meal and never once mention her own problems.
    I think we got pretty lucky with our kids. I still often wonder if they might have been switched at birth.

    1. LOL! Yes, sometimes I wonder the same when I look at my kids. They're all really smart and I don't know how that happened!

  8. What a beautiful tribute to your brother, as well as quiet heroes everywhere. We need those people.

  9. It’s not easy writing a truly quiet man. I used my quiet brother as inspiration for a secondary character, a man who should have spoken more when it was needed. But as a hero? Nope. A lovely post, Kara!

  10. What a lovely post, and you are so lucky to have a wonderful brother.

    1. Thank you! Yes, my sisters and I feel very blessed.

  11. Love, love, love your post, Kara. I have an older brother and a younger brother, and they mean the world to me. They each gave me a sister eventually. *g* I'm closest in age to my older brother, and we got into so much trouble when we were kids. He'd say, "Let's do this." (This was usually something we should not do!) I would say, "Okay." OMG. We were always in trouble! But we lived to tell the tale and laugh about our adventures.

  12. Beautiful story, Kara! Thank you for sharing your "quiet hero" with us all. *sniff, sniff*


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