We all love a good comeback story don’t we?
Johann Santana came back from shoulder surgery last year to pitch the only no-hitter in Mets history. Some sports writers are already talking about him being “Comeback Player of the Year.”
As a society, we love comeback stories. We love the rags to riches to rags and back to riches again stories. Our tabloid culture loves to create celebrities and then tear them down. We love them even more if they reinvent themselves and save their careers.
I remember as a young girl always rooting for the underdog because cheering for the favorite seemed too easy and obvious. Life is that way sometimes too. The best times I have ever had cheering someone on is when I knew they would be back. They had more to say, they had something else to contribute and they would be back.
Just like me.
Which is why I say don’t call this a comeback. Call it a renaissance.
Life has a way of moving forward, either with us or without us. Longtime friends move away or have a falling out with us for what seems to be no reason. Loved ones can die with no warning and we have no choice but to accept it.
Which is why l love comeback stories. The worse the conditions, the more I love it and the more I relate to it. Stories of struggle and survival, of finding unearned gifts when they were most needed, are the things that keep me going when life gets hard.
Trust me, no one loves you when you are down and out. Nobody cares what your problems are and when you are homeless, you may as well be invisible. When people find out that I was homeless for a stretch earlier this year, they treat me like I had a social disease. The truth is that I was no different than anyone else.
The only difference was a lack of money to fix my problems. That was it. The guy working three jobs to support his family is one unexpected bill away from being in deep trouble himself if he is not careful. That is why judging people is so poisonous. Without the whole story, we are left to fill in the blanks and many times we make up answers as we see fit.
This is why I love the underdog. I love the people with that fighting spirit who don’t pay attention to their critics, but instead do what they feel is right. These people are real heroes among us.
How do you want to be remembered, as a Phoenix rising above the ashes or as the loser who never even tried?