Saturday 23rd October 2021

Heroic. 13/51. #LifeThisWeek. 39/2021.

Heroic. 13/51. #LifeThisWeek. 39/2021.

As I am the instigator of these optional prompts you might think ‘ah that makes it easier to write’….well actually it doesn’t at times. This is one such time.

I was telling my husband about it and he said this about me. I wasn’t asking, but he told me he saw me as a hero.

“Displaying great courage under difficult circumstances and I see that in you”

He would say any more…ha! Man of few words and apt to give praise very rarely. However, it was not only related to overcoming cancer, but he didn’t elaborate and I know him well enough to know it’s cool that he sees me that way.


Heroic: adjective

having the characteristics of a hero or heroine; admirably brave or determined.”heroic deeds”

(of language or a work of art) grand or grandiose in scale or intention.

“one passes under pyramids and obelisks, all on a heroic scale”

Heroic: noun

behaviour or talk that is bold or dramatic.”the England star is getting special treatment because of his World Cup heroics”

heroic(a.) Synonyms: brave, valiant, courageous, intrepid, bold, daring, gallant, fearless, dauntless, noble, magnanimous. heroic(a.)


Some Heroic Actions and Attitudes by People I Know.

  • My late mother. She overcame intense shyness, some anxiety and being deaf in one ear, to eventually make her way into a new group of friends and social circles when Dad’s promotion at work brought us to Sydney leaving behind her family and all she knew. Dad told me recently that she did not want to make that move. I understood that from my own experiences in 2014-2015.

  • My eldest granddaughter. She’s someone who has overcome (and continues to monitor and do well) a serious life-changing auto-immune condition. She had managed it with support from her Mum of course but as anyone with a serious  health condition knows, it is UP to you…always. Onya Miss J.

  • My youngest granddaughter. Turning 6 very soon, her way of arriving in the world set the scene for future heroic and an attitude determination. A breech baby who refused to be turned, so Mum gave birth naturally (under safe conditions) and then when she broke her wrist a year ago, took the hospitalisation, surgery, and recovery in her stride. So cool….about it, I mean!


  • My late paternal grandmother. She fell in love, during World War 1, in England, with a Scottish-born soldier from Australia, recovering in a hospital near her home. She left everything and everyone she knew to get on a War Bride ship to sail to Australia. She always hoped to go back home to visit but circumstances of poverty prevented that. Became a mum to 4 by the time she was in her 30s, and it was the Depression. Sadly, her husband died of injuries in a workplace accident. She may never have liked her life after that but she was heroic enough to see it through, dying of old age in 1985.


  • My husband. Shhhh. I looked at the list and thought, I have no men on it. He is heroic in so much he does and is to me and our family. Early, medical retirement aged 30 was not how life should have been for him, and his family, but he, over time, made some great opportunities come his way to improve his health, our lives together and more. He is quiet, self-effacing but every day, in often debilitating chronic pain, he makes the most of each waking moment. He makes me laugh

And then, there are the Women of Courage featured here.

Back in 2019 I heard Jane Caro speak at Newcastle Writers Festival about her latest book Accidental Feminists. After that, I realised I knew many, many women would could share their own stories of courage if they were prepared to. More said yes than no. Then over 2019 and into 2020 over 50 posts were published here.

I am selecting a few, where I see heroic actions and attitudes went hand in hand in the courage of those women. I honour each and every woman’s story.

Debbie Harris’  Story.

From her post, back in 2019, here is her story. It tells itself. Her blog is here.

“We all need to be brave in our own way and make the most of what life throws at us.  It’s funny that anyone who gets a bravery award says they didn’t feel brave they just did what they had to do at the time.  Those were my exact words when I was given the award”.

Deb Morton’s Story.

Deb’s second son, is friend and author Rick Morton. His latest book “My Year of Living Vulnerably” is a must-listen/read. His facebook page has more. I am in awe of his words and more. Her story, awful as it is, is here. I so appreciate Deb’s involvement with this.

“I am a better person for what I have gone through , I am so lucky that my little daughter saved me , the fact that she needed me , helped, I thank God every day she came into my life and I know that I have passed on to her the ability to deal with whatever life throws at her, she is a hardworking and capable person that I can be proud of!”


Jane Caro’s Story.

In her earlier book, and as part of her story,  Jane wrote of her anguish when her first child (now very well adult teacher & Mum herself) was very sick in the Children’s Hospital in Camperdown and how a doctor’s words, below helped. Follow Jane here.

I asked for help (as going to therapy had taught me to do) and spoke to neo-natologist and grief counsellor Dr Peter Barr. He said these three sentences to me that began to crack the carapace of anxiety I had been living behind. “There’s nothing special about you, there’s nothing special about Polly (my daughter). Terrible things can happen, and they can happen to anyone. Safety is an illusion, danger is reality.”

Catching up with Jane Caro: April 2019.



By the way, IF you would like to share YOUR story, I would be happy to send you the 5 questions…let me know via an email to as I see no reason why I cannot have some more Women of Courage posts into 2021.

DELIGHTED to ANNOUNCE: 2021 will have a series of Women of Courage.

After April, there will be more stories to share.

This is what I wrote today to quite a few women who I follow on twitter, many of whom I have known for some years:


In 2019 and into 2020 I had a series of posts written by women, answering 5 questions from me about being courageous. Given recent events here in Australia, we know women’s voices need to be heard more. I am asking you, would you be interested in taking part in 2021 series.. It can be using your name or anonymously.

Do let me know YES or NO…and if it’s a yes, your best contact email please.

Thank you,

Denyse Whelan

The page here takes you to the 56 stories already shared.



Goodness me, with this post we are 1/4 of the way through 2021.

Make of that what you will!

If you celebrate the coming Easter festival, may it be enjoyable.

I know teachers (parents and kids) in N.S.W. schools are looking forward to end of Term One and some holiday time.


Link Up #233

Life This Week. Link Up #233

You can link up something old or new, just come on in.

* Please add just ONE post each week! NOT a link-up series of posts, thank you.

* Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not.

* Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do!

* Check out what others are up to: Leave a comment on a few posts, because we all love our comments, right!

* Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere, or on your sidebar or let others know somewhere you are linking up to this blog’s Life This Week.

*Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog & the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. These may include promotions, advertorials and any that are overly religious or political or in any way offensive  in nature.

* THANK you for linking up today! Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 14/51 Self Care Stories #2. 5 Apr.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter



  1. Lovely post of recognition, for those that overcome struggle.

  2. A lovely post about your heroes, Denyse. I like Sue’s quote from Christopher Reeve. There are many ordinary people and unsung heroes who take heroic actions every day quietly. #Lifethisweek

  3. Denyse this is a beautiful post recognising the heroism you see around you. They are wonderful examples of adversity and the brave way it’s being faced with courage. I enjoyed your post very much

  4. Great post that recognises the heroes in your life – so inspiring! For me a hero is someone who finds strength to endure despite overwhelming obstacles and/or really tries to make the world a better place to be. I really believe that we all have a hero inside of us!

  5. Thanks very much for sharing my story among your other heroes Denyse, you are very kind. I loved reading your thoughts and admire you for recognising those around you in this way. They are obviously very special to you. I agree with Sammie, we all have a hero inside of us and not all heroes wear capes! You are a prime example of being heroic. x

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Oh thank you for that kindness Debbie.

      We all do and be what we have to at the time.

      It’s later we might have our breakdown with the realisation of significant struggles during the times of courage and being heroic, that take physical and emotional tolls.


  6. Wow! That’s a moving read. Xx

  7. It was lovely to read all those stories of heroism Denyse and I agree with your husband that I see a hero in you! By the way – how gorgeous is that first photo (black & white) of you and your parents and is that a brother with you? Hope you have a great week! xo

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Oh thanks Mine. Nice compliment.

      Yes, that is my brother and we can’t quite remember where we would have been dressed like that…we think it was a wedding!!

      Hope the lockdown is not too much of a stress. No certainty till everyone is vaccinated!


  8. Hi Denyse – a great list – very diverse – and it shows that courage has many shapes and forms. I’ve often thought of those war brides who sailed away from all they knew to somewhere they’d never been (knowing they may never come back) all for love – it’s a powerful thing isn’t it?

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      I am glad you too have thought of those brides.

      Yes, my grandmother talked (wished) of going home..(as England was always referred to) but she never did. Her life, whilst pretty long, was generally a sad one. However, she was an accomplished pianist that was when she met her future husband as he was recuperating in a military hospital and she was entertaining the troops, and she did enjoy a reasonable social life once the kids were adults.

      Thanks Leanne,


  9. This is one of your best posts. It was nice to read about the resilience of these heroes.

  10. Very interesting post to read – and so good that you have memories of your grandmother.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Vanessa.

      She was quite a stern and ungenerous grandmother (compared to my other grandparents who spoiled me rotten) but in her latter years I could talk to her adult to adult about her experiences as a war bride.

      We recorded these but who knows where they ended up.

      My daughter and her daughter who is a videographer have been doing this from time to time with my Dad. Trouble is, he is 97 and they don’t get to see him a lot….


  11. Hi Denyse, I enjoyed this topic and like you I mentioned my Mum. Everyday people are heroes aren’t they? Thanks for the prompt for #lifethisweek and I look forward to linking up next week.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Sue. I look forward to reading your post.

      I think of the COVID testers right now, and in all weathers, out they are, doing what is right for us all.

      Lockdown in Brisbane complicates your week ahead I imagine . Sigh!


  12. Hi Denyse, it was lovely to read of the brave heroic women in your life. I admire my forebears, especially the ancestors who travelled from Europe to New Zealand as pioneers in the 1800s. Very heroic, although they probably didn’t think of themselves in that way.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Interesting perspective isn’t it to put yourself in those forebears’ shoes?

      I know as we travelled back to northern NSW to see where we lived and taught, we passed farm houses long abandoned but they would have been some family’s start on the land.

      Thanks Christina. I don’t think we make the descriptor for ourselves, it’s others who apply the words.


  13. While I didn’t write to prompt (you know I like to be a rebel…lol) reading the other posts got me thinking about what it is to be heroic and it’s these everyday (often) unnoticed pieces of courage that (I think) are what makes a hero.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      What no-one necessarily notices but has to be done can be heroic for me.

      How about those people who I see cleaning toilets in shopping centres..I thank each one if I get the chance. Not wanting to do anything other than be grateful they do this and often with good grace and humility.

      Here’s to those we can’t always say thank you to!

      Thanks Jo,

  14. I am so happy to hear that your women of courage series is returning. I really enjoyed reading the stories that were shared even when they were a bit heartbreaking at times they always gave me such a feeling of wonder.

    • Thank you so much Joanne. If you would consider saying “yes” to being part of the series in 2021 I would love that. Let me know and I can email you the 5 questions!!


  15. What a wonderful compliment your husband paid you! I can imagine you are the role model of a hero to a lot of people! thank you for telling us the stories of all these heroic people. Just reading about them lifts my spirits and inspires me.

    • Oh thank you kindly dear Laurie.

      It’s been great to consider others in my life who have been heroic and courageous.

      As my Dad is still around I have had the chance to have more conversations with him about how life was for my mum back then. Mum wouldn’t have shared. Dad and I are “the talkers”.

      I hope the covid vax is treating you and your husband OK.


  16. I love the people you’ve chosen here Denyse and I agree with Laurie’s comment above. You’re certainly the hero of many you know and the way you’ve faced adversity and become an ambassador after your cancer treatment is truly impressive.


    • Thanks so much Deb. It was not hard to find great examples of heroism.

      I was taken aback when my husband said that…man of few words and all that so it was even more special.

      Your words are very much appreciated too.


  17. Apologies for the late comment, Denyse. This is such a lovely post and tribute all in one. I think the thing about heroes is they don’t need to wear capes. Like your mum for instance. A lot of heroic people I know too are similar to yours, the ones who have overcome the odds but also, who continue to be consistent and live with integrity when it can be hard to do that.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      No worries, glad you came to comment Sanch.

      Yes, I am taking the chance to ask Dad questions as they come up (and I can remember as well) because even if I had asked Mum I doubt she would have told me much. Very shy in her own way but she was deaf after giving birth to me and my brother and found socialising very challenging but she did it!!

      Hope your days off have done the trick a bit for recalibration.