The young cub called Simba from the movie The Lion King evokes the memory of a little boy I used to have in my life. He was as lovable, or, as wild when provoked, as a lion cub. His adventures included taking one of our dogs, hiking into the woods, and climbing the hills behind our farm to explore.
Often, I would look out the window into our back yard, and depending on what time of year it was, I would see Nicholas in the snow or on the grass wrestling, himself still a puppy, with the dogs. He left this life when he was of the age that he swung between the business of childish play, and an adolescent spending quiet time in curious ponderings.
The Heroes in our Lives
Nicholas and Simba are heroes in their own stories. They both were mere youngsters; innocent and pure, still believing in the power of hope when their lives became painful. They became warriors with the depth of courage that is valued, spoke of and passed on through the ages.
In The Lion King, the young cub loses his father in a violent death and his world is upended. Simba’s survival is hinged on his drawing from the courage he saw in his father.
My son developed an aggressive leukemia. The chemo therapy protocol waged a vicious battle against the disease, and physically Nicholas became a shadow of the boy he used to be. But his spirit, the light that burns deep inside every one of us, rose to the challenge.
Like my son, Simba was felled to his knees and robbed of his youthful innocence.
There are so many of us that can relate to the symbolism in the story of The Lion King. When I watch this movie, I remember Nicholas with bittersweet tears of pride and grief streaming down my cheeks, as the lion cub grasps onto hope, finds his strength and grapples with his enemy. Both he and Nicholas triumph in their own way.
Overcoming all odds doesn’t always mean every story has a happy ending. Some endings are not at all what we want.
Most of us will have a life in the story book way. In longevity and old age, giving us the time to see some of this big world, fall in love, make babies and bounce a grandchild on our knee before death takes us in our sleep. Then, others will die before the age of puberty.
Nicholas died at the tender age of twelve. When he was well his days were packed full of living, and in his bright smile, quick wit and loving heart he was notable, for this he will be remembered.
For what he taught to those around him, in his dying, is how he will be honored. In living our life, be it short or long, it is the essence, the feeling of joy, hope, love, and inspiration of what we brought to the battles that life waged, even when we lost the war, that we leave behind.
It is good to be remembered as Simba, the courageous young cub from the epic movie The Lion King.
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