The trouble with superheroes is what to do between phone booths.
- Ken Kesey
One such superhero is Rusty Selix. Rusty has gone from phone booth to phone booth his entire life. He has pulled out his superhero suit – you know the one with a capital “S”. Rusty has been a mental health advocate through his very accomplished professional life at the California state level. He then was more recently tasked with another superhero cause. He was given two additional letters to put before the “S”. He was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and has been an advocate for ALS patients. Many see this diagnosis as extremely scary and it is! But Rusty has taken these two additional letters and changed the perspective to reflect who he is. He is not his diagnosis, but he is an Amazing Loving (and Legendary) Superhero.
He has used his superhero powers by raising a family of three children. He is “most proud of [his] three children, Amy, Shae and Sydney” He knows that they all possess great values, motivation and success. They, too, are driven to be superheroes seeking truth and justice.
Rusty has bent steel by shaping the landscape for mental health issues in California. He is using his x-ray vision to look at the three-letter acronym, ALS, and see the four-letter word, Hope! He is flying above the clouds in his quest to be that face of hope. He is a wonderful husband, brother and uncle.
Although I have never met Rusty Selix, I know him through his daughter, Amy’s eyes. I know he has optimism, courage, strength and hope. He sounds like my kind of guy. I am a connoisseur of hope (most times) and I love to see the power of the human spirit in action. Rusty has the power of Superman, but he is also, between phone booths, being a normal guy dealing with his own struggles in the best way he knows how. He routinely calls on the name of another superhero, Hope. Hope allows him to see the value of his struggles and to continue to love and be loved through these struggles.
Rusty shared his thoughts and I’m so honored to be able to share this with each of you who read his wonderful example of perspective and hope.
"This is a devastating disease, but my spirit remains strong. I live by the motto from
the Serenity Prayer, accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. And because of the love and support I have from my friends and family, I have hope.
I have always been an optimistic person. Obviously living with this illness makes it much harder, but somehow my spirit remains strong - I feel so happy that I have that within me. I feel like that is a great way to live. I hope I can inspire my kids and other people to try to focus on the positive - you can enjoy life a lot more in that way. All Meaning is under your control. You can't change what happens in life, but you can change what it means. People have infinite creativity with thought. Knowing that gives you the ability to take the past and put it behind you, see what lessons there are to learn and move forward. In life you either get what you want, or you get a lesson to learn. When one door closes another one opens. Don't ever be too attached to a bad result."
You see, Rusty, in all of his superhero powers has been able to understand the value of each breath – each moment is a memory that can be passed down in his family’s DNA to create another generation that understands that life is sometimes about making lemonade out of lemons. He has flipped the perspective and knows that “once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right” (Grateful Dead).
So, Rusty, from my Hopeful Hippie heart, I am so proud to know of you through your daughter. Thank you for providing an alternate path of love and hope!