Blog Of the Week: Heroes of Love.com
If we could be heroes just for one day, we could beat dementia forever and ever, and though nothing will keep us together, we could steal time, what d’you say? This paraphrasis of David Bowie’s hit Heroes sums up, I think, what the Heroes of Love blog is all about. Except for the part of being heroic only one day. Some families make miracles happen every single day of the week -and they do it more like the Ingalls than The Incredibles. The Jenkins family at the center of Heroes of Love is a classic example of this; so classic indeed that the patriarch rocks an awesome Charlton Heston-in-The-Ten-Commandments beard.
Why am I so confident about the Bowie analogy? For one, the blog’s authoress Mariela seems, as she should be, perfectly aware that her time together with her grandfather -who is, as she rightfully points out, living with and not dying of dementia- is growing scarce, as clearly indicated by the entries aptly titled Countdown to Goodbye and Countdown to Goodbye – Poem/Song, the latter of which inevitably reminds me of Placebo’s Song to Say Goodbye. For most of us time is the enemy that we never see, but no one is more aware of the irretrievable passage of the years than those who live with an Aged P.
The reference to Great Expectations is not entirely gratuitous, by the way. Surely, the littlest member of this family is experiencing, if unknowingly, a childhood with a few hints of Dickensian undertones. For him I believe it is that this blog, purposefully or not, is meant. There is a certainly a mirror image at play; memory is short for the youngest as it is for the oldest. It is through this chronicle that young master Sebastian will remember his grandfather when he, too, was like a small child who’s not even aware of his own birthday. Incidentally, the similarities between people’s first and last birthday parties were well documented by one Jerome Allen Seinfeld.
The tiny fiddler’s name recalls, if I may make the observation, that of Bastian Balthazar Bux, protagonist of The Neverending Story. Coincidentally, the book -and movie- was a recount of a once mighty kingdom being methodically eaten away by an unexplainable entity known as ‘The Nothing.’ Whether this is a metaphor for how dementia sucks the spark of intelligence out of the human mind and leaves it an empty husk is a matter of debate, but I think we all can see the resemblance, especially if we have been paying attention to a blog like Heroes of Love.
If I had to compare this blog to a film -and I already compared it to a song-, it would be certainly that one as opposed to, say, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Not only because that was a terrible movie, but also because its premise of being able to magically rewind time is what you get when you cross a bulldog and a shih tzu. We can’t go back and relive the good times or erase the bad ones. But we can enjoy the present and learn from ourselves and from others, and in that sense Heroes of Love will teach you more than any academic paper could.
In summary, I have been freely writing about books and movies because, like the characters in Umberto Eco’s Foucalt’s Pendulum, I can’t grasp the concept of the human experience other than through the filter of literature, and to prove it I will cite Jorge Luis Borges and say that I’ve read too much and lived too little. However, even I know that it is real life that the Heroes of Love blog speaks about, and in real life there are no endings -either happy or sad-; there are only partings that are sweet and sorrowful. Such I hope will be the parting depicted here when the countdown reaches zero.
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