Are heroes ever old? Not that I recall. I know lots of old guys that were heroes, in a war for example, but not so many that are heroes. Mr. Tindale in CeeGee’s Gift is definitely a hero, and I did some searching for a few more. Please feel free to add your own names to this spare list.
Steven Hawking began an historic career early in life and, in spite of living with progressive ALS, remained a hero and an intellectual star in physics and cosmology until the end of his life at 76. And there was Oskar Schindler, who employed enslaved Jews during the Nazi reign, then years later fought to free them, pay them fairly and find them safe passage. And from my childhood reading, there was the solitary Santiago in Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, who spends days on his boat fighting to bring a marlin safely to shore, while bravely warding off attacks from sharks on his passage.
But Mr. Tindale in CeeGee’s Gift is a special hero. I know this because of reader comments. When I wrote the book, I saw Celia Gene Williamson, with her magical gift of foretelling the future, as the primary character with Mr. Tindale cast in the secondary role as her friend and mentor. Readers seem to think differently.
“I think your audience is grandparents.” –Mike
“Come speak at the senior living facilities. They never get to read a book where the hero is their age.” –Amy
“I weally, weally wuff Mr. Tindale.” –Emma, six-years-old
Mr. Tindale can be called a hero for providing wise counsel to a troubled young girl as she finds her way, but that is not all he does. Knowing his time is short, the old man takes charge of his affairs, makes each day meaningful, pays attention to the needs he sees around him and leaves a legacy that transforms his small town of Southport.
He ends his life so revered by his community that they run out of space at his funeral. I’d call that a hero.