A hero, usually, has got a medal. Somebody who recognises his merits pins a golden effigy on his chest. Or a silver one. In other words, something that shines and directs a beam of light into people’s eyes.
A superhero, instead, hides his identity wearing a suit and perhaps a cloak. Because what makes him super are his incredible powers: a superhero can fly or see in the dark, or he is so strong that he can wipe out all the villains in a flash. In other words, he owns powers that he’d better not boast about. You hadn’t golden pins on your chest and your uniform was one of those flower dresses that aged ladies usually buy at the market place. You did not blind people with a shining medal, but you too had superpowers. You astounded the world with words. Chatter. Gossip. Polite words. Grandmother’s advice. And you also knew how to transform objects. In your hands a napkin became a rabbit: a few skilful moves and the magic was done. It was a real superpower because, now that we try to replicate it, the magic doesn’t work: the napkin remains a napkin, maybe a bit tangled up, but without the long ears you used to conjure up. You were my grandmother. My hero that every day taught me the power of those rectangular pieces of paper full of red or black symbols: the power to kill the time and establish bonds. My superhero who used to turn unimportant things into something unique, a dish of French fries into an unforgettable flavour on the tongue. All you needed was a pinch of sugar. And even tomorrow I will come and tell you, holding a red rose in my hands, that you are not my hero, nor my heroine. These words are too ordinary for you. And trite. No, you are my heroess. And your new superpower is the ability to fill a void of four years with a sea of memories that never calms down. Because that’s what a heroess does: she is by your side even if you don’t see her. Even if she is not here. Anymore.