My initial reaction to Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me was kind of like driving by a car crash. You know it’s horrible and you hate to look at it, but you just can’t help it. Having seen two grandparents go through the slow decline of Alzheimer’s disease, and thinking that was quite enough of that pain, I wasn’t too terribly interested in entering into a perfect stranger’s (though a celebrity’s) painful story. But, I watched. And I’m glad I did. I’ll be Me is more than just a painful story. It is a story of redeeming pain. Yes, the film explored the fact that Glen Campbell was greatly loved by so many American people. The film highlighted the value of music and how it brings people together, creating bonds and building bridges. The film even inspired us that seemingly impossible things are possible. But for me, the most beautiful element of redemption in the movie is the value of human life. Glen Campbell is a valuable person, not because he has many fans, not because his music is appreciated by so many, but because he is a person. A person created in the image of God to love and be loved. A person worth suffering with. A person worth suffering for. Campbell’s family tirelessly cares for him in the film. A caring that is so beautiful and yet so sad. So sad that you hate to watch, but so beautiful that you must.
When all is said and done, we do not get to write the end of our story. Janis Joplin didn’t plan to overdose. Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly didn’t choose to die in an airplane crash. And Glen Campbell didn’t choose the slow-motion death of Alzheimer’s and nor did his family. Musicians and athletes like to entertain thoughts of going out in their prime just like the rest of us, but we were not meant to choose the end of our story. Glen Campbell had more to give the world than songs and this film beautifully highlights that. Had he not developed Alzheimer’s disease, I believe the world may still never know the true Glen Campbell and the beauty of his family and friends were it not for this disease.
Finally, this movie brought back to my mind words that were spoken at my uncle’s funeral who died a very untimely death: “A life is best remembered as a whole not as the part at the end.” It is so easy for the families of Alzheimer’s patients to have memories of their loved one clouded by the slow, dark journey at the end. But I’ll be Me reminds us to focus, not on the part, but on the whole.
The film officially releases October 24. While you’re waiting for the film to be released in your town, enter my giveaway for a 5 song EP soundtrack, featuring Glen Campbell, his daughter, and The Band Perry. Leave your email in a comment on this post to enter. Winner will be chosen October 28.
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”