Dear readers –
Today’s posting will be quite different and I hope you will indulge me.
Yesterday’s news of the passing of the legendary Debbie Reynolds was very hard to wrap my brain around, coming so quickly after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher. I was very fortunate many years ago to attend a presentation of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” in New Haven, Connecticut with two of my sisters. Watching and listening to Debbie Reynolds in that role is a treasured memory (along with getting her autograph on my program!) but even better was seeing her interact with the young people in attendance. After the show Debbie came back onstage and directed her immediate comments to those children, introducing herself as “Princess Leia’s mother.” It captivated all of us who remained in the audience. I was and will remain a fan of both of these great ladies. Why? Not simply because of their artistic talents but more because of the struggles they endured in their personal lives and shared candidly with others. The spotlight of public attention on mental illness shone brighter because of Carrie’s work and that of her mother. The overcoming of adversities in their relationship is something that many mothers and daughters can relate to and yet, through it all, they never lost focus on what was truly important in that relationship. For me, they demonstrated the true meaning of empathy, talent, and a drive to make things better for others. What a great legacy and I hope that we can all contribute to that legacy, each in our own way. After all, helping one another achieve greatness, overcome adversity, or simply to let others know we value them is a truly wonderful gift. May that gift continue to be shared for many generations to come.