People and Memoirs Fascinate Me

Over the last few years, I have been reading a variety of memoirs.  I have learned about some fascinating people — Dick Van Dyke, Lisa Welchel, Sir Elton John, Robin Roberts, Lauren Graham, Trevor Noah, Alan Cumming, Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, and a biography about Dean Martin written by his daughter.

I am looking forward to a few more that I will be reading soon.  I have two books that Robert Wagner has written and a memoir by Ricky Martin.  I also want to read one about Amy Silverstein and her recent battle with cancer. I will have to buy that one.

All of these people I have enjoyed and have been entertained by. They all meant something to me and I watched them or listened to them growing up or more recently have found out about them. I liked learning about the real person behind the public persona.

Each book was unique, as is each person.  Each one had a slightly different take on life and what was discussed.  Some were funny, some were inspiring, and some were sad.  I laughed, I cried, and through each, I have learned more about people.

People do intrigue and fascinate me.  I enjoy learning what makes them tick, what they are passionate about, where they come from, what they believe, and about their childhood and own family life. I like hearing how others deal with life’s ups and downs, and joys and sorrows.

Here are a few thoughts on everyone who I have mentioned.

  • Dick Van Dyke — So funny and so positive.  I smiled while reading this book and have always liked him.  From Mary Poppins to Diagnosis Murder, and many other projects, I have enjoyed watching him sing, dance, and act. He makes me happy.  I hope that when I grow up, I can have as positive an outlook on life as his is.
  • Lisa Welchel — I loved her as Blair on the Facts of Life.  She was great at that part and I enjoyed the entire run of the show.  Finding out about her own family and her Christianity was interesting and full of fun stories and her memories.  I like that she is still acting and enjoyed a recent Hallmark movie that she starred in with Kim Fields.
  • Elton John — Love his music and his generosity and all he has done for the fight against AIDS and HIV.  It was a real and very ugly battle and I thank people like Sir Elton John for helping those suffering from it and their families and friends.  His friendship with Ryan White was very touching.  Honestly, I cried several times while reading this one.
  • Robin Roberts — I have watched her on Good Morning America each morning for years and years.  I remember her battle with breast cancer and then the blood disorder she had.  She is so strong and a role model.  She showed grace and class through these battles and taught us so much about the suffering she and others go through.  I love her idea of turning your mess into a message.
  • Lauren Graham — She is funny, my age, and will always be remembered as Lorelai Gilmore.  Her book mentioned filming the original series as well as the recent reboot, which I still haven’t seen.  Darn not having Netflix.  Can someone please let me know what happened?  Or how I could watch it?  It was fun to read about how much this character and all of the characters on that show meant to her.  And to read about the other parts of her career and personal life.
  • Trevor Noah — I was intrigued by the title, “Born A Crime” and was so glad that I read this book.  It is quite a look into growing up as a mixed race child and young person. He was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Can you imagine?  He paints a very colorful picture of growing up in South Africa.  He is now a comedian and hosts a popular show.
  • Alan Cumming — His memoir called “Not My Father’s Son” was one of the most well-written books I have read in a while.  It had a mystery, happiness, and sadness.  All emotions were on display as he talked about his abusive childhood at the hands of his father and how it has affected his entire life.  I was touched profoundly by all that he shared.  I have liked him on television (The Good Wife and the voice on Masterpiece Mysteries), movies (among them Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion), and knew he was on Broadway in Cabaret.
  • Julie Andrews — Amazing voice, amazing talent, and pure class.  I loved her as Maria in The Sound of Music, as Mary Poppins in that movie, and in the Princess Diaries.  I cannot count the times I have been singing at full voice along with her.  When she could no longer sing, I was heartbroken but happy that she is still doing other items.  She has written books with her daughter and is working on other projects.
  • Carol Burnett — The funniest woman around and a trailblazer.  I used to love watching her variety show.  The funniest ever was the sketch when she was Scarlet from Gone With The Wind wearing the curtain and curtain rod.  “I saw it in a window and just had to have it.”  Cracks me up every time I see it or think about it.  Along with the laughter, she talks about the death of her daughter Carrie Hamilton.
  • Dean Martin — Amazing songs, movies, and a part of the Rat Pack.  He had major issues that he dealt with such as drinking and other things but still worked hard and entertained many, many people.  His daughter writes a glowing but real book about her dad.  Favorite songs of his are “That’s Amore,” “Ain’t That A Kick in the Head,” and “Sway.”
  • Robert Wagner — When I was younger, I thought he was the most handsome man and every girl’s dream.  As Darling Jonathan on Hart to Hart, he showed what a happy marriage was, what a loving hubby could be, and how to solve mysteries.  I have liked him for years, for all the things he has worked on in Hollywood, and his most recent stint as Anthony DiNozzo Sr.  Kirk and I watch reruns of Hart to Hart and I enjoy them as much as I did as a child.
  • Ricky Martin — Heart throb and such a great singer and dancer.  I remember when he played Miguel on General Hospital.  He did a great job on that show in the 1990s.   Before that, he a member of Menudo.  I always have to dance when I hear “Livin the Vida Loca” and many of his other songs.  I look forward to finding out more about him, his partner and their kids.
  • Amy Silverstein — I know the least about this women.  She wrote a book about her relationship with nine friends who helped her through a battle of brain cancer.  Amazingly this is the second cancer that she has had.  Personally knowing someone who passed away from brain cancer will make this book extra poignant.

If you made it to the end, thank you.  I probably should have made this two blogs, but did want to share my thoughts.  Please share who you have read about and who you still want to.

I wonder if I will continue to be fascinated by people — both famous and not.  I have a feeling I will.

Amazing Strength

handsI heard an amazing quote in the sermon at church yesterday.

This was a quote by a man named who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor: “I don’t know why God has me on this path, but I am looking forward to the journey.”

What? How can you look forward to a journey of a tumor in your head?  I was floored at this comment.  What a man of amazing faith!!

This comment truly did give me pause.  Is my faith that strong?  I like to think so, but am not totally sure.  Do I truly know that my Lord and Savior could get my through something like this?  I have to admit it would take a lot of prayers and support.

I do know that God works in mysterious ways and can make all things good.  But knowing in my head and living it are two different things.  Lord, help me have a strong faith in you and know that you will always provide for me.  Amen.

There are many people dealing with cancer, chemotherapy, treatments, surgery, and major pain.  I do, however, admire them and their strength to deal with and live through these trials in their lives.

One person who has been an inspiration is Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.”  She recently returned from a 5-month medical leave.  She had a bone marrow transplant and now has the immune system of a child.  From what I understand, it is improving but will take time.

It has been so good to see her back on the air.  She looks different since she lost all of her hair and she has lost some weight from all she’s been through.  But she is still beautiful — both inside and out.

Robin was very frank with her illness and treatment and agreed to have the journey recorded to show on ABC.  It was amazing to see her at her most vulnerable, yet also comforting.

She is a strong woman of faith and despite all of her pain and trials, she is positive.  She knows that if you let the negative get in, it can take over.  Robin, you are truly an inspiration!!

If you are dealing with this kind of pain, please know that the Lord is there to comfort and help you through it!  And, friends and family can help you as well.

I know that people often question God when something like this happens.  I think that is only natural and we can’t help but ask “Why Me?”  I heard someone who had breast cancer say, “Why Not Me?”

That was another profound statement that made me do a lot of thinking and soul-searching.  I do know that Jesus is with me not matter what.  He didn’t promise that life would be easy, but did promise to always be there.  That is an amazing blessing.

I think it’s also great to have support of our loved ones.  Marriage vows include “in sickness and in health.”  May we truly be able to live that vow and be there for one another!

My prayer for you is that if you are dealing with this pain or diagnosis that you will be comforted to know that Jesus loves you and always will.  And, that your family and friends can help you through this painful time.  God Bless!!

GMA Highlights

Hi and Happy Friday to you!!   I watched part of Good Morning America today and enjoyed seeing the reunited Backstreet Boys.  I had forgotten how much I liked their music!

These five guys who will be celebrating their 20th anniversary next year have great harmony!  That was showcased in the songs they sang this morning.  Hope you got to see it!

They had a large crowd who enjoyed seeing them perform again as I did.  And, they enjoyed singing along and took over a few lines of these familiar songs.  It was great!  The band is working on a new CD which is scheduled to be released next year!

—-On GMA, they mentioned that Robin Roberts’ mother, Lucimarian Toll, had passed away yesterday.  Thankfully she was able to say goodbye to her mother and was there when she died, according to the news reports.  Robin’s mother was quite an inspiration and they wrote a book together and had an article published in Guideposts as well.

I was very sorry to hear about this loss — especially since Robin is also dealing with her own health crisis.  She has myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease of the blood and bone marrow.  She will be off since she will be having a bone marrow transplant.  Her donor is her sister Sally-Ann.  My prayers go out to Robin and her entire family.

——-This morning, they showed a flag flying over Central Park with four inspirational words of Robin’s: Light, Love, Power, and Presence.  This was the first time I’d seen them and I realized that I wanted to write about them.  I don’t know exactly what they mean to her, but I can share what they mean to me.

  • Light — my first thought is the Light of Jesus Christ! As the Bible states, He is the light of the world.  Another thing I think of is the light of the sun and how amazing it is to see when it rises in the morning and sets in the evening.  The shadows and how it shines through the clouds on many mornings and evenings are stunning.
  • Love — as the Love Chapter of the Bible states, the greatest of these is Love!  Love is patient and kind and so many other things.  Most importantly it is accepting people as they are and wanting the best for them.
  • Power — the Power of the Holy Spirit is an amazing thing.  Power for good is so precious and can lead to amazing things.  And, the power from electricity or seen in a lightning strike is a wonder to behold.  Electrical power keeps a family cool in the summer, keeps ice cream frozen, and the computer working.
  • Presence –this to me is about being there and engaged in your life.  It is so easy for life to pass us by.  Before we know it months and years have passed without us doing what we want or truly being an active participant in our own lives.  My prayer is that we can truly enjoy and experience each and every day to its fullest.

It was quite a morning on GMA which I have been watching for years.  The show today was entertaining and inspirational!  Keep up the great work guys!