The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


Birthday Ballerina

Today would have been her 67th birthday

A blast from the past sure-fire laugh inducer is Saturday Night Live re-runs; the first few seasons that included Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd,  John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin and my favorite, the irrepressible Gilda Radner. Her characters Roseanne Rosannadana whose signature line “It’s always something,” became the title of her memoir, Emily Litella whose malapropisms were always followed up with the classic, somewhat whiny “Never mind,” and Baba Wawa who was a parody of Barbara Walters,  make me smile all these years later.

In 1986, Gilda Radner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. With chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the cancer went into remission. But two years after the initial diagnosis, the cancer returned. She passed away in May 1989 at the age of 42, leaving behind a comedic and  loving legacy for her family, friends and fans.  With that in mind, back in the early 1990′s, I stepped foot behind the ‘red door’ of the non-residential cancer support community known as Gilda’s Club. The organization was founded by Gilda’s husband, comedian Gene Wilder, her brother Michael and her counselor Joanna Bull. It offers free programs, entertainment and support groups to those living with cancer, as well as for their family and friends. I had the joy of doing clowning at events; including the grand opening of the location in Warminster, Pennsylvania. There, with a wire-y haired Gilda look alike, I danced, skipping and flew around with the children. One of my most memorable highlights of the day was that there was a Mummer’s String band contingent and they gave the two of us long white plume feathers from their elaborate costumes. I also facilitated a living with loss group and caring for the caregiver group and recently stood in for the leader of a prostate cancer support group. Another day that remains with me for many reasons was a breast cancer survivors’ conference at which I taught a workshop on intimacy following a diagnosis. The courage of those who enter the building and leave feeling loved, inspire me greatly. Even in the midst of tears, laughter is often a staple.

I enjoyed reading Gilda’s book  “It’s Always Something” and watching the made for TV movie of the same name, and this take away concept hit home for me….

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”  and she added:  “The more I protested about this ambiguity, the more Joanna pointed out to me that it was both a terrible and wonderful part of life: terrible because you can’t count on anything for sure–like certain good health and no possibility of cancer; wonderful because no human being knows when another is going to die–no doctor can absolutely predict the outcome of a disease. The only thing that is certain is change. Joanna calls all of this ‘delicious ambiguity.’ ‘Couldn’t there be comfort and freedom in no one knowing the outcome of anything and all things being possible?’ she asked. Was I convinced? Not completely. I still wanted to believe in magic thinking. But I was intrigued.”

June 28th would have been Gilda’s 67th birthday. I chuckle to imagine how the many faces of Gilda might have aged, and how many new characters would have been born in the interceding years.

Gilda Radner

 

http://youtu.be/fpG2ArGLRWw Tribute to Gilda

 

 



Previous Posts

Disney Daring
  I am no longer a Disneyland virgin. Yesterday was my very first day in "The Happiest Place on Earth".  Earned my ears (although I didn't buy any(: Went on Soarin' Over California, Monsters, Inc, and then to earn street cred, had to up the amps and do California Scream, then Cars, then Thu

posted 11:02:37am Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Dog Poop
Today at a staff meeting for my talented team of co-workers at my new job for Elements Behavioral Health, our CEO- Dr. David  Sack did a dazzling presentation, complete with Power Point. The topic?  Dog poop. He shared the story of the family four-legged, named Charlie who is a basset hound. He wa

posted 12:48:27am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Hurt People Hurt People?
Lately, I have been pondering this conundrum: Why do people make violence acceptable? I see so many photos and videos of people hurting animals and people, images of abuse that whoever shot the films somehow think is cool. I understand why folks post them so that someone can identify the perpet

posted 6:25:25am Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Make Your Life Spectacular
    A few days have passed since the world heard the devastating news that someone who entered their lives and lodged in their hearts (even if they never met face to face), had succumbed to the depression that had followed him for much of his life. When Robin Williams died, so too di

posted 12:56:03pm Aug. 15, 2014 | read full post »

When Lives Touch
    I have been pensive lately for many reasons. The first is that I am still in relatively new life renewal mode. Two months ago, I was lying in a hospital bed with all manner of accutrement attached to my arms; beeping and chirping away. A pin hole was poked into my right wris

posted 11:12:58pm Aug. 13, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.