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Remembering…Those Who Left in 2012

There were a lot of people who made up the wallpaper of my life who died in 2012. I took some time over the past few days celebrating their lives (a year-end tradition of mine) and reliving some of what they brought to me. Thought I’d share.

Farewell Andy Williams. I listened to your Moon River yesterday and was brought back to Susan Sparrow’s family, and our trek north to their house on the lake, where we begged her fabulous parents to play it over and over again on the 8 track tape player they had in their car. You ‘ole dream maker, you, it was a great time, and I thank you.

Nora Ephron, you told the stories of my girlfriends and my life in ways that meant we could laugh about our quirks, cry about our sorrows, and know that the best of us is always underneath the worst of us. I watched When Harry Met Sally and my favorite scene is still the scene when she orders – her way, which of course, is my way.

Favorite line in the movie?

“Harry: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally: Which one am I?
Harry: You’re the worst kind. You’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.” 

Andy Griffith. Kind, kind Andy, who calmed the waters for sleep when I was a kid, who made you think that Mayberry was a real place where everyone took care of each other, a place far from where I lived, but still a place for some great kid like Opie. I was glad Andy was always Andy and didn’t go on to play other roles that would diminish his presence as one of those men you could hope to find for your life sometime.

Whitney Houston. The Bodyguard. One of my very favorite movies seen during a blizzard with the fabulous Meg Donnelly. The movie is filled with songs that defined the best and worst love affair of my life. Whitney’s I Will Always Love You brings back slamming doors and softly understood truths that made divorce recoverable, and a great love something to leave behind with grace. Ok, truth is, I wasn’t always graceful while doing it, but in the end, I am happy with who I became.

Neil Armstrong. You will never die. You will always be on the moon that night, and I am so proud to have been there when you did it. I blogged about the experience, and stand by it being one of the great American moments of my life. Rest in peace, and thanks again.

Dick Clark. Saturday mornings. I remember one Saturday my father had my sisters and I dancing along with them and I twisted with a fierceness that would have made The Gladiator proud. Never saw Dick dance?

Maurice Sendak, the writer of Where the Wild Things Are. Where are those wild things anyway? One of the great books of all time, and I will have to send it to a few of my nieces/nephews this year in his honor.

Mrs. Landingham died this year. She also died on my favorite T.V. series of all time, The West WingShe has a real name, Kathryn Joosten. There is a great scene in The West Wing, when she is describing her sons who died in Vietnam. Take a look if you have never seen it.

Can’t forget Davy Jones from The Monkeys. Daydream Believer? Wore the needle down on my record player. Cheer up sleepy Jean. Oh what can it mean to a daydreamer and a homecoming queen? What the hell does that mean? No matter.

Sally Ride was the first women who flew is space. She was great. She wasn’t scared heading up there, or didn’t seem to be, and she made many, many young girls reach for the stars in every way possible. I can’t help but wonder if I had been a young girl when she went up, if it would have made me believe in things possible that didn’t seem to be when I was a girl. Fly Sally Fly!

Then there were twenty-six souls who perished in Connecticut at the hand of a madman, whose name doesn’t deserve to be printed here. I took a moment to think of them all, and I said each name out loud. Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Rachel Davino, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Dawn Hochsprung, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski,  Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Anne Marie Murphy, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Benjamin Wheeler, and Allison N. Wyatt. Rest in peace, each of you.

So ends my trip down Memory Lane this year, and my homage to some pretty fabulous people, who brought great joy and richness to our lives.