Valerie Harper died Friday in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer at the age of 80. She and The Mary Tyler Moore Show hold enough personal memories for me to last a lifetime. Please raise your hand if you wanted to live in Mary’s apartment and wear all her clothes. I used to sit around watching a snowy television set minus today’s remotes, iPad or cell phones, and always related to Rhoda Morgenstern– because she and I felt the same way about life.
“You’re having a lousy streak. I happen to be having a terrific streak. Soon the world will be back to normal. Tomorrow you will meet a crown head of Europe and marry. I will have a fat attack, eat 3000 peanut butter cups and die.” – Rhoda Morgenstern-
Rhoda helped me get over bad adolescent memories like Valentine’s Day and other horrid ‘heartfelt’ festivities in school. I can never remember any year being a Hallmark moment and sometimes you just wished the day would go away. Like Rhoda I kept waiting for that magic moment to happen and it never did until many years later.
“Allow me to introduce myself, I’m another person in the room – Rhoda Morgenstern. .”
Like Valerie Harper in her final television sitcom days as Rhoda, we search our entire life to find the answers, to accept ourselves. As I type this I want to tell Valerie Harper that you gave me the message I needed to understand years ago.
Rhoda finally found husband Joe, and after decades I finally found my Hallmark moment. My “Joe” helped me accept myself for who I am, and he “can always take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.” Real love is not based on romance, candlelight dinners and walks along the beach– it is based on respect, compromise, care and trust.
These beloved women from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda” created characters that meant a lot to each and every one of us. The humour and laughter they brought is nothing compared to the inspiration and lessons about life we have learned from them. They have proved that friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest, it’s about who came, and never left your side. We truly have been blessed by their longevity, and for some of us they changed our lives.
Me? I am trying to ‘live every moment as much as I can’. Thanks Valerie Harper for your words of wisdom. I have not stopped living each day to its fullest and I bet Hallmark doesn’t even have a card for me either– and that’s okay with me– because it was okay with you. I will miss you Valerie Harper.