Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Via the BBC:
Former Hollywood child star Shirley Temple has died at the age of 85. With her adorable charm and blonde curls, she was one of the most popular stars of the 1930s, in hit movies like Bright Eyes and Stand Up and Cheer. After retiring from films in 1950 at the age of 21, Temple returned to the spotlight as a politician and diplomat. She died on Monday at home in Woodside, California, from natural causes. "She was surrounded by her family and caregivers," a statement said. Born in 1928, Temple soon became a major star after getting her first film role at the age of three.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Over the Labor Day weekend, I happened to catch a great public radio interview with author Will Schwable about the book inspired by his two-year conversation with his mother about books. The End of Your Life Book Club describes how their mutual love of reading provided opportunities for the two to discuss life and death, both directly and indirectly. Why was this important? The conversations took place while his mother was receiving chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. He said they never had "the big talk" you might expect when confronted with mortality -- rather, they had dozens and dozens of small talks.
It made me think about conversations with my own family members. We live far apart and while I try to make it home frequently (at this point, I'm the only family member who flies), I know I don't make it home often enough. But we talk a lot on the phone and I think we have also developed ways of speaking directly and indirectly about the present and the future. Lately, with my parents that has often been through funny conversations about Dancing with the Stars. (Thank goodness for on-demand television access, since I rarely catch the show on first airing.) We talk about who is "doing well for their age" or who isn't. We suggest who we would like to see on the show (Julie Andrews?), and who makes us cringe (sorry, Cloris Leachman). It has become shorthand for talking about memory, mobility, capacity, and our own aches and pains.
What works for your family? Or are you part of a (rare?) family who talks about such topics directly? (Comments open below)