Monday, June 29, 2009
A Funny Thing Happened When the Stars Died...
This past week has been over-loaded with celebrities passing away! Everyone always says that they come in three's! But this time is really five!!! Let me explain.
On Friday, June 19, 2009, Gary Papa died. He was a local news sportscaster for WPVI-TV (ABC) in Philadelphia, PA. If you lived near Philly and watched sports, you knew Gary. He lost a very public battle with prostate cancer.
Then on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 Ed McMahon passed away. He was a TV icon and was known far and wide. But he was elderly, 86, he was also in poor health. So his passing was not a complete shock.
Then on Thursday, June 25, 2009, we had two! Both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson passed away. Farrah also had a very public battle with cancer. So while very sad, it was also not a complete shock.
It was Michael's passing that was the earth stopping event that made everyone stop and watch. To call the event shocking is an understatement! I remembered him in a blog post myself.
Then on Sunday June 28, 2009, Billy Mays passed away. He was know as that wild Pitchman who sells everything you didn't know you needed! This one was shocking only because of this crazy week! By this point, I was checking and re-checking news stories to make sure these are really true! There were rumors that Jeff Goldblum and others had passed away, but they proved to be untrue.
All these deaths are sad and the fact that they are all together is weird. But it was Billy Mays that hit me. Why? I was not a super-fan of his. I knew of him. I watched his show, Pitchmen on the Discovery Channel sometimes. But I didn't know him personally. No more than any other of the five from that week. What was different? It happened on Twitter. (I know again with Twitter, but stay with me on this.)
While on my way to work, Alyssa Milano put out a tweet @Alyssa_Milano, that said send your condolences to Billy Mays' son, Billy Mays III, who was also on Twitter @youngbillymays. I did not know he had a son! So I thought I would check out what he was saying about the situation. What I saw stopped me cold. He spoke of how he could not believe this. How it all seemed all too real. How he would try to stay strong during this difficult time. But mostly just how much he missed him. To him, Billy Mays wasn't the wild pitchman on TV. He was just Dad. His tweets showed his real raw pain. He would never again be able to pick up the phone and call his Dad. Never be able to ask him for advice. Never be able to share a joke with him. Never be able to tell him he loved him. It moved me in a unexpected way that I was not prepared for and I wept for him. After I got myself together, I called my Dad and told him what had happened. I (kinda) held it together and told him I loved him.
Which brings us to today. I sat down and wrote all this stuff down here. I guess the moral of the blog post is "Life is Short." We get so caught up in the day to day "little stuff", we forget about the "big stuff"! Don't wait until it's too late. Call your Mom or Dad, or that Aunt or Uncle, or Grandma or Grandpa. Tell them what's in your heart. You never know when it will be too late.