As 2021 came to an end, it was very sad to hear of the passing of the legendary Betty White. She was almost 100 years old. To think about what she had seen and experienced is a little overwhelming. It’s been sweet and fun to see people talk about her life. Those who met her shared what she meant to them and for those, like me, who never met her, to still be able to reflect on what she meant to me. Since I was a child, I loved “Rose.” Every time I watched the girls sit around their kitchen table and eat cheesecake, I thought, I hope I’m like her when I am old. It’s funny to think that back then she really wasn’t old at all, but to a child, all of the ladies seemed ancient. The reason I look back on that show and the people in it with such fondness is my Yiayia Fay (my grandmother) was a huge fan and we watched the show together. Fortunately, she lived pretty close and my parents would drop me off at her house on Saturday night to stay over. We would eat, visit, I would color and read and then “Golden Girls” was on.
As I watch it today, I am not entirely sure it was appropriate for my age :) but at the time I had no idea what they were saying or what any of it meant. I just knew that Yiayia felt connected to these ladies, and it seemed really nice to have such good friends. Not an episode goes by that I don’t think of Yiayia. I feel connected to her through that show and know she would have brought some amazing cheesecake to the party. Since Betty White was the one who lived well into my adulthood, I carried that attachment to her through other projects she did and movies she was in. She never lost her sassy, sweet demeanor. I still, to this day, hope I can be a small percent of how cool she was.
There is a lot I will pass on to my daughter from Yiayia Fay. Our daughter’s middle name pays tribute to the special person she was in my life, and I know she will carry on more of the amazing traits she had. They would have really loved each other. As it turns out, there is something incredibly profound I will pass on to my daughter, from Betty. When watching a Netflix special on Betty White she mentioned how she was an only child. She said her parents, “spoiled her rotten, but taught her to appreciate it.” I have never forgotten that and think about it everyday when raising my daughter.
She will be an only child, and probably will be spoiled rotten, but she sure as hell is going to be taught to appreciate it. That description from Betty has greatly impacted my approach to parenting. My thoughts are, that if she carries on traits from Yiayia and Betty, she certainly is going to be living an incredible life. To Betty White, wherever you are, thanks for the memories of being with Yiayia on Saturday in our pajamas watching you and the gals. Thank you for the laughter you provided into my adulthood and for the great advice for raising an only child. Enjoy your rest. I am sure the other ladies are glad you can once again join them in the kitchen for a piece of cheesecake.