I am just devastated today. I was on my lunch at work, and it was quiet around the office today. Eating alone in the breakroom, scrolling the Facebook, a friend posted a link saying Betty White had died. No! But I didn’t see it anywhere else, no one else had posted. I googled news sites, nothing there yet, but then the TMZ link popped up, and People, and the ET one. All of them said it. It was just breaking. Then the news notifications popped in, and there it was. Our Golden Girl was really gone.
The resurgence of Betty White’s career about 11 years ago was fantastic. She had that Snickers Super Bowl Commercial, and she was rediscovered by a lot of people, young people found out who she was, and it was good for all of us. There are a lot of us who are old enough to remember her smaller role on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the 70s. She was a fantastic, man chasing tart, Sue Ann Nivens. The Happy Home Maker, making the moves on Lou Grant any chance she got. She made the rounds on game shows, like Match Game, and then came the “Golden Girls.” That show was so awesome, I remember watching it with my stepmom, and as I am getting a little older, it is a life goal to have that kind of set up when it’s retirement time. Then came the show “Hot in Cleveland,” she was fantastic, as Elka, in her velour track suits. That show flew a little under the radar, but I loved it and watched it regularly, for Betty White.
Her career was long and fabulous. Her life is so well documented, and the tributes that keep rolling in really show what she meant to Hollywood, and the whole entertainment industry. We all hoped she was going to make it to 100 in a few weeks. That was all for us though. If she was tired, and it was time, it’s best that she went now. But it just sucks. You just want a soul like hers to stick around forever. And it will, we have her shows, movies and interviews and more to look at when we miss her.
I always looked at Betty White as a woman who makes it ok to be me. She had been married, 3 times actually, but her third marriage was the last one for her. Her husband Allen Ludden, died back in 1981. I remember that, I was about 11. I had remembered them on game shows, and talk shows. When he died, she never remarried. She stayed single the rest of her life, 40 years. She never had children of her own, by her choice. She worked, stayed active and relevant, and was a strong and independent woman. Maybe I might not stay single forever, that remains to be seen, but the rest of it seems pretty good, if Betty can do it all, I can too.
I get it, you know. She didn’t want to start a new year with us if she couldn’t be here to finish it out. Passing on New Year’s Eve is sort of the way to go out if you are as iconic as Betty White. She was a friend to animals, a star to us, and a woman none of us can ever forget. I was so happy that a young generation embraced her like they did. I hope all the young people go back and find her old stuff, and they laugh and laugh. At 99, she outlived a lot of her former co-stars and friends. Her comedic timing was fantastic, and she stole every scene she was in. I love the memes going around of her with the other Golden Girls, saying that they are sharing some cheesecake. If that ain’t heaven, I don’t want to go. Rest well, Ms. White. Thank you for being sweet, sassy, funny, and larger than life. Thank you for being independent, and showing young women strong characters that were fantastic women, with or without a man. Thanks for sticking around so long.