EVERY SECOND, every minute, every hour of our life, the clock keeps on ticking. What highlights or lowlights does Marching Time have in our lives? Plenty and variegated — define my life here in Uncle Sam country, what else but the U.S. of A. — particularly here in South Carolina where I’m on vacation at the well-appointed home of the family of my daughter Randy Raissa Lagoc-Dingus. Randy is a physician of the famed Hilton Head Medical Center, but that’s another story.
Marching Time presses me to have my Accents column out this month of March, the celebrated Women’s Month. (“Too late.” Did I hear Mr. Editor’s verdict? Oh, well, the choice is yours. To this media persona, womankind has every day of every month.)
One lazy day a week ago, I was promenading with family members, finally entering the huge God’s Goods. Banish the thought about religious items. Think ukay-ukay in the marketplace of our hometown where you can have a selection of goods from clothes, kitchen wares, toiletries, etc., etc. God’s Goods has shelves for magazines and books. It is most heaven-sent that I found A Second Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul – just one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield. And now, here are a few I’ve selected and the pith of what they have to say — unedited, precisely as they are written in the book:
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, India on MAKING A DIFFERENCE: “Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house…let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the leaving expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your warm greeting.”
Oprah Winfrey, ON ATTTUDE (her introduction to this chapter): “I will tell you that there have been no failures in my life, I don’t want to sound like some metaphysical queen, but there have been no failures. There have been some tremendous lessons.”
Diana, Princess of Wales, I DID MY BEST: “When I go into the Palace for a garden party or summit meeting dinner, I am a very different person. I conform to what’s expected of me; but when I come to the hospice, I know when I turn my light off at night, I did my best.
Whoopi Goldberg, Parental Justice: “Many people know me as Whoopi Goldberg, the comedienne, but few know my work — what I’ve gone through — as Whoopi Goldberg, the mother. Okay, in my time I wore a mini so small that all I needed to do was sneeze and you would have known exactly what color my panties were, but here was my barely teenage daughter looking like a grown woman, dressed like Madonna used to dress. I completely flipped. I watch now as my daughter goes through it for herself, with her own kids, and I try not to chuckle. I know someday she’ll hear me coming out of her mouth and she’ll look over with one of those knowing smiles and start to laugh, because we all get it, eventually.
Candice Bergen, My Dad, Charlie and Me (Reprinted with the permission of Simon & Schuster from Knock Wood by Candice Bergen): My father’s long and successful career began in the days of vaudeville. The famous ventriloquist, and his equally famous wooden sidekick Charlie McCarthy, delighted theater and later, radio and television audiences for decades. So when I was born, it was only natural that I was known in the press not as Candice Bergen, but as “Charlie’s sister.” As a little girl, I sometimes performed with Daddy and Charlie. I recited my well-learned lines with considerable poise and polish — a daughter determined to make good.
His final appearance, he announced, would be a three-week engagement at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. This was a serious risk for a man who, not six months before, had been hospitalized in coronary intensive care… The reviews of the show were unanimous, effusive in their praise. The next three days performances went just as smoothly, with standing ovations at the end of each. After the fourth night’s performance, my father went to sleep in good spirits. My mother rose early, half opened the blinds and called to him. Several moments passed before she realized he was dead. He had gone peacefully while he slept. For my father, there could have been no better ending; it was one he might have written himself. And who can say that he hadn’t? There was the supreme sense of timing ingrained over sixty years of performing. Just as in vaudeville, he knew when to close.
Foretastes of five women’s soul: Princess Diana from Royalty, Mother Teresa whose acts of kindness are ours to emulate, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg and Candace Bergen, three women we have come too familiar with in their shows on the Internet./PN