The world is still mourning the loss of entertainer and comedian Betty White, who passed away late last week just weeks shy of her 100th birthday.
White captivated hearts and minds because of her tremendous comedic gifts, as well as her ability to turn on a dime, be herself, rise to challenges — and give something back to others.
She also connected with millions of people — really connected.
In one of her last books, she discussed the pros and cons of aging.
“If you are still functioning and not in pain,” she wrote in “If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t”), “gratitude should be the name of the game.”
White also said, “Don’t laugh … There may even be some upsides to aging.”
Among those upsides, she said: “People treat you more gently.”
“They may even think your years of experience make you wiser than you are.”
And, she added, “somebody always finds you a place to sit down, whether you want it or not.”
Betty White was known for her affinity for animals, in addition to her many talents as an actress and comedian. She was an extremely active supporter of a number of animal organizations and zoos. (Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images)
White said there comes a point in people’s lives when they move from deliberately leaving their age out of conversations to actually “bragging about it.”
“I have never lied about my age,” she said, “but these days” — (when she was 89!) — “I seem to work it into the conversation at the drop of a hat.”
She also said in the same section of her book, “There is even a funny side to aging, if one has a warped sense of humor.”
Throughout her entertainment career, White was honored with eight Emmys. She also received the lifetime achievement award in 2015. (Reuters)
Waiting a beat after that last comment, she also wrote, “If one has no sense of humor, one is in trouble.”
She said this, too: “Let’s say I meet someone I find attractive. I have to keep reminding myself of how old I am, because I don’t feel like I’m that old. I fight the urge to flirt and try to shape up. No fool like an old fool.”
In addition to “If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t)” — which was a best-seller when it came out in 2011 — Betty White’s other books included “Here We Go Again: My Life in Television” (1995) and “Betty White in Person” (1987).
She also wrote about her love for animals in “Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo” (2011).