It is so sad to hear that Mary Tyler Moore passed away yesterday. As a little girl, I could never get enough of The Dick Van Dyke Show. It was fun to watch Rob, Laura, Buddy and Sally get in and out of hysterically funny situations. Hearing the signature opening music and seeing Rob trip over that ottoman became part of my life growing up.
As I got older, I rarely watched the reruns. Then, several years ago, I started introducing my children to the shows that I loved as a kid such as: the Brady Bunch, Bewitched, That Girl, The Partridge Family – and my all time favorite – The Dick Van Dyke show.
To my surprise, Leah LOVED watching the crazy antics of Rob Petrie.
It was enjoyable to see her reaction to the funny skits such as when Laura decided to become a blond, when Rob gave Laura a hideously ugly necklace, when Sally advertised on national TV she wanted a husband, when Laura opened Rob’s mail and a boat expanded in their living room and on and on…..
After Leah had surgeries and chemotherapy, we watched lots of TV. The Dick Van Dyke Show is on Netflix, so it became a favorite past time for us – giving us something positive on which to focus. Watching the Petrie antics helped us relax and fall asleep.
Leah, more of an introvert, wasn’t a chatty person. And I really like to talk. It was a challenge for me, an extrovert, to relate to Leah’s communication style.
I wanted to ask her so many questions and talk about lots of topics. Talking didn’t comfort her. What she needed was just for me to be in the room with her and watch an entertaining show. Her love language was time together.
So, this extrovert had to learn to be quiet-just sit-and be present. It was hard. In doing so, I learned Leah loved good humor and herself had a great sense of humor. I think we watched every episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, well over 100 of them, at least 10 times. Seriously.
Looking back, I believe God was working through the Petrie’s personalities to comfort Leah in a unique way – especially the last months of her illness. I am grateful that God used a talented actor and actress and my favorite comedy to bring joy to my daughter’s life during such a difficult time.
I hope Leah and “Laura” have met in heaven. Mary’s excellent acting enabled me to connect with my daughter in a priceless way.
So, if you are looking for a good laugh – watch one of Leah’s favorite episodes “The Curious Thing about Women.” Thank you Mary Tyler Moore.
“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10