Thank You For Being A Friend

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I’m not sure what it says about me or my life but today I received countless texts letting me know that Bea Arthur had passed away.

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bea-arthur

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Bea was most famously known for her role as Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls, a sitcom about 3 retired women living in an apartment in South Florida along with Dorothy’s crazy mother.

She shot to fame in her role as the sassy feminist Maude Finley on All in the Family which led to its own spin-off Maude, which ran for 6 seasons in the mid 1970’s.

I am too young to have seen Maude in its heyday, but I remember being in 4th grade and watching The Golden Girls. Really, my fourth grade teacher loved the show. We would sing the theme song in class. Seriously. We would spend class time to talk about the episodes.

Then as many of you I have watched reruns of the show on Lifetime, and now on Hallmark.

A few months ago I even sang “Thank You For Being A Friend” to the senior adults at the Senior Adult Luncheon at church. As you might remember, it was awful, (grandma click HERE) but I love that song, and I love my senior adults, and I loved Bea Arthur.

It upset me to hear that she had gone to the great retirement center in the sky and as much as I try to express it here I can’t quite find the right words so I think I will just transcribe the moment I first found out.

Lori sent me a text when she found out. Again, probably weird that she found out Bea Arthur died and immediately thought, “Oh, I better tell Kevin.”

But I appreciate her letting me know. (and the countless others of you who subsequently texted me, and called me, and Facebook commented and messaged me…)

Here is our textersation:

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Lori: Prepare your heart…. Bea Arthur is dead.

Kevin: What??????? No. No. No.

Kevin: No.

Kevin: No.

Kevin: No.

Lori: Breathe, Kevin…. breathe.

Kevin: This is not okay! I don’t think I want to be famous anymore. My main motivation was I knew I’d get to be friends with Bea Arthur.

Lori: I’m praying for you.

Kevin: Thank you. I wish you were in town so you could hold me while I cry.

Kevin: Or at least could drive me home from the Chick-Fil-A. People are starting to stare. And move away. One person took a picture of me with her camera phone.

Lori: Hahaha, pull yourself together, man!

Kevin: I had no idea this was going to hit so hard. I think it makes it harder because I just went to Wal*Mart and the old man greeter on the grocery store side reminded me of Bea Arthur so I feel like I JUST saw her.

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Rest in Peace, Bea, we will miss you.

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Bea Arthur

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the-golden-girls-2

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13 may 1922 – 25 april 2009white-box31

And as I end this tribute to Bea Arthur, I think I must do so in song…the one song that says what we are all thinking…

Thank You For Being A Friend

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(Imagine a group of 20 fourth graders along with their teacher singing this instead of talking about subjects and verbs or commas and colons. It’s the way Bea would have wanted it)

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Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true your a pal and a confidant.

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And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.

Thank you for being a friend, Bea Arthur…. Thank you for being a friend.

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