Yet another bittersweet day for me with the passing of one of my favorite comedic actors, Jerry Stiller. For those of you who know me well it’s no secret that one of his best known sitcoms, “The King Of Queens“, is, was and probably always will be my favorite TV show! Williamson and I watched it every single night from the beginning of “us” to the end, and “Arthur” was one of his best impersonations. We all spoke fluent “King Of Queens” in our daily banter (as well as “My Cousin Vinny” and “Birdcage”) and Gia and I still do. Lol, Zack had always promised her that when he was old and if I was already gone, he would move in with her family and be their “basement Arty”.
It’s also no secret to those who know me that cooking is not my thing! Are there are some decent dishes I manage to pull off from time to time? Sure. No one has ever starved on my watch, but there’s not a person who I’ve cooked for who’s a stranger to my “interesting dinners”. I fondly remember an “episode” set at our table as if it were just last night: “The Night Of The Hot Pink Chicken!” It was the first meal I’d made for our brand-new little family on the third night we were married. I’d marinated some chicken in raspberry dressing, which chicken ended up literally turning pink. As I set the plates down, Gia turned to him as discreetly as she could with her hand on her little forehead trying not to let me see the look of fear in her eyes. Then just as sweet as he could be with nothing but appreciation for the effort I’d made, he quickly came up with the perfect line:
Well then, have a biscuit. Some of them came out PRETTY well!
It was an “Arthurism” from one of our very favorite episodes, “The Food Fight”! From that night forward throughout the entirety of our decade together there were SO many times he would chime in with that line, his very favorite “Arthurism”, at every one of my mealtime flops! Every time he spoke those words, I fell in love with him all over again!
While I’m saddened by his loss, especially for his loved ones, I’m again encouraged that death is nothing at all. He was so much larger than the life he lived itself, just like the “King” of this very lucky Queen, and their legacies both I shall treasure!
Zack once said that if he could have met any actor it probably would have been Jerry Stiller. “I can only imagine what a riot it would be to shoot the shit with that guy!” Well, if God is the God, I know in my soul He is, perhaps now he’ll get the chance! Godspeed Jerry. The comedic spirit and “crazy old man” you infused into the fabric of our lives will remain in our hearts and “Arthurisms” forever!
So, what was my thought behind the title of this post, “When Someone Dies And You SMILE”? Oooh but let me tell you! While I was waiting for Gia to wake up this morning, anxious to share the news of “Arthur’s” passing, I just sat in bed thinking to myself and smiling. That funny man brought SO much into our world … laughter, hilarity, and heartfelt joy! Which man you ask? BOTH ARTHUR AND MY HUSBAND! I thought about crying, especially given the torrent of “first Mother’s Day without him” emotion I ran the gauntlet with yesterday, but honestly? I simply couldn’t. Instead, I just sat there with my thoughts and countless memories cherishing the most beautiful ride of my life!
Perhaps our hands down favorite episode was “Spicy Sausage & Peppers”! I cannot tell you how many times Williamson asked unsuspecting waitstaff who were taking his order at restaurants: “How’s your spicy sausage and peppers?” Most often, they looked at him absolutely dumfounded, as if he were actually crazy, but the ones who got the joke always got an extra tip from him! This clip is a go-to on any of my “down days”. I CANNOT watch it without laughing until my sides hurt, so please do watch it and ENJOY! As for me? I’ll be spending the entire rest of this night binging The King Of Queens in tribute to both Jerry and my husband!