After doing the show for 29 years, last night was Barbara Walters’ final Academy Awards Special. It was an hour of remembering with clips and pictures and a few interviews with this year’s nominees mixed in. She has had a career in broadcasting matched by very few. I wonder when she first started if the magnitude of what she has accomplished was even imaginable for her. Probably not.
Her last guest on the show was Sandra Bullcok who was nominated for her role in The Blind Side. A clip was shown of Barbara interviewing her 10 years ago. When asked where she saw herself in 10 years Sandra gave a typical answer; to have the privilege to continue what she was doing. Now, ten years later, Barbara asked her the same question. Where do your see yourself 10 years from now? It was interesting to hear the difference in her answer.
After a short pause she said, “I hope all the people who are in the house now are still there and I want to be healthy.” It’s fascinating to see how perspective changes. Here’s a woman who has appeared in over forty movies, owns homes in several states, has had success in multiple arenas in the entertainment industry and she simply wants relationships and her health. Smart answer. I would imagine her life, so far, has exceeded her dreams, too.
When I was about 12 my dad randomly told me, “If you have your health, you have everything.” I smiled politely wondering what that was all about. He was evidently starting to feel some of the aches and pains that show up out of nowhere in your early 40’s. But at 12 everyone is bullet proof so his words made little sense to me. I sure wouldn’t have put health on a successful things list.
Over the last year I have come to understand the depth of what Dad said. A person can have all the money and all the time and not be healthy enough to enjoy either one. So then what do you have? I’ve watched friends and family members struggle and wrangle with mean illnesses that steal their time, their finances and their health. Healthy people really do have everything.
Jim and I have laughed and used Steve Martin’s line from the movie The Jerk over the years. He said, when he was losing all his material possessions, “All I really need is my lamp and my thermos,” then went on to add things to the list. All we really need is our health. Period. If you don’t agree, one good round of the stomach flu will make a believer out of you.
These bodies we have are fragile. Good health seems so simple. I’ve almost expected it as a given, but as this year has taught me, it’s not. So, if you have your heath, trust me, you do have everything. Be grateful. Sandra agrees. And, by the way, she took home the Oscar.