Betty White’s Legacy: Stories of Kindness, Friendship and Family
Betty White’s humor, wit and optimism carried her audience through decades of change in the American cultural landscape. It should come as no surprise to learn that she was just as charming and sweet in her personal life as she was in front of the camera. December 31 marks the anniversary of her passing and with it comes a newly-released collection of stories, antidotes and reflections from one of her life-long friends, Patty Sullivan. Betty White’s Pearls of Wisdom: Life Lessons from a Beloved American Treasure offers a wonderful way to celebrate and reflect on our beloved Golden Girl.
“My remembrances are perhaps an echo of things already said, but I hope my stories hold up a mirror, another reflection of her essence and how she affected my life so profoundly.” -Patty Sullivan, Author of Betty White’s Pearls of Wisdom
Betty White represents a generation that lived through a world war, a cold war, the civil rights movement, the rise of feminism and unimaginable technological advancement. Yet she embodied humor, playfulness, optimism, and a fearless sentimentality that many of us still treasure. These values along with sincerity, a love of nature and a deep respect for animals are needed in the world now more than ever.
How do we pass these values forward and amplify them in our lives today? The same way we humans always have… through good storytelling, acts of kindness and honoring the wisdom of those who have walked this path before us. Patty Sullivan achieves this and more in her new book that is a tribute to Betty White.
Patty met Betty in the late 1960s and they shared a close friendship for 50 years through Betty’s final days. Patty’s writing is poetic and colorful conveying the essence of what it would have felt like to know Betty intimately and to see the world through Betty’s eyes.
The world is full of beauty and opportunities to make meaningful connections if you approach it with the right attitude. Betty’s exuberance is still contagious even in her absence and Patty’s telling of their friendship is both heart warming and inspiring.
“Like shards of glass, our edges are softened by shifting sands. The tides of our journey alter and expand our perspective, giving us opportunities to see life through a different lens.” -Patty Sullivan, Betty White’s Pearls of Wisdom
It has been said that Betty was an advocate rather than an activist. She lived that passion through supporting animal causes, immersing herself in nature and sharing her generous spirit with those around her. In many ways Betty was a simple sage and Patty’s book reminds the reader that we each have the ability to live extraordinary lives. Thoughtfulness, presence, humor, and an open heart can transform any situation into something spectacular.
Author Patty Sullivan’s husband, Tom Sullivan, of Good Morning America fame is also a phenomenal vocalist. He would sing at a small club on Cape Cod where Betty and her husband Allen would often visit. Allen and Betty’s favorite song was, “Our Love is Here to Stay” and they would often request it of Tom. One summer Patty moved to Cape Cod where she worked as a waitress and it was Betty who introduced them. Tom, being blind, could not notice the way Patty looked at him so Betty played Cupid and introduced them. This began a life-long friendship between all of them while Tom and Patty have been together ever since!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading a pre-release of the book and recommend it for anyone who is a fan of Betty White. You can order a copy of Betty White Pearls of Wisdom for yourself or gift it to a loved one at their website or on Amazon. Short winter days and cold nights make for a great opportunity to cozy up with a blanket, a cup of tea and a good book.
The personal stories of Betty in the context of her friends and family gives great insight and context for her dynamic screen presence. Her lived experiences and authenticity are what made her such a great actress. In many ways she wasn’t acting at all. What we saw on screen was an expression of a genuine individual with a boundless love for life. May her legacy and wisdom be cherished for many generations to come.