Welcome to www.comprofessor.com a.k.a. Lynch Coaching: Media and Communication Prof's News and Views from Art Lynch. This blog exists to stimulate critical thinking, provide information on communication and media, stimulate discussion and share ideas. For additional media and other news see also sagactoronline.com. Thank you and tell your friends. - Art Lynch
If you are among NPR host , you likely know the news. Simon's
mother, Patricia Lyons Simon Newman, entered a Chicago hospital on July
21 and died Monday night. She was 84 years old.
Over the weekend, when it became apparent she would not be leaving the ICU, Simon began of sitting — and sleeping — at his mother's bedside, and how he and Newman spent those final hours together.
It was a tender, lyrical and public way of saying goodbye. ,
"It led perfect strangers to tell Simon that he had made them burst
into tears. Which led readers to think about good deaths and good
NPR's Andy Carvin and the responses from the social media community. Simon spoke with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish on Tuesday from his mother's apartment in Chicago. We've excerpted much of the interview below.
Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon in 2012.
On the outpouring of support
say, among the millions of people we've been hearing from are, of
course, NPR listeners. And it means a lot to our family because they all
seem to say that they're not just giving condolences to me as someone
they know, but that something my mother said meant something to them.
It's pretty gratifying.
"I don't know why people have responded
so powerfully. I think this is obviously a singular event that not only
has to do with the death of my mother and the universal experience that
is for all of us really but I think that also has to do with the
impossible to duplicate presence of my mother, who was a one and only.
So I don't try and analyze that."
On sharing his mother's final moments on Twitter
I first went to my mother in the ICU here in Chicago, more than a week
ago at this point, I didn't know it was going to be her death bed and I,
of course, was hoping and praying that it wouldn't be her death bed.
But she was so interesting. And of course I was there all day, and it
was the most interesting thing I was hearing all day. She was funny and
perceptive and bright and sparkling and this is just something that I
wanted to share.
Simon's parents on their wedding day.
Courtesy of Scott Simon
"I don't think it's any less sacred because it was shared with a
lot of people and it must be said, you know, there was a lot of stuff
that I didn't share. There was a lot of stuff that I will tell only my
wife and maybe someday my children. I certainly had a sense of
proportion and delicacy. I don't think my mother knew much about Twitter
or social media platforms but I would read her an occasional message
from someone in Australia, someone in Great Britain or Singapore and she
was very touched. She was an old showgirl and I wouldn't — I didn't
tweet anything and wouldn't have that I didn't think she would be
totally comfortable with."
On the banter between him and his mother
constant, constant source of play between the two of us — 'Why that
shirt?' And tie. That sort of thing. You know I always try to dress well
for her and I always felt like I never dressed quite well enough for
her. Although, I'm glad on the last day we had with each other, she
looked up from her bed and said, 'You really look lovely today.' "
On what his mother taught him
just looked up at me and said, 'Oh Earth, you're too beautiful for
anyone to realize,' I think we can all stand to learn that. To know that
in our bones. And when she told me, 'Honey, always take time with
people in their 80s,' I hear her voice coming back into mine now.
'Always take time with people in their 80s because for more than a
decade, they've been looking right across the street at death and they
know what's really important in life.' I don't know about you, but I can
stand to hear that message."
On their song
and I sang to each other a lot, in the ICU. I wish I could tell you it
was grand opera. The song that kept popping up and we kept singing to
each other, is Nat King Cole singing 'Unforgettable 'and I will hear
that song again for the rest of my life and I bet I will sing it to my
wife and sing it to my children. I will never hear that song without
thinking of my mother."