Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

Brigid Daull Brockway is technically a writer

A blog about words, wordplay, and etymology, with slightly more than occasional political rants.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Roger Ebert: Remaking my voice

This is long but truly amazing - Roger Ebert speaks about re-finding his voice after losing his ability to speak. Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer something like four years ago, and hasn't been able to speak or eat since. According to an article in Esquire, he doesn't remember the last thing he ate, the last thing he drank, the last words he said. How very strange that his last meal was probably bland hospital food. 
I always saw him as gruff and unpleasant. Has he changed, or has my perception? Is it simply the fact that his face is stuck in that strange grin he's wearing?
There's a line in the Nick Hornby/Ben Folds song Doc Pomus about the blues singer who went by that name that goes "And he could never be one of those happy cripples. The kind that smile and tell you life's okay. He was mad as hell; frightened and bitter..."
I wonder if people like Roger Ebert go home and feel like Doc Pomus. How much is genuine sentiment and how much is just the facade you put on to keep yourself sane and keep your friends comfortable? 
Did Lou Gehrig really consider himself the "luckiest man on the face of the earth"? Or did he go home and bawl and pray for God to take it all away? Did part of him wonder if he convinced the world and himself that he had accepted his fate, God would let him off the hook, like he did Abraham? Did he think about killing himself, as so many people with ALS seem to do?
Does Michael J Fox cry himself to sleep at night? Did Christopher Reeves play his accident over and over in his mind and wish desperately he'd never gotten on that horse? Does Roger Ebert curse God every morning?


AJ said...

oddly enough, his 'voice' seems to be more vocal and passionate now that he actually can't speak. His writing seems to come alive on my laptop screen.

Things to Do said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'd like to think a lot of these people at some point decided that they had two choices, I can spend the rest of my life, however long it may be, sitting around feeling sorry for for myself, or, I can take what life has handed me and try to make the best of it. People like Chris Reeves and Michael J Fox obviously took this a step further. Not only did they decide to make the best of their life, but to share with other people how/why they did this.

On the other hand, both of these men are gifted actors and may be awesome at the facade (or were good at it I guess in Reeves' case) and are just waiting for relief.

Brigid Daull Brockway said...

Michael J Fox once guest starred on an episode of Scrubs, playing a doctor with severe OCD. The whole episode you see how well he has adjusted to his illness, how in many ways, he's learned to use his illness to make himself a better doctor. But at the end of the episode, we see him washing his hands, unable to stop and he just... falls apart. I suppose it's a lot like that. You adjust and you live your life and you do your best to make your struggle mean something and you're happy as much as you can be, and sometimes you fall apart.

Check out about 2 minutes in to this clip. I don't think there is a person with a disability who hasn't had this moment.

Blogger said...

At Bonus Bitcoin you may earn free bitcoins. 300 to 5,000 satoshis per 15 mins.

Blogger said...

Did you consider using the ultimate Bitcoin exchange service - YoBit.