Tuesdays with Ted
by Russ Woody
Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

"To be with a parent while they are dying is one of the most human of experiences."

Woody, an Emmy and Golden Globe winner, enlists his considerable talent as a television writer in this bereavement memoir, a tribute to his father’s experiences with ALS. The older Woody suffered a particularly aggressive form of this degenerative disease that steals everything in slow degrees from its victims. “While ALS is insidious in its creeping acquisition of the body—its gradual and cruel denial of one function after the next—selfishly it afforded me precious time to be with my father before he was gone.”

Woody’s writing is rich with everyday wisdom, compassion, and all the poignant humor that a sensitive comedy writer with a big heart can muster. This read’s bonus feature is an insider look at not only Woody’s family life but also his television career and the sitcoms to which he contributed ideas, writing, or production expertise, such as Becker, Cybill, The Drew Carey Show, Mad About You, The Middle, and Murphy Brown. The book’s title is a riff on the bestselling bereavement memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom. In this case, Ted refers to the actor Ted Danson of Cheers and Becker fame. The cast of Becker surrounds “Woody” (the author’s father’s nickname) in a cocoon of warmth and love after his invitation to appear on the show. Danson becomes fond of the elderly gent and spends quality time with him whenever he’s on the set.

Discovering equanimity and even joy despite our sorrow as we bid our loved ones farewell is a superb human achievement. Cogent writing about the experience is a treasure, as well. This book is an extraordinary guide for individuals or families facing the challenge of caretaking for a parent, relative, or friend during a terminal illness or for those interested in the philosophical profundities of impermanence.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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