In memory of Hubpages’s Queen of Wit, drbj aka B.J. Rakow

drbj on HubPages
drbj on HubPages | Source

R.I.P. dearest drbj

One of Hubpages most beloved hubbers and winner of HubPages awards, drbj aka B.J. Rakow, passed away on February 20, 2016.

To emphasize my sincere sympathy with her children, grandchildren, relatives and friends, and each and every one who is going to miss her in real life or in cyberspace, I publish this review of some of her hubs and comments. Personally I find her absence, and the knowledge that she will never again publish a hub or a comment , extremely painful. She was one of my beloved role models; I loved her with all of my heart.

drbj, the Hub Award Winner

When drbj - pronounced Doctor B.J. - arrived in Hubpages in 2010, she introduced herself as a person who had only eight careers: Psychologist, Marketing VP, Training Director, Entrepreneur, Management Consultant, Executive Coach, Writer, Motivational Speaker, and stand-up humorist.

Being the author of Much Of What You Know About Job Search Just Ain't So, published on October 30, 2008, she immediately distinguished herself as an experienced, wise and witty old lady. Using her best quality – her marvellous sense of humour – she started to enrich writers and readers from all over the world with interesting information about a variety of people, animals, events, facts, laws, and all kinds of everything, which made her the winner of -

  1. 2013 Hubbie Award for the Funniest Hubber,
  2. 2013 Funniest Hub, Funny Puns about Losing Jobs,
  3. 2015 Hubbie Award for Funniest Hubber

drbj's views on birthdays and old age

On a more serious note drbj lamented in her hub, Old-Age-Aint-for-Sissies, the fact that older people are now labelled as “senior citizens” or “retirees” and treated in one of two ways: with disdain for what we believe is their insufficient knowledge of technology, or with pity for trying to keep up appearances in a world they no longer fit nor understand.

While in the old days the elderly were treated with respect, reverence and veneration!

But in reality drbj's sense of humour prevails. She never refrained from reminding us that she was ‘as old as soil, which came before dirt’. In her hub, Why-Are-Birthdays-Special, she admitted that she came into this world when everything was still ‘ancient’. She challenged her readers to guess her age, and, as a hint, she mentioned a few of the significant cultural events that occurred the year she was born. To mention only four:

  1. The first Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Steamboat Willie” by Walt Disney, made its appearance. (May 1928!)
  2. The book, ‘Lady’s Chatterley's Lover', was published and banned in the USA as well as in the UK. (1928!)
  3. First yo-yo factory opened in Santa Barbara, California. (1928!)
  4. Penicillin was discovered. (1928!)

So, on her last birthday, November 14, 2015, she celebrated her 87th birthday.

She was, and still is via her writings, a role model for all of us who secretly hope to be blessed with birthdays until we, too, are as old as soil, which is older than dirt.

Old age ain't for sissies
Old age ain't for sissies | Source

A collection of drbj's personal views on birthdays and old age

“Am I the only one who thinks birthdays are special? I admit I did fib about my age for years since I was fortunate enough to look younger than my years. Ah, those were the days.”

“Getting older has never been an excuse for me not to party. Just the opposite. I believe in partying because I am still around to enjoy getting older.”

In 2013 she said “... my birthday was a VERY good one this year because I was surrounded by my loving family and good friends.”

“My birthday celebration was very happy and I am looking forward to more fun (within reason, of course) this coming year.”

“Yes, indeed, my birthday was very special and never to be forgotten mainly because I was still here to celebrate it. :)

“Ah, my friend, you are so right. Old age is awful, even worse than you suggest unless ... unless you can somehow remain in fairly good health. Then it's amazing how smart you think you become and how little the little things really matter. What's most important is love, family and BFFs.”

“I recognized the power of humor and laughter and started laughing long, long ago and as I get older see no need to do less of it. Live, love, laugh is my motto.”

“Aging is mandatory but aging gracefully - that's a whole 'nother ballgame.”

“Since I am a lady, I do not fart…. Regarding my age, read my hub: "Math Equation for Success in Life."

“Date of disintegration? I passed that long ago. Maybe because my curiosity is insatiable. I am interested in many, many things, big, small, important, and not.”

“I agree that never dying would be very scary - the worst part is you would have lost all your family members and dearest friends.”

“Why do Brits (and South Africans) include the extra 'u' in humor? Here's a possible answer: so the humour will last longer!”

“When I was in my 20's, eons ago, I thought old age was anyone over 35. Now that I am older than soil, old age is simply anyone older than me."

"So. old age seems cool to you? Well, I can tell you from my experience it is plenty cool as long as you have the good health to enjoy it.”

"I don't know if older folks are more anti-social and/or selfish - maybe they are just being more honest. Too little time left to be a hypocrite.”

“Some days we feel older than others. But I try to ignore it. Finding humor in almost everything I see and hear and read, does help. A lot!”

“I know some older people who are not as sweet and positive as they were when they were younger so I don't hang out with them.”

“As far as growing old, I plan to live forever. So far, so good...” .

“And you know that I have always believed laughter is the best medicine. I even say so in my profile.”

“Humor and laughter are the best antidotes to aging. Together with a knowledgeable physician.”

“Yes, by all means, when your grown kids make older jokes, fight fire with fire. Just remind them of the possibility they will get to that all-nighter stage, too. But be careful, my dear, not to alienate them. Remember, our children are the ones who select our nursing home!”

“Aging can be a wonderful experience. All we need is the strength to handle it. And a powerful sense of humor.”


Source
B.J. Rakow aka drbj
B.J. Rakow aka drbj

drbj, the bassoon player

At a time I 'auditioned' a couple of HubPages writers in order to establish a Hubville Symphonic Wind Orchestra. Drbj was the bassoon player. Read about the songs she submitted during her 'audition' - songs that reminded her of a specific kind of love -

The-Bassoon-and-the-Bassoon-Player-Bj-Rakow-aka-drbj...

Some of drbj's views on humour... err... humor

“We all need laughter, like Will Rogers once said: "We are all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can." Amen!

“That's what I love to know, that a moral of a sad story is still funny.”

“Dusting ourselves off (after a bad experience) and moving on, is the way of the world.”

drbj's last published hub

On January 20, 2016 drbj published her last hub - Have-You-Ever-Felt-Schadenfreude - about the human tendency to derive pleasure from the misfortunes of others. This may sound ridiculous, but don’t we all tend to laugh when someone falls all of a sudden off their chair, or bumped into a wall?

Somehow, in spite of the humor, I sensed sadness in drbj's reply - the last one she would ever post -

Hi, MizB, it's so nice to see you here. I'm not at all surprised that you can separate artificial (on the movie screen) Schadenfreude from those identical feelings in real life. Because I already knew what a sweet soul you have. You are most welcome, m'dear, for the good laugh. Happy I had you going with the funny story.

I was interrupted and didn't leave a comment, and didn't return to do so, as life with all its demands currently has a firm grip on me. But even if I went back, I would not have known -

We received the sad news on March 3rd -

drbj - This was the last hub my Mom published. She passed away February 20, 2016. Thank you for your comment.

THANK YOU, Sherry, for letting us know, and for allowing us to sympathize with you, and with each other. Your note means a lot to all of us -

Sherry Superfine · Thank you all for the beautiful comments you made about my wonderful Mother. She was the most amazing, loving, caring, intelligent, vivacious, witty and positive person I have ever known. She was my BFF and will be in my heart forever. She loved all her followers on HubPages and it gave her great joy to write and read others hubpages.

R.I.P. dearest drbj aka B.J. Rakow

Some links to drbs's writings on HubPages

More tributes to drbj -

A poem written by drbj's grandson's wife and read at her funeral -

http://hubpages.com/literature/FOR-DR-BJ

A tribute by GusTheRedneck -

http://hubpages.com/community/Our-Good-Friend-DRBJ


More by this Author


Comments 84 comments

Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 9 months ago

Today I awaken to read a wonderful hub of a woman who made a difference , who knew the real talent of writing, I never knew her personally but after reading this wonderful tribute I should have cross her path , To her family and friends I give my heart felt condolences .Thank you Martie

Coetser for sharing your heart and tribute

of B.J.Rako.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

A wonderful tribute to an amazing hubber, whose memory will live on through her writing. Drbj was n inspiration to us all. Thank you for writing this touching hub Martie.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 9 months ago from Orlando, FL

Drbj will be missed by many. Her humor and sarcastic wit always made me laugh until I snorted...that's impressive! I will especially remember how she enjoyed my country music articles and also appreciated the stories the songs told.

This tribute to drbj makes her shine even more. A beautiful tribute to a Sunsational soul!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 9 months ago from Texas

Aw, Martie, this hub even brings a sense of sadness. I too sensed something was off. It seemed so unlike her not to reply relatively quickly to her followers. A week or so before we received the update I sent an email inquiring about her well being. Of course, there was no reply. So when I got the notification that she had replied I rushed over to read it, still somehow shocked to find out it was not really a reply from drbj. I was and still am speechless. She was one of a kind indeed. But one thing I agree with whole heartedly is that laughter is truly the best medicine. I hope I never lose my sense of humor, just as she never lost hers.

You have done a wonderful job with this special tribute, Martie. Hugs to you. And, in case I didn't say it before (I was shocked and don't think I did), my condolences to and prayers for her family are extended.


suzettenaples 9 months ago

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person and fellow hubber. Her grace and humor will be long remembered. Thanks for writing this! May she RIP.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

Thank you for this, Martie. I had not heard the sad news...and yet I know she wouldn't have wanted us to be too sad. She spent her time here at HP making us all laugh, and showing such a loyalty in her comments on our articles. I am a better writer and better person because of her.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 9 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Martie you have a kind soul and have done an honorable thing here. This is a nice tribute to a writer who made us all smile at one time or another. May she RIP.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Kiss and Tales, thank you so much for your kind comment. We are all so grateful for the privilege we have had to know drbj aka Dr. B.J. Rakow. She never forced her knowledge down our throats, but offered it with humour. We learned while we laughed.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear Jodah, drbj was indeed an inspiration to us all. My condolences also to you and all her followers. We're going to miss her!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 9 months ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Wonderful tribute Martie! I can still remember going back and forth over the years with Dr. BJ with comments on our hubs. She always cracked me up. Still does thinking about it! I truly believe she made me take life a little less serious and giggle a lot more. RIP sweet and funny and witty drbj. I am honored that our paths crossed.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

Dear Martie, this is a fine tribute to a fabulous woman who we all loved and will miss greatly. I loved her philosophy on life and how important it is to laugh and what a gift she had to bless all with her wonderful wit. It is hard to grasp that she will not be pulling any more hubs here. She always blessed me with her lovely comments on my hubs and endeared me to her when she called me m'dear. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. Hugs


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Dearest Sunshine, one good thing - sad events bring people closer to each other. Even in cyberspace. But now I'm telling you something you know even better than I. The news about drbj on top of your own ordeals, may have been even more painful. You, too, are a Sunsational soul.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear Shanmarie, we are again sharing the same emotions. drbj was adorable. I have always cherished her comments on my hubs. I truly felt loved by her. That audition of her, in her fictive capacity as a bassoon player, together with our emails, are now part of my most precious "intellectual assets". My condolences to you as well.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, dear Suzette. drbj was indeed graceful, even when she used a word like 'fart'... lol!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 9 months ago from California

Thank you for this Martie! She was always such a joy! And I will miss her!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Oh, billybuc, of course drbj would not want us to be devastated, but gosh, missing her, and getting over our need to interact with her, are painful. Please take care of yourself. You, too, will be missed when you are no longer around. Strange how some fellow-writers play a vital role in our lives.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, dear mckbirdbks. Thank you for calling my soul 'kind', instead of 'hyper-sensitive', as those who don't understand me so easily say when I express my feelings and emotions. I just had to write this tribute, as you know I adored drbj since I've met her in 2010. I feel so bad because I didn't leave a comment on her last hub, and completely forgot about it. Too many irons in the fire was never a good thing. Please, take care of yourself. You, too, will be missed!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 9 months ago from Germany

OMG! I have just seen this hub in fb and was so shocked about her death. I love this hubber as she made me laugh every time I read her hubs. I did not know that she was over 80. She was a very fine lady. I have learned a lot from her writings. Thanks for writing this Martie. My heartfelt condolence to her families and friends. Rest in Peace drbj. God bless you in heaven.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 9 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Martie, thank you for such a lovely and informative tribute to drbj. What a gal she was, huh? I so enjoyed reading your hub with a mixture of laughter and tears. You brought back many fond memories of that great lady. She will indeed be missed.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 9 months ago from Brazil

Such a lovely tribute. I have loved many of her hubs. There can never be a better way to be remembered than to have made people smile.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 9 months ago from Texas

Yes, Martie. You are one of the few people around here that probably understand my heart. Sensitivity is kindness, though, I think. Her last comment to me was on my love languages hub, which I particularly valued. To have someone with a psych background see the value it the hub and my thoughts about the concept is priceless.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Martie.....BRAVO!! Bless your heart for putting this wonderful tribute together to share with Doc's fans & readers. I was shocked & am incredibly saddened by her passing.

It is a loss so many of us will feel for some time. I know that I for one, will find myself reading her witty & fascinating hubs. I positively LOVED her series on the "laws" of each of our 50 states. Lots of laughter as well as fascinating information!

My thoughts are with her family & loved ones. I offer my sincerest condolences.

"Miss you already, Doc." My love, Paula


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

@ Thelma - Condolences to you, too, Thelma. I know exactly how you feel after hearing this sad news. I'm sure drbj is encouraging laughter in the world beyond.

@ Phyllis - I enjoyed collecting her comments about old age. There are many more of them. I actually hope her daughter will take the time to find them all. Compiled in a book, they will be better than medicine.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 9 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a great tribute to drbj, Martie. I love the quotes. I'm greatly saddened by drbj's loss, but I think it's wonderful that she was creating her usual witty hubs so close to her death. If I live as long as she did, I hope my mind stays active and creative like hers. She was very inspiring. I'll miss her.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 9 months ago from England

Well done Martie, this was amazing. DrBJ was a funny, lovely warm lady, she will be sorely missed.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

@ Sharyn's Slant – It was indeed a honour to know her and to feel those effects of her wit and humor.

@ Faith Reaper – Oh, that was one of her habits – calling us m’dear, or m’luv…. She made us all feel loved.

@ AudreyHowitt – Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about our dear drbj. I hope she’ll get a moment to sneak away, just to read these comments and to know how much she was loved.

@ Blond Logic – How we love those who make us smile!

@ shanmarie – I felt the same about her comments. I knew she understood me.

@ fpherj48 – Those ridiculous laws she lifted out in her hubs have historical value. I hope they, too, will be compiled in a book. Now, fpherj, you are the only one left with an extraordinary sense of humour. The stage is yours. Just think how much drbj will love it to know that her good work – of making people laugh - is being continued. Just saying…

@ Alicia - She was such a role model. My hopes are the same as yours.

@ Nell Rose - And to think she loved and supported all of us. We know what hard and time-consuming work writing, reading and commenting in Hubpages really is.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 9 months ago from USA

She sounds like a magnificent lady. May she RIP.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 9 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Martie......You have just both honored & humbled me! Thank you so much. I love you, Aries......


always exploring profile image

always exploring 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

Martie, this is a wonderful tribute to a woman I learned to love. She was so smart and funny. She always left a poem on my hubs, which I cherished and now even more. She was living proof that age wasn't a time to stop having fun. I will miss her! Beautiful Marttie!!!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

@ Barbara - You would have loved her. Her hubs are still published - treat yourself with some of her humour.

@ fpherj - Love you too, my fellow-Aries :)

@ always exploring - drbj just knew how to pull our smiles :) Love you lots!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 9 months ago from Canada

Dear Martie, Thank you so much for this tribute to our own drbj. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing, and I will miss her!


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 9 months ago

I had to come back just to pay my respects to a lady who not only made us all laugh, but also was kind and courteous and often left moving comments to the work I use to publish here. I know wherever she is on the other side of this life, the spirits will welcome her with an applause. I bow to one knee to thee B.J. Rakow and may you continue to make them laugh out loud, you sure did for this poet. RIP sweet talented lady.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 9 months ago from USA

Thank you for letting us all know. May she Rest in Peace, and hub away in the ever after.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 9 months ago from The Caribbean

Martie,such a thoughtful thing to do. Thanks for spreading the word. My condolences to her family and her HP friends. It is a blessing to still have access to her words. May she rest in peace!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Snakeslane. I didn't want to stress that I wrote this tribute on behalf of all drbj's followers, but I knew that I was doing exactly that. All of us enjoyed her hubs and adored her :) It's going to take some time to get used to her absence!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Saddlerider, it is so good to see you in HP again. I wanted to publish a list of hubbers who started in 2010 and who have grown together. Some, like you, left to do your own thing, but keeping contact via FB, and some stayed. We share so many nice memories! I decided not to post it, as I am afraid I may miss a name or two. Take care, dear brother. Although we managed to come to terms with your absence, we will miss you when you are no longer reachable.


drbj profile image

drbj 9 months ago from south Florida

Dearest Martie:

The tribute that you wrote in honor of my Mom drbj brought tears to my eyes. It was so beautiful! Thank you so much.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Flourish, thank you for paying drbj a final tribute. I know if she can, she will most certainly hub away in the ever after :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear MsDora, it is indeed a blessing to still have access to drbj's hubs. I wonder what is HubPages policy regarding the hubs of a deceased hubber? Thanks for conveying your condolences with drbj's family and fellow-hubbers.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 9 months ago

Martie, thank you for letting everyone know about a fellow Hubber, who is now smiling at the smile that crosses everyone's face when they read her wit shared with all of us.

My condolence to her family, friends and all the Hubbers who will miss her.

Blessings and Hugs to Martie for sharing your tribute.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear Sherry, your mother was loved by so many here in HubPages. We're going to miss her. But you, dear lady, and your brother as well, will surely miss her the most, and every year more. Missing a beloved mother/father/sibling/child is a never-ending experience. On behalf of all hubbers, I wish you the best of strength and peaceful resignation. I once read the most comforting message: Death can take away a person we love but not what that person has given to us, and has meant to us. How wonderful to know! Take care, dear Sherry!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Shyron, thanks a lot for coming around to pay tribute to our dearest drbj. Your condolences is another drop in the pool that will eventually send out rays of peace.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 9 months ago from TEXAS

Oh, Martie. What a wonderful tribute to our dear Queen of Wit, Dr. B.J. Rakow. She never failed to inspire, delight and respect her fellow Hubbers with her witty, wise, wonderful hubs, replies to our comments on them and comments on our hubs! She was a joy to know and to share our writings, ideas and feelings. I dearly loved her.

It started 5 years ago when we each began following and 'fanned' each other.

Her 'fan mail' to me was so encouraging:

drbj and sherry (drbj) 276 Hubs / Joined 6 years ago

Hi, Nellieanna, I just discovered you from a comment you made about the film, "Everything's Fine." Now I'm off to check out your hubs since I became your fan. Since I'm older than dirt (see my profile) and you have a granddaughter in her 30s, we may have come memories in common. Would be delighted to have you visit me, too.

5 years ago

Of course, I did visit her wonderful Hub site and read her hubs! And we did have many common memories and experiences in our long lives on Earth. My fan mail to her was pure awe:

Nellieanna Hay (Nellieanna) 244 Hubs / Joined 6 years ago

You're inspiring!

5 years ago

That says it all. She was an inspiration from then, on.

I cried out loud when I learned of her passing, "NO, NO, NO!" It just couldn't be! She was so indomitable. She was so youthful and alive. She will be missed immeasurably, though she's left her impression and shining example for all these Hubbers who loved, admired and respected her, many who have left heart-felt comments here, recalling her impact on them.

May you rest in peace, dear lady and friend B.J Rakow. You are beloved.

And thank you, dearest Martie, for gathering so much of her legacy here for us all to relish and find joy in.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 9 months ago from Oakley, CA

Oh, my goodness! I had no idea. I came in this morning and found the notification for this hub on my feed page.

How very sad. I always enjoyed her writing, and her encouragement. From her tone, and her sense of humor, I would never have guessed her to be any older than I am...and possibly younger! (I just turned 68 on March 3--ironically, the day the notice of her passing was posted.)

This was a beautiful memorial tribute, Martie. She surely will be missed!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 9 months ago from San Francisco

Thank you


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 9 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Martie,

You have written a comprehensive and heart-felt virtual tribute to a 'one of a kind' lady...

Along with Dusty, drbj's death reminds me of the profound impact we have on each other in cyberworld...

drbj would love this and so pleased her daughter has seen this/ will be following in her Mom's footsteps.

I will also be relying on dear effer to be our funny bone now...and I believe she is up to the task... :))

Thanks for bringing us all together to celebrate our drbj's life. Love, mar


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 9 months ago from Home Sweet Home

May her soul rest in peace, too bad i didn't know that she had existed here, my fault


RedElf profile image

RedElf 9 months ago from Canada

Such a shocker to pop in today and find the HubPages galaxy dimmed by the loss of such a luminary.

Thank you so much for penning this moving tribute. drbj was one of my favorites, and certainly a role model. Though I did not know her other than as a writer here, I can say from reading her work that she was the kind of women who met life head on, on her own terms, and always with humour. I shall miss her presence dearly.

I have decided to adopt one of her sayings for my own motto: “As far as growing old, I plan to live forever. So far, so good...”

Thanks and farewell drbj


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

@ Nellieanna

@ DzyMsLizzy

@ Mhatter99

@ Marcoujor

@ peachpurple

@ RedElf

Thank you for your beautiful comments. Drbj surely deserved our love. Her departure will keep us sad for a long time. My condolences to all of us here in Hubville! And even more to her family.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 9 months ago from Dallas, Texas

Dearest Martie,

Such sweet sadness, this wonderful tribute to our friend in cyberspace. When people say our on-line contacts are not "real" I have to disagree. People like Dr. BJ, who have such a profound impact on our lives, who share their wisdom, knowledge and their humor so freely with us are most definitely real in our lives. Her loss has stricken many with a hole in our hearts where we will no longer see her frank openness in our comments, feel her presence when we publish something new and enjoy her witty and well-written articles that bring to light the odd, the unusual and the useful information.

I found myself anticipating her comment whenever I published something new, and grew dependent on her presence here. She never disappointed me and often lifted my spirits with her kind responses. I will never forget her faithfulness when I published an ongoing story one chapter at a time. Her encouraging words meant the world to me and inspired me onward. She will be truly missed.

My deepest condolences go out to her daughter, her family her friends and those of us here in Hub Land who loved her, never having met her.

Martie, you wrote a beautiful, loving tribute honoring the Doctor . Well done.

Peg


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Peg. Here in Hubville people are even more real than in real life, as we expose our heart and soul via our writings, not able to hide behind clothes, hair styles, and all the images we use to conduct ourselves according to the norm of an occasion or the expectations of individuals.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 9 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

This is sad but thank you for letting us know. I've been her follower 'though I don't go regularly now a days on HP. She's a wonderful hubber, a lady with a wit and humours hard to resist. She'll certainly be missed.

My condolences to the family. May she rest in peace.

Love from the sky~


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 9 months ago from USA

Ms Martie (MartieCoetser on HubPages)

You did a superb job crafting so fine a tribute to a wonderful friend, our own Doctor Barbara J. Rakow ("drbj" on HubPages). Her many friends here will certainly thank you for doing such a good job with the writing of it.

Regards,

Gus Kilthau


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very sorry to know of it. We have lost a great hubber friend and ideal lady with her demise.

RIP, drbj- aka- BJ Rakow!

Thank you very much, Martie, for this wonderful tribute to the great lady.


drbj profile image

drbj 9 months ago from south Florida

Thank you again Martie for such a beautiful tribute to my Mom. To all her followers she will live forever in our hearts and minds. She loved you!

Sherry


DDE profile image

DDE 9 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

WOW! I had no idea of this and you shared such beautiful tribute to this special person.


cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

cmoneyspinner1tf 9 months ago from Austin, Texas

Very kind of you write this tribute. Many of us just vanish and nobody knows.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

@ CrisSp

@ Venkatachari M

@ DDE

Thank you so much for spending a moment reading this tribute and leaving a comment in honour of our beloved Dr. BJ.

@ GusTheRedneck – You, too, did a superb job, saying goodbye to our dearest drbj. I decided not to reveal in my tribute as she never revealed it in her hubs and comments. I remember she once explained why everybody calls her Dr. BJ, and if my memory doesn’t fail me, she did reveal her name in that specific hub. But until I find that hub, in order to link it, I’ve decided to stick to drbj and B.J. Rakow. If you find that hub, please bring us the link. I have added a link to your tribute to her in the hub, and now also here -

- Our-Good-Friend-DRBJ

@ So true, cmoneyspinner1tf, many of our fellow-hubbers just vanish. Personally I think that is a very selfish thing to do – like suicide. We have to realize that at least one fellow-hubber has bonded with us, just because their spirit immediately connected to ours. So, if you’ve managed to get a true follower or six, writing a proper ‘goodbye’ hub is the proper thing to do. You can always delete it after six months. Because, trust me, there does come a time when a follower, and especially your true friends, suddenly realize that they haven’t heard from you for some time, and then they will go look for your. Don’t slap them in the face by leaving without saying goodbye.

@ drbj’s daughter, Sherry, gosh girl, your mom’s avatar - which she never changed since she arrived in 2010, is so ‘her’. Every time we see it, our poor souls momentarily think she’s back. Oh dear, it’s going to take some time to get use to her not being with us any more! We loved her so much, and so wonderful to know that she loved us too and enjoyed spending time with us.

Your daughter-in-law’s poem is a gripping evidence that drbj was her true self among us, and that she truly deserved our respect and love. Oh, if only we have told her how much she meant to us. But I think she must have known. I’m all cried out - - FOR-DR-BJ


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

@ GusTheRedneck - The link to your tribute -

http://hubpages.com/community/Our-Good-Friend-DRBJ


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

@ drbj/Sherry - The link to your daughter-in-law's beautiful poem -

http://hubpages.com/literature/FOR-DR-BJ


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 9 months ago from USA

Ms Martie (MarieCoester on HubPages) -

The only hub I could find is the one "co-authored" by our "drbj" and daughter Sherry. It is the most recently listed of "drbj's" posts, as near as I can tell. If I find another post with her name listed, I will let you know of it. So far, I have not found one.

drbj and sherry (drbj)

Joined 6 years ago from south Florida. Last activity 8 hours ago.

Interview with drbj

Regards,

Gus Kilthau


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

Thanks, GusTheRedNeck. I'm going to add the link?


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 9 months ago from Deep South, USA

Thank you, Martie, for your wonderful tribute to a writer who delighted us over and over with her special brand of humor and unique way with words. I am shocked and immensely saddened to learn only now of her passing. I've been MIA from HubPages a lot for the past few months. As you mentioned, life sometimes gets in the way of many things we want and plan to do, leaving us with regrets for what we missed.

When I first published short fiction on HubPages years ago, Dr.BJ encouraged me to continue and even made specific suggestions. In fact, it was due to her that I wrote a novella that first saw the light of day on HubPages in serial form. She was very generous in her support of other writers, and many of us were beneficiaries of her cheerful good wishes. I hope all of Dr. BJ's hubs will be left on the site so that her HP “family” can visit her work again (and again). I think it would be wonderful for her writings to be published in a book format collection. I would be one of the first in line to acquire it.

I offer my heartfelt condolences to her family for their loss, and it is my hope they will derive comfort from memories of the remarkable B. J. Rakow, whom we at HP have known and loved as “Dr.B.J.”

Sadly,

Jaye


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 9 months ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

I love this, Martie! Thank you. We are all very sad about Barbara! Thank you for taking the time to honor her. She will be missed her in. our community (and a lot of places I imagine!)


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 9 months ago from Deep South, USA

Martie - If you will, please delete the duplicate of my comment. I don't know how I managed to have that happen, but two aren't needed. Thanks.

I do want to add another memory of Dr.BJ (that's how I wrote her pseudonym)--actually, two. I'll begin with my rendering of "drbj" to "Dr.BJ" and a little bit of trouble it caused on HubPages. When I began writing the serial fiction (mentioned in my previous comment), I credited her with the encouragement to do so. Since I had "Dr.BJ" and "child" in the same hub, the censor bots smacked me down and removed ads from the episode until I assured them it wasn't child porn. Dr.BJ and I had a laugh about that incident.

Then, there were the puns. Oh, boy, were there puns! The pun format of funny story is guaranteed to jiggle my funny bone, and Dr.BJ was, indeed, the master of the pun form. She wrote and published a series of pun stories on HubPages, each of them hilarious. When I asked her if she knew the long pun story about a baseball player named Mel Faymee, she honored me by writing it in VERSE, publishing it on HP, and--bless her heart (as we say in the south)--dedicating it to me as the "inspiration."

No matter how busy I am in the next few weeks, I am going to re-read all of Dr.BJ's puns, and then I'll start on her other funny hubs. She and I shared something else besides writing: backgrounds in the field of Human Resources. Some of her writing made use of her HR knowledge, both hubs and a published book.

I will also return and re-read your tribute hub, Martie, as well as all the wonderful, caring comments that seem like our own HubPages memorial event for a dear friend we will miss.

Jaye


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 9 months ago from Deep South, USA

Martie - I'm wearing out my welcome tonight, but your comment about Hubbers who leave without "saying goodbye" just resonated with me. Since I'm no spring chicken myself, perhaps I should write my personal "farewell" hub and leave it available with instructions to a family member to post on the site after I take my own permanent leave. I've seriously considered writing my own before-the-fact obit and eulogy (with blank spaces for the ending date to be filled in); why not my HP farewell hub as well?

This gathering of long-time HP friends made me realize I've missed you all and my once-daily visits to these pages to read your latest writing. The shock of learning that I would not have the chance to engage in any more linguistic or humorous word jousting with Dr.BJ was also a lesson not to waste such opportunities with other HP friends. Watch for me within the virtual walls of HubPages. I will be back . . . and soon.

JAYE


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

@JayeWisdom - thank you for sharing your memories with us. In Hubpages we tend to become very close to our kindred spirits. We form spiritual bonds, and when one suddenly leaves us, the pain is just as intense as it would have been in real life. After all, everything is in the mind. I like your idea of writing a farewell hub. I, too, hope that Sherry will keep her mother's work published, either as it is in hubpages, or in e-books.

@ wordscribe - thank you for coming over and add your condolences to the pool. I believe that collective sadness radiates strength. Not one of us is alone in this unfortunate situation, and knowing this, makes us feel a little better :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

JayeWisdom - so many jissies? Nevertheless your connj


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 9 months ago from Victoria, Australia

A lovely tribute - she will be missed.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 9 months ago from East Coast, United States

I was sorry to hear of the loss of a wonderful lady and beautiful person. Drbj, how many mornings did I wake up, dull or maybe blue and wind up laughing out loud thanks to her wit and full out silliness. She responded so quickly and always added a little kindness with her m'dear...I'll miss her. I imagine that it will be of some comfort to her family when they see how many people Drbj moved, how many lives she touched, and how she will be missed.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 9 months ago from California Gold Country

Thank you for sharing this.

I know you will have a hard time keeping up with all of the responses to this posting--- none of us expect any reply... we understand that you have much to do, and other personal pressing matters to deal with.

Hopefully this outpouring of appreciation and love for what your mom left us, brings some comfort. I am sure that everyone who knew her personally had an expanded appreciation of meeting hr.

I was pleased to have several back and forth comments online and even had a back and forth comment on her avatar picture which was a favorite of mine--- the young/old person who was the same persona.

I know you grief is deep, Our grief is technically "virtual".. but it still brings few real tears.

You have a great inheritance in the personal memories off such a unique mom.


drbj profile image

drbj 9 months ago from south Florida

Dearest Dolores and Rochelle:

Your comments and passion for my Mom has just brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your sharing and caring. My Mom was truly one unbelievable lady and will be sorely missed by everyone whose life she touched. These past several years was all about the wonderful people she met on HubPages. She truly had a passion for her writing. Thank you dear ladies.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 9 months ago from South Africa Author

@ Blossom

@ Dolores

@ Rochelle

Thank you for stopping by to pay tribute to our dear drbj. I loved her even more when she called me m'dear. I loved her because she treated all of us with so much maternal kindness, while she could easily have been a snob, like so many doctors tend to be. I miss her!

@ SHERRY - Hubpages is the most wonderful world, thanks to people like your mom. She was awesome!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 8 months ago from Central Florida

Martie, I can't think of a better way to pay homage to drbj than to highlight her very own words. It's always sad to lose a Hubber, but it's even more so to lose such a wonderful, vivacious human being that believes (and lives) that humor is the best medicine. She will be missed on this Earth, but something tells me her spirit will make little visits here and there to remind us of what's important in life.


drbj profile image

drbj 8 months ago from south Florida

Her spirit and positive nature will definiteley live on. What a woman! She loved all her friends on HubPages like family. I hope to continue with some articles that she wrote but did not have time to post.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 8 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear bravewarrior - geez, 7 days since I last had some time on my hands for my favorite community! Really, I can't keep up, and especially since end January, when my office assistant resigned in order to run her mother's business. For some reason my boss is postponing the appointment of a new assistant - of course, cutting down on expenses as businessmen suffer the consequences of the doings of our irresponsible and incompetent president and his leading political party, the ANC.

I miss drbj so much, but wonderful to have her daughter with us now :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 8 months ago from South Africa Author

Dearest daughter of drbj, I'm sure your mother is smiling because you are publishing more of her articles. How I wish our beloveds on the other side were able to contact us. Missing them is so painful. You are often in my thoughts :)


drbj profile image

drbj 8 months ago from south Florida

Thank you dear Martie. Words cannot express how much I miss her. What a woman!


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 8 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Thank you Martie for this wonderful tribute to an amazing hubber, whose memory will live on through her writing. I have bookmarked your hub and shared it so I will find this post over time when I feel the need to read her hubs, especially her humorous post.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 7 months ago from South Africa Author

@ Nadine

@ drbj

She left us with delighting memories, and she will always, through our memories and her writings, inspire us to be cheerful and receptive to the humor in everything around us :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 months ago from England

She was a lovely lady, and your tribute was beautiful. when we lose someone from hubs or online it really is sad, we feel that we knew them. I thought I had commented, but still another one is worthy of this, nell


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 months ago from South Africa Author

Dear Nell, nobody will ever fill the space we have established in each other's hearts, because it will be filled with memories. You, too, will be missed.


annart profile image

annart 7 weeks ago from SW England

What a wonderful tribute, Martie! I only read a handful of drbj's hubs but enjoyed them immensely. I'm not sure why I haven't read more but it was way back when I started here.

I love her comments about age - the reference to respect is one I think is so true. Not that I'm particularly old but it seems that those who are retired are treated as if they know nothing and don't have a full life; if only they knew!

Great hub and a worthy one.

Ann


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 7 weeks ago from South Africa Author

Hi annart, drbj was one of a kind. She has taught us a lot in a humorous way. I miss her tremendously!

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