In memory of Hubpages’s Queen of Wit, drbj aka B.J. Rakow
R.I.P. dearest drbj
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 -
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:
- The first Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Steamboat Willie” by Walt Disney, made its appearance. (May 1928!)
- The book, ‘Lady’s Chatterley's Lover', was published and banned in the USA as well as in the UK. (1928!)
- First yo-yo factory opened in Santa Barbara, California. (1928!)
- 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.
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.”
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: B.j. Rakow aka drbj
All about the Bassoon, the Bassoonist and B.j. Rakow aka drbj's choices of powerful music...
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
drbj presented a variety of series, all of them highly recommended. Herewith only three links per series -
Interviews with weird animals
Interviews with famous characters -
Dumb and crazy laws -
Fun and Facts:
Weird words –
Various topics -
DRBJ's PROFILE ON HUBPAGES -
More tributes to drbj -
A poem written by drbj's grandson's wife and read at her funeral -
A tribute by GusTheRedneck -