tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 4, 2016 3:16am-7:01am EDT
he was my champion. on the first day i volunteered at that tiny little station, wamu, which was on the campus of the american university, you went off the curb, you couldn't hear the station anymore. [laughter] but i came home, this is 1973. npr got off the ground really in 1970. and so wamu was not even a member of npr at that time. you had to have five full-time employees to be a member of npr, and we did not. i came home from my first day as a volunteer at that station, and john rehm -- honestly, this is
so hard to believe way back then -- john rehm said to me, "someday you'll be host of that program." so he dreamed for me. he saw ahead for me in ways i could not see for myself. now, contrast that with what we talked about earlier, the tension, the difficulties in marriage. i mean, it's so complicated. marriage is the hardest job in the world next to parenthood. [laughter] >> that's very true. i have a couple of smaller questions, but since you just spoke about john rehm again, one of the things i wanted to mention is that you talk at the end of the book about missing him more. and so often in our society we
think, you know, grief has a time, grief ends. but this isn't actually the mourning that you're talking about, it's missing him more. and i think you touched on that a bit, but i'd love to have you expand on it. >> john rehm went to friends seminary with malcolm brown of "the new york times." malcolm won a pulitzer for his coverage of vietnam along with a number of other reporters, and malcolm married a woman from vietnam. and malcolm, unfortunately, came down with parkinson's at about the same time john did. he died two years before john.
his wife sent me a note saying, "i miss him more even now." i miss him more. and i was struck by that comment because here we are almost at the second anniversary of john rehm's death, and i find myself missing him even more now. i think in that immediate aftermath of the death one is -- i was so busy readjusting my life and so busy with so many things that i threw myself into work. and as elmer cliff says in the
book, i ran as hard as i i could from grief. just trying to keep busy. so i think now that we are where we are in the timeline, i really do believe i am allowing myself to the feel the grief and his absence even more now. >> and that, of course, it brings you to being on your own. and now that you're on your own, a couple of questions. again, i asked you about your saturdays, but i also -- and before we speak to the audience -- want to ask you because you've been such an advocate for books and authors and reading about what you are reading now. and i love the fact that you were reading jude the obscurer to john, and then he asked for a haiku. but now on your own what are you reading for pleasure? has that time come yet, or will
it be a bit later this year when you have stepped away from the mic? >> well, i confine my nighttime reading to fiction. >> good. tell me more. [laughter] >> i don't read anything that is event-related or news-related at night. i'm trying to calm down. [laughter] i'm trying to get away from the news of the world which is catastrophic right now. in so many ways as we think about the news politically, as we think about what's going on internationally, as we think about all of the evil that is present right now in the world. i am reading elizabeth strauss' latest novel. >> wonderful.
>> because that is going to be our readers' review on the 25th of april. >> wonderful. >> the last -- >> my name is lucy barton. terrific book. >> yes. it really is. and it's a dark book -- >> yes. >> this latest one is a dark book, but she writes really very compellingly. so fiction, latest book is elizabeth strauss. >> excellent. well, i want to now open up to questions. i want to give a few extra minutes, because i know you all will have some. and, again, if you'll come to the mic in the center here, you can form a line behind it. i'll try to make sure things go smoothly. >> don't be bashful -- >> don't be bashful at all. open mic night with diane rehm. or afternoon, excuse me. [laughter] >> excellent.
>> go right ahead. lead the way. >> now, i don't have a question, i have a comment. >> all right. >> we, we just love you being in our lives. we will miss you, but i'm sure we all wish you just the most wonderful life after "the diane rehm show". >> thank you so, so much. that's very kind of you. [applause] thank you. >> i read a book recently by dr. joyce brothers called "widow," and it for women here, i would recommend it, to read it. and i don't have any other -- i don't really have a question for you, but i'd just like to recommend that book. it's out in paperback. it's an older book, but it goes, shows what you go through with loss. >> i think that's a great recommendation. thank you very much. i, the one thing i do strongly
believe is that each one of of s who becomes a widow or a widower experiences life individually. it really does depend on, for example, if you are blessed enough to be working, to have friends, to have relatives nearby to support you, all of it is so individual. so i think there are no easy formulas, and that's why i did not intend to write one. thank you, though, for that recommendation. >> thank you for your remarks. a couple of comments. first of all, i've heard so many times that somebody has waited by the bedside of someone and
left for a few minutes only for them to die. and it does appear to me that it is often a choice that that person makes. so i -- >> i think the nurses said exactly that to me when i got back and i was so devastated not to have been there. >> well, it might have been a choice -- >> exactly. >> my other comment is about the feeling the absence, and i would agree with you that you run and you run, and those of us that like to run do so even harder. i think though because marriage is complicated, after a while it simplifies in your mind, and you perhaps remember some of the less complicated things -- >> you are so right. [laughter] you are so, so right. and i find myself now seeing
john as a young man, totally in love, totally involved. he was a very, very busy professional. he was an attorney at the state department and then went to the white house. so that his life was just very professionally focused. but i see him as so strong. thank you. >> hi, diane. >> hello. >> it's an honor. i am just at the beginning of a journey as a wife, as a mother -- [laughter] >> congratulations. >> -- as a professional. >> good. and you nailed it when you said all of those things are just the hardest. and something you said really struck me, was that john dreamt for you. he had dreams for you, and i would imagine you had dreams for him. and i wonder how having those
dreams and continuing to evolve those dreams helped you get through some of those just very complicated, trying times as a mom, as a wife, as a professional? >> oh, boy. [laughter] oh, boy. that's a great question. frankly, therapy. [laughter] [applause] twenty-five years of therapy. >> we're on it. [laughter] >> good for you! good for you. [laughter] thank you. hello. >> hello. i've enjoyed listening to you for many years. >> thank you. >> and i appreciate the way you interview and listen to everyone who's a guest and all your callers. but sometimes i find myself with
some of the more mundane topics like water levels in 2900, i kind of lose interest. and i wonder, do you ever encounter that and try to get sleepy or lose track of what -- [laughter] lose track of what you were asking, what they're saying back to you? [laughter] >> sure. [laughter] that happens. i mean, i'm human. like you. there are some things, topics in which i am far more interested than others. but i'll tell you, as far as water levels and -- [laughter] what's happening to our shorelines and the whole question of how the environment is changing, that doesn't bore me one little bit. but there are other topics.
i can't think of any, and i wouldn't want to think of any right now. [laughter] but thank you for the question. >> hi, diane. thank you for your book, i look forward to reading it. >> thank you. >> i had a question about how the medical world or the hospital reacted to your husband's choice. and i ask it in the context of having been a caregiver for my own parents who had advance directives and living wills and no extraordinary measures. and i just found at every turn until we got to hospice the medical industry, you know, doctors, they just want to keep trying everything. and so i was just wondering if john had any pushback. >> gosh, that's such a good question and leads me to say to everybody here, medical directives are not going to do it for you. they're not going to do it for
you. you must be in conversation with your spouse, your children, your friends, your families. i'll tell you about an organization that has just developed in st. louis. it's called cupcakes and death. [laughter] people, people in neighborhoods are coming together so that everyone in the neighborhood, they have cupcakes, they have cake, they have sweets. everyone in the neighborhood knows what you want. if you do not want an ambulance
to be called, if you do not want emt people rushing in and putting, inserting a tube down your throat, this is what we need to do. the papers are not going to do it more you. for you. and forgive me if i offend anyone by saying this, but if you are going to a roman catholic hospital -- and, of course, they have very, very strong perspectives on keeping people alive -- that will not allow you the choice you wish to make. so when john and i, with our son in the room, his doctor in the room and our daughter jenny who
is herself a physician, she was on the phone from boston. john said i am ready to die, and she -- he turned to the doctor and said can you help me. and the doctor said morally, ethically and legally, i cannot help you. the only thing you can do for yourself is to stop eating, drinking and taking any medication. and the next day john began that journey. so you must make your wishes known. i have said publicly and in the book that should i suffer a heart attack or a stroke in my
own apartment, i will not call 911. i do not wish to end up in a hospital, intubated and with many wires keeping me alive. my dear friend roger mudd's wife, e.j. mudd, died exactly that way. and her last words when the ambulance arrived for her, her last words that roger mudd heard were "i don't want to do this." and to this day, he does not know whether she meant i don't want to go to the hospital or i don't want to die. so think about how you can make your wishes known. thank you.
>> so the bill that went through or tried to, the maryland legislature last year was killed, the right to die bill or the right to choose bill, and you've talked here about the broader perspective that it's like the lgbt movement and will take a decade or two, but what specifically in maryland can people do to try and get something that's not passed several times through finally? >> well, but that's what had to happen in california. that's what had to happen -- i don't know about montana and how long that took. we have to simply keep pushing. and jamie raskin in maryland introduced it the first time. someone else did it this second time. and it went down. i have the feeling -- i may be totally wrong -- but like gay
marriage, i have the feeling that california could be the turning point that you may have a great many states following suit more quickly now that california has passed its law. but as a citizen, you write letters, you write e-mails to your own legislator. that's all you can do. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> hi, diane. i work as a professional gardener x so i have the good fortune of being able to listen to your program every day on my mp3 player. >> thank you, thank you. >> and sometimes i get the information that you might be a gardener, so i'm wondering, are you a gardener, and will you be doing some of that when you leave the program? >> oh, thank you for that lovely question. we had a house for 40 years in
maryland, and we created the most beautiful garden. and i was out there every single day in the spring and summer. and just to give you a sense of how beautiful it was, our daughter was married in that garden on june 16th in 1992. it turned out to be the hottest june day -- [laughter] in 75 years, and there's one photograph that was so wonderful of all the men's jackets on the fence. [laughter] so it was just great. but, yes, i love gardening. but living now in a condo, my gardening is restricted to my balcony. so just a few potted plants. thank you. >> we have time for just one
more question, diane. so -- >> hi. >> hi. >> he had a feeling, i don't know how he had that feeling, but he was right. so i want to preface this by saying that you are looking fabulous for 79. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you, thank you. >> she's looking fabulous for any age. [applause] >> thank you. [laughter] >> but my personal experience with aging, i never really knew anyone -- coincidentally, i lived with a woman over the summer that was also 79. and she was just like you, she was vibrant and going at it and living her life. my experience with aging, my grandparents -- my one grandmother died much younger than you, and my grandfather who's still much younger than you has pretty bad dementia. so to me, i don't often see a lot of older people that are, like, kicking it and doing it. [laughter] i know this is not really an original question, it's been asked all the time, but what do you do that you feel keeps you
happiest and healthiest to this day? >> i am with friends, and i am with my dog, and i have taken up playing the piano again. so those are the things that make me the happiest right now. thank you for the question. thank you all so, so much. [applause] it's wonderful to see you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, diane, so much. i was going to say i have a feeling we're going to have a little standing ovation here. thank you. and everyone, please, go to the signing. [inaudible conversations]
>> watched the c-span cities to work saturday at noon on c-span2's of tv and sunday at two on american history tv on c-span3. the c-span cities to ar to her g with their cable affiliates and visiting cities across a count country. >> now live to london for british prime ministers question time. each week the house of commons is in session we bring you prime minister david cameron taking questions from members of the house of commons live wednesday mornings here on c-span2. we invite your participation using the hashtag ucubed. prior to question that members are finishing up other business. now live to the floor of the british house of commons. >> what we're doing isn't just good for the poorest people on our planet it is our national interest as well. >> order. questions to the prime minister. [shouting]