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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Mourning Dixie /   Editorial List  

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 Mourning Dixie

Actress, comedienne, singer, Broadway star and caregiver, Ms. Dixie Carter passed away this week. Best known for her scene stealing role as Julie Sugarbaker on the television program “Designing Women”, Dixie was also a song stylist critically acclaimed as a cabaret performer.  Few people knew that she was also a family caregiver.  She cared first for her beloved father Cart and then for her aunt, both in her home in California as well as in her hometown of McLemoresville, Tennessee.

“Dixie spoke in a mellifluous and genteel whisper during the entire cover interview with her for Today’s Caregiver magazine“ said  Editor-In-Chief Gary Barg.  “She possessed the kind of southern gentility where she would refer to her husband as Mr. Hal Holbrook in conversation, as opposed to my husband or simply Hal.  That was one conversation that I really didn’t want to end.”

“I appreciated her frankness and honesty about her family caregiving; I think she was extremely interested in helping other caregivers through what she had encountered. She was very appreciative of the hospice staff that helped her father in the end and wanted to make sure that caregivers fully understood the value of hospice care.”

Dixie Carter had an appreciation for the shared benefit of caring for a loved one. As she stated in the 2007 cover interview, “It [caregiving] creates an absolute bond and a deep understanding … the words that lie too deep for tears.  If you go through and experience life and death together, you are united, in a mystical and highly spiritual way. The person who is being cared for is in trouble; he or she knows that they’re in trouble, there’s no getting around it, otherwise none of this would be going on. It’s a very hard time, and the shared experience helps people not to feel so lonely. Sometimes I felt so alone in just trying to hold down the fort, because I saw that my father’s health was deteriorating and I was so lonely and frightened. When I got to Tennessee and saw that he had caregivers there, the sense of absolute aloneness changed in me.”

The Today’s Caregiver family extends our heartfelt condolences to Ms. Carter’s family and friends.  We appreciate all she gave her fans as a tremendous performer and to her loved ones as a loving caregiver. 


Gary Barg

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