Frank Costanza of TV’s Seinfeld series and Al Stiller have nothing in common.
Frank Costanza is abrasive, ill-tempered and hard to love. Fort Bend County’s Al Stiller is friendly, open to new friendships, and quick to laugh.
Frank Costanza was portrayed by, Jerry Stiller. Jerry is Al Stiller’s cousin.
As Al explains, Jerry was the “big kid” in the family. “Jerry was the older cousin who looked after me and I looked up to him”, Al Stiller said. Jerry Stiller is a comedian and veteran actor, best known as George Costanza’s father, Frank, on televisions’s popular Seinfeld series.
Throughout their adulthood, Al would mail Jerry his newspaper columns, journals and letters. Jerry encouraged Al to compile and publish his stories and. At first, Al was hesitant and told Jerry that he didn’t know how to begin to write a book. Jerry replied, “You start with ‘Once upon a time…’”.
Stiller’s book, Stiller Humor From Al’s Front Porch, is a folksy compilation of essays that were written for a Destin newspaper and a Destin-area temple newsletter. The essays represent about a decade of witticisms, personal accounts, and recollections of misadventures as recalled by Stiller.
But, most importantly, Al shares with his reader an upbeat and positive attitude about his life and his journey. As he states, “I realized long ago that humor can help you get by with a lot of things”. And, as Al explains, he believes the “Stiller Humor Gene” runs throughout the family tree!
The most poignant example of his incredible sense of humor, dry wit, and appreciation for life is in describing his latest role. Al Stiller is the everyday, all-day caregiver for his wife of 56 years. Arline was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1976 and the progression of the disease leaves her unable to care for herself. However, the family’s positive spirit prevails in every aspect of the couples’ lives.
Al explains, “I made up my mind that I would be the best possible caregiver for my wife”. Al’s willingness to learn and Arline’s patient teaching helped them tackle caregiving challenges. Although Al claims that he couldn’t “boil water without burning it”, he was determined to take over the daily caregiving needs of his wife. Arline would coach from the sidelines as Al mastered the art of cooking and managing the couple’s home.
“I’m 79-and-a-half and with my failing hearing and my wife’s soft voice, we’re the perfect pair”, Al confides as he focuses on the heartwarming aspect of his journey.
Al shares his journey and he hopes that his humorous slant will allow family caregivers to “open a door to their happy memories”. Because, as he states in his dedication, Al’s book is about ordinary people performing the truly extraordinary in their everyday lives.
Family caregivers are truly extraordinary and it’s refreshing to share in this role through humor.
You can learn more about Al Stiller and his book, Stiller Humor from Al’s Front Porch, by visiting his website or check out his interview!
Everyone has a story to share, we would love for you to recount a humorous story about your life!
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.