Monday, April 8, 2013

The Sweetheart and the Lady

Two women died today.  One was beloved in her country.  The other...well, this is not a political blog and I am not here to weigh in on what kind of difference she made. 

Both strong in their own ways.  Both left this world a different place. 

Annette Funicello died today.  I don't know how well known she is to the younger generations in this country, or to my readers in Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand.  So, let me take you down Memory (or History) Lane:

The first part of the video shows you a show beloved to baby boomers such as myself - The Mickey Mouse Club, starring various talented young people including a teenager by the name of Annette.  The second part includes Annette as an adult.

It wasn't Annette in the Mickey Mouse Club, or Annette in multiple "Beach Blanket" movies, or Annette as a singer, who truly made a difference in this world.  It was Annette in the last 25 years of her life, as someone afflicted with a neurological disorder called MS, who made a difference to many people.

Before Annette revealed why she was stumbling, slurring and falling, the media, and even some people, treated her cruelly. accusing her of drug or alcohol abuse.  Once she revealed she had MS, she used her remaining time in the public eye to raise funds for research.

I know two people with MS.  It is a terrible, unpredictable condition.  It doesn't manifest itself in the same way, person by person.  It can go into remission and then return.  It can rob you of movement, or rob you of life itself.  It strikes quickly, or takes tiny bites out of you.

After she could no longer stay in the public view, Annette continued her work as long as she could, while being cared for by her loyal husband.  Today, she was taken off life support.  She was 70.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles from where Annette Funicello took her last breaths, came the last moments of the person known as:  well, many things, ranging from The Iron Lady to Thatcher the Milk Snatcher.  People loved her or hated her, and, sometimes, both. 

She was 87.  She participated in her first political campaign at age 10. How many of us know what direction our lives will take at age 10?

Thatcher was the first female British prime minister. I scratch my head thinking about country after country who had or have female heads of states. But one country hasn't.  Yes, the United States.(That's all the politics you will get from me today.)

I can tell you she made quite an impression in the United States, too. 

Two ladies, miles apart and ages apart.  Two strong women. A sad day for many.

1 comment:

  1. I knew that today Margret Thatcher and Lily Pulitzer died. I hadn't heard about Annette. I loved watching her movies. Beach Blanket Bingo. Remember that song?


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