Monday, April 8, 2013

No, No Annette

There were so many thoughts about what to write, but with the passing of Annette Funicello, a little piece of me died.  Don't laugh.  I'm serious.  Annette Funicello was a huge part of my childhood.  I loved running home for the 3:30 movie after school for Beach Blanket week.  Can you imagine how heavenly?  A whole week of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon movies.  Absolutely divine.  Really! Life seemed so simple then with the antics and romance of all the Beach movies.  

When Annette Funicello announced that she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1992*, I was stunned.  I had already been diagnosed five years earlier, but her MS was far more debilitating from the outset.  She was brave, noble, and determined to keep going no matter what.  When the Annette Funicello movie was made, I sobbed like a baby to see her playing herself at the end of the movie "walking" her daughter down the aisle. She was clearly so compromised by her illness and yet was determined to follow through on finishing the movie of her life.  

I was at the hospital just this past Friday for an infusion and was talking about Annette.   Mentioning that I hadn't heard anything about her for so long or seen any photos. I knew that she must be suffering so or we would've seen her.  Never imagining that I'd be sitting at lunch today and get a CNN alert that she had died at the young age of 70.  I almost burst into tears, but it also fueled my passion for finding a cure.  I am certain that Annette's body couldn't take it anymore and I don't want her death to be in vain.  This is the month of the MS Walk all over the country.  If you know someone walking, please support them.  I am walking with my family and friends.  It is a fantastic way to raise funds and build a community.  I am sorry that it has to be around MS, but whatever it takes to bring people together for a common cause.  

I know that many people under the age of 40 probably have no idea who Annette Funicello is.  The movies that brought so much joy and fun to so many would be seen as so cheesy and silly now, but what the kids would be surprised to hear...they were cheesy and silly then.  The actors were getting the last laugh.  They were made just for the fun of it.  Starring vehicles for Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.  If you get the chance to see one, take the time.  It captures a simpler time. 

Sidebars:  Country Music Awards wiped all the other stations into reruns last night. I must say that the CMA's put on a very good show and end on time.  Lots of performances and a few awards.  Country music is huge and watching an event like the CMA's really points it out. The Final Four culminates with the last game between Louisville and Michigan. May it be a great game.  On NBC The Voice is on, too.  What to do, what to do? I'm down for The Voice.  Only the last five minutes of the game matters anyway. It's also Yom HaShoah, which is Holocaust Remembrance day.  There is a critically acclaimed hour documentary called 50 Children.  Worth DVRing.  Only one hour.  May cause a tear or two, but well worth it. 

If you want to donate to Team Podolsky for the MS Walk, click on the following link:

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* Read in the paper today that she was actually diagnosed in 1987, just like I was, but didn't go public for 5 years. 

1 comment:

  1. I loved Annette, too. And those beach blanket movies. RIP.