What a sad way to start this week. This morning Annette Funicello passed away after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. For those of you who are not well versed in the Hollywood lore of old, Annette Funicello was the maven-haired sweetheart of original “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950. She was spunky, sweet and was the rarest of Hollywood rares....men lusted after her and woman wanted to be her. No one could hate Annette Funicello! She was an angel! Some people say they have glitter in their veins, Annette was living proof that this is true. She radiated such joy no matter what. There's so much that I could say about her. Condensing her life into a few hundred words will not begin to describe this amazing dynamic woman.
For my sisters and I Annette Funicello was the star of our favorite movie ever.... 'Babes in Toyland'. A cute kiddo film from 1961 that was set in nursery rhyme world. I don't know how we found this movie seeing as how it was in the 80's when I saw it for the first time but nevertheless, my sisters and I were addicted to the Disney adaptation. Mother Goose narrates the story in which Mary, Mary Quite Contrary (the darling Annette) and Tom the Piper's Son are about to be married. Of course there is the sinister Barnaby who plots to foil this fairytale romance between the two by kidnapping Tom the Piper's Son and setting Mary up for financial ruin! Her only escape is marry the evil Barnaby. I don't want to spoil it for you but even now many years later (shut up, I'm not doing math) it makes me smile. My sister found a copy on Amazon and we indulgently watched it only two months ago. We sat on the couch, giggling like little kids as Tom the Pipers Son and Mary Mary Quite Contrary sang their undying devotion to each other and Mary coyly refused to kiss her beau.
Annette Funicello was also the star of many a beach bunny movies. Movies that had the most scandalous moment being a stolen kiss under the moon on a beach. A first love so simplistic and innocent that one cant help but be nostalgic. This whole walk down memory lane has me revisiting the most romantic moments in own life. There's something so pure and sweet about a kiss. Today we mourn the loss of one of Hollywood's shining lights that blinked out.
Annette was a star in Hollywood and she was the brightest and biggest. If you put Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift together you would get an idea of how grand this woman was. Yet she didn't fall prey to the typical drugs, booze, blah blah blah.
This is where it gets really important. Are you paying attention? While reading the stories about her and reading what she accomplished in her life I ran across a quote of hers that made me stop and really think....
"Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful"
I was dumbstruck by the simplistic zen wonder of it. She had a life that was full of ups and downs. Happiness and sadness and yet she lived by the words
"Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful".
I want you to really ingest that. I want you to really let that marinate.
Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.
Goodbye Annette. Thank you for the glitter.