ELEGY FOR A MOUSEKETEER (tribute to Annette Funicello)

I wrote this the day she died in 2013…

 

I didn’t exist…not quite my era
when she smiled –
donning black felt mouse’s ears
black and white images, perfection
personified on Zenith television sets
around the world, as millions watched
dining on TV Dinners
adored in happy homes
this all American girl from
next door – a member of the kiddie club.

I didn’t exist…not quite yet
when she smiled at Frankie,
donning swimsuits on surfboards
colorful, sunny images where
dreamers & movie theaters
around the world & millions of
hopeful teens saw sweetness,
goodness admired, this girl next door
now a member of the boomer club.

I met her after school…and on Sunday evenings –
Together, smiling in the Magic Kingdom
as re-runs of black felt mouse’s ears
immortalized the epitome of
charming innocence, beach blanket fun, &
panorama-vision with colors which made my
Sony television set alive.
This  was a moment of design –
To be healthy,  hopeful, &
forever youthful,  albeit a momentary
fantasy…covered in pixie dust –
Years passed before news, diagnostics, &
the realization of this disease debacle, then
I too had become a member
of a club like no other, a club whose
membership roster continues
to grow like wildfire.

I couldn’t yet comprehend the pain
which lurked behind her smile while
donning leg braces in chairs with wheels –
black and white or color filled
her life on television sets
viewed by millions
confused by the disease, distraught these
boomers & future generations;
mouseketeer wanna-be’s unable to
identify with or relate to
members of the disabled club.

I feel…I think…I know her well these days –
as sisters & strangers with multiple scars
our badge of honor or initiation into the MS Club.
My smile now hides the pain
others can’t comprehend, but with bittersweet resilience, this smile holds the beauty & the power instilled within that of a MSketeer.

by MPP 6/2013 ~ edited 4/2017

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Author: Mary

ABOUT MARY ~ Mary is a "late-blooming" writer from Texas who enjoys exploring a variety of different styles & genres, however her deep passion for creative writing (poetry, essay, narrative interview & non-fiction) remains unwavering & most purposeful. Mary's personal & professional background is filled with an eclectic combination of business & art (e.g., music, performing arts, 15 years sales/marketing & special events planning in the private club industry). Mary is a 1990 graduate from The University of North Texas with a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. In 2001, life as she knew it would be dramatically & forever altered by the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at age 35. Several years passed, searching for answers to unknown questions. This loss of reality, normalcy, & PURPOSE needed to be reinvented - renewed - rewritten. This disease is not a "one size firs all." MS affects everyone differently & can morph unpredictably, silently, relentlessly... day to day. It's not easy to figure out how to deal with disease & this vile invasion of an uninvited, unwanted "internal room-mate." Eventually, Mary also sought the help of a professional therapist which helped her learn important coping skills needed to tame/calm mood disorders & to encourage healthy ways in which to purge the noisy chaos inside the brain. And so the writing began... as did a newfound passion & purpose. This journey of reinvention became plausible via Mary's background & her desire to discover new creative outlets. As a student for life, Mary continues to explore & study the health benefits from turning off our "auto pilot switch" & instead focus on learning - consume new information & participate in new activities (Neuroplasticity). The gift of "resilience" is a glorious, powerful tool which stems from the endurance of life & it's many challenges. Resilience forces us to rise up & learn face issues (new & old) head on. Focus on the important things in life. Laugh & live selflessly with compassion, purose & passion. Connect with Mary at: 🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals 🔸Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MaryPettigrew48 🔸LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/maryppettigrew 🔸Instagram: 🔸http://www.mspals.org Acknowledgments and Press ~ * Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: A Global Organization (2014 - present) * Administrator & contributing author of content, posts, & interviews on the MSpals website: http://www.mspals.org ~ The Summer of Sport: Forward Poetry 2012 ~ Poetry Rivals Collection 2013 ~ Something On Our Minds Vol.III ~ Something On Our Minds Vol IV. Interviews: National Multiple Sclerosis Society's "Momentum Magazine" ~ 2013 = Art Therapy & MS ~ 2015 = Connecting Via Social Media Other works also featured on a variety of blogs, websites, videos, as well as other multimedia platforms including: www.pajamadaze.com www.disabled-world.com www.HealthCentral.com www.MyCounterpane.com www.MS&MeRadio/TBI Network iConquerMS/The Accelerated Cure Project WEGO Health

2 thoughts on “ELEGY FOR A MOUSEKETEER (tribute to Annette Funicello)”

  1. If my memory serves me, she pushed on for so many years. I also remember watching her on a Zenith television. To be honest, I had a big crush on Annette. She was my favorite. So many people, put on a Happy face for others. I admit I have done the same thing. I can only say it’s not fair to the ones who truly care. But its even more difficult, not to try and protect them.

    Liked by 1 person

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